Afiya Francisco is a Style Expert, television and fashion personality, speaker, and brand ambassador. The Style House is a multimedia platform designed to help women approach their personal style with confidence, simplicity & joy. 

Ultimate Gift Guide 2014

With Christmas only ten days away, we called on some of our favourite industry friends & tastemakers to compile the ultimate gift guide. Packed with super stylish suggestions for everyone on your list – including yourself! – fitness, food, beauty, home, under $20, of course, fashion, and more, is all covered!! Take a moment and indulge – you may want to have a notepad handy, your wish list is about to grow!

THE STYLE MAVEN curated by Sasha Exeter, So Sasha.

Whether it’s $100 or $1000, I like to give and receive gifts that are classic and can last more than a season (or a lifetime). I call these items the “Can’t Go Wrong” picks as they will no doubt make whoever is receiving them extremely happy (and very stylish).

THE DAPPER DUDE curated by Jeremy Freed, Editor-in-Chief Sharp magazine and Sharp: The Book for Men.

These gifts are beautiful, well-made objects that not only look good on his bar, bookshelf or desk, but also perform a vital function in his life. Whether helping him fix a bike, capture a moment or be the best-dressed guy at the office, all of these picks are sure to please the sophisticated modern guy.
  Hermès Silk Knit Tie  $170.   When it comes to ties, Hermès has been doing it right since 1949. This striped version is knitted   from sleek silk and wool, offering more texture (and style) than typical plain-woven ties.    The Balvenie Carribean Cask  $110.   Balvenie’s Caribbean Cask is finished in Caribbean rum barrels, which impart a sweet-meets-  spicy quality into the spirit. Notes of burnt sugar and tropical fruit are immediately apparent on   the nose and persist right through to the finish. It’s all about the barrel.     EDC Card  $60. Thirty functions are built into this wallet sized Every Day Carry card a massive amount of functionality in a small package. Made from military grade stainless steel and equipped with a Phillips head, a beveled edge, a bottle opener, open hex drivers and much more. A toolbox for your wallet.    Sharp: The Book for Men  $17.   With over 200 pages of style, gadgets, cars, travel, food, drink and culture, this is the ultimate   reference for the modern man. In addition to a 30+ page Style Manual with all of the wardrobe   tips you need for the season ahead, there’s also our famous MANual, an almanac of essential   skills for survival, etiquette, grooming and more.     Furtif Evercut Knife  $80-140.   The French-made Evercut has the cutting edge of a Louis C.K. sketch. The blade is made via a   laser bonding technique that keeps it slicing consistently well for up to 25 years before it needs   to be sharpened. If there is a rock star among knives, this is it.

Hermès Silk Knit Tie $170.  When it comes to ties, Hermès has been doing it right since 1949. This striped version is knitted from sleek silk and wool, offering more texture (and style) than typical plain-woven ties.

The Balvenie Carribean Cask $110.  Balvenie’s Caribbean Cask is finished in Caribbean rum barrels, which impart a sweet-meets-spicy quality into the spirit. Notes of burnt sugar and tropical fruit are immediately apparent on the nose and persist right through to the finish. It’s all about the barrel. 

EDC Card $60. Thirty functions are built into this wallet sized Every Day Carry card a massive amount of functionality in a small package. Made from military grade stainless steel and equipped with a Phillips head, a beveled edge, a bottle opener, open hex drivers and much more. A toolbox for your wallet. 

Sharp: The Book for Men $17.  With over 200 pages of style, gadgets, cars, travel, food, drink and culture, this is the ultimate reference for the modern man. In addition to a 30+ page Style Manual with all of the wardrobe tips you need for the season ahead, there’s also our famous MANual, an almanac of essential skills for survival, etiquette, grooming and more. 

Furtif Evercut Knife $80-140.  The French-made Evercut has the cutting edge of a Louis C.K. sketch. The blade is made via a laser bonding technique that keeps it slicing consistently well for up to 25 years before it needs to be sharpened. If there is a rock star among knives, this is it.

THE TRENDSETTER curated by Erica Wark, Stylist.

The holidays are a great excuse to spoil your loved ones (and maybe even yourself!); so I chose my fave festive finds that are PERFECT for my family... And yea - perfect for me too ha!
  Flare Skirt in Jacquard  $300 at Tristan.   Such a beautiful piece and made in Canada; would love it for myself but would also be a beautiful gift for the fashion-forward gal in your life!    Krista Norris Blanket Style Scarf  $85.  T his is a great gift for a mom or mother-in-law; maybe even for a brother's girlfriend or sister-in-law! They're stylish, cozy and looks great with any jacket for the winter season!    Expedition Parka  $300 at Joe Fresh.  A  great gift idea for my main squeeze or my dad!    Work Week Wool Sock Pack  $29 at Drake General Store.  W arm, cozy and practical, I love gifting (and getting) winter socks. These ones from The Drake are so cute because you can get different festive prints! Perfect stocking stuffer idea!    Telestartions  $32 at Chapters Indigo.  T his is one of the funniest and most fun games I've ever played.For only $31.99 it's a great gift for just about anyone - or for Secret Santa! The best part is you can use it immediately after opening it with all the family during the holiday season!

Flare Skirt in Jacquard $300 at Tristan.  Such a beautiful piece and made in Canada; would love it for myself but would also be a beautiful gift for the fashion-forward gal in your life!

Krista Norris Blanket Style Scarf $85.  This is a great gift for a mom or mother-in-law; maybe even for a brother's girlfriend or sister-in-law! They're stylish, cozy and looks great with any jacket for the winter season!

Expedition Parka $300 at Joe Fresh.  A great gift idea for my main squeeze or my dad!

Work Week Wool Sock Pack $29 at Drake General Store.  Warm, cozy and practical, I love gifting (and getting) winter socks. These ones from The Drake are so cute because you can get different festive prints! Perfect stocking stuffer idea!

Telestartions $32 at Chapters Indigo.  This is one of the funniest and most fun games I've ever played.For only $31.99 it's a great gift for just about anyone - or for Secret Santa! The best part is you can use it immediately after opening it with all the family during the holiday season!

THE MOM INC. curated by Catherine & Natalie, Social Common.

Our list includes ideas for the mom in your life, spoil her with something she wouldn’t treat herself to, she REALLY deserves it!
  Spa Gift Certificate (Body Blitz shown – The Style House fave!).  E  very mom needs an excuse to escape to a world of relaxation and indulgence.     Sperry Mo  c    assin Slipper  $45 (on sale).    We love this cozy slipper for the cold weather and like the hightop detail so it actually looks stylish little bootie!     Lululemon Leggings  $108.  W  e are in love with the higher rise Lulus for working out, it's like it has a control top! Perfect for us mommas!     Feather Vest Club Monaco  $198.    This is such an luxurious vest that can dress up jeans and a cute top, or make a party dress even more festive.      Fuji Film Tech  $88.    Such a fun family toy that we wouldn't buy for ourselves.

Spa Gift Certificate (Body Blitz shown – The Style House fave!).  Every mom needs an excuse to escape to a world of relaxation and indulgence.

Sperry Mocassin Slipper $45 (on sale).  We love this cozy slipper for the cold weather and like the hightop detail so it actually looks stylish little bootie!

Lululemon Leggings $108.  We are in love with the higher rise Lulus for working out, it's like it has a control top! Perfect for us mommas!

Feather Vest Club Monaco $198.  This is such an luxurious vest that can dress up jeans and a cute top, or make a party dress even more festive. 

Fuji Film Tech $88.  Such a fun family toy that we wouldn't buy for ourselves.

THE BEAUTY BUFF curated by Janine Falcon, Editor & Founder Beauty Geeks.

“I’m all about gifts that lift the spirits, soothe the soul (or soles, as the case may be) and comfort the body.”
  Beaver Canoe by Roots Blanket  $60.  (design seen as a cushion in the image above)  Blankets and throws are a must for snuggling on the couch in winter. Ideal would be the Roots Tweed Cabin Throw, but right now I'm obsessed with this soft, red-trimmed grey-and-white Beaver Canoe by Roots knit throw from Target.    La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream  $113.   I feel like such a beauty-editor cliché with La Mer on my Christmas list, but this light, luxurious moisturizer is just so lovely and makes skin happy. Fun fact: most of the seaweed in the signature La Mer Miracle Broth comes from Vancouver, did you know?    Maison Martin Margiela (Untitled) L'Eau  $100.   An amazing light, green citrus, this perfume is a bit on the masculine side, which works brilliantly with the kind of body chemistry that makes standard women's fragrances go too sweet.    Jo Malone Pine & Eucalyptus Scented Candle  $79.   Such a mood-lifter, clean, bright and fresh, this candle is so easy to give as well as receive (I would burn this scent year-round if I could afford the extravagance).     MM6 Maison Martin Margiela Nappa Leather Wedge Booties  $825.   Aww man. I spotted these online when I was stalking (Untitled) L'Eau, and now I want, want, want.

Beaver Canoe by Roots Blanket $60.  (design seen as a cushion in the image above) Blankets and throws are a must for snuggling on the couch in winter. Ideal would be the Roots Tweed Cabin Throw, but right now I'm obsessed with this soft, red-trimmed grey-and-white Beaver Canoe by Roots knit throw from Target.

La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream $113.  I feel like such a beauty-editor cliché with La Mer on my Christmas list, but this light, luxurious moisturizer is just so lovely and makes skin happy. Fun fact: most of the seaweed in the signature La Mer Miracle Broth comes from Vancouver, did you know?

Maison Martin Margiela (Untitled) L'Eau $100.  An amazing light, green citrus, this perfume is a bit on the masculine side, which works brilliantly with the kind of body chemistry that makes standard women's fragrances go too sweet.

Jo Malone Pine & Eucalyptus Scented Candle $79.  Such a mood-lifter, clean, bright and fresh, this candle is so easy to give as well as receive (I would burn this scent year-round if I could afford the extravagance). 

MM6 Maison Martin Margiela Nappa Leather Wedge Booties $825.  Aww man. I spotted these online when I was stalking (Untitled) L'Eau, and now I want, want, want.

THE FOODIE & FITNESS BUFF  curated by Jen Masseau, Editor & Stylist.

I like to try to give gifts that I know the recipient will find useful, but are also at least a little bit more luxurious that they would buy for themselves—even a practical gift should feel like a treat.
 Spiked Sponge Toffee with Lime & Tequila, LCBO Food & Drink recipe (Holiday 2014).   I’m planning to try my candy-thermometer-weilding hand at a recipe    Mexico The Cookbook  $35.  I read cookbooks like they’re storybooks, lounging on my sofa flipping through page after page of beautiful photos and tempting words. I love Mexican food—with more than 700 recipes for snacks, drinks, main dishes, and desserts, this book looks like the next best thing to a culinary vacation.    Blendtec 675 High-Speed Blender  in Charcoal $550.   My basic blender has been on the fritz lately. If Santa really, really loves me, he'll bring me this sleek & splurgy luxury model for a major upgrade. I'll thank him by using it to whirl up some homemade nut butter and a whole-food green juice to enjoy as a healthy change from his standard milk & cookies.    Nike x Pedro Lourenço Activewear  $175.   Between a (somewhat sporadic) routine of yoga and Pilates classes, runs, and group interval training sessions, I spend a fair amount of my time in workout wear, so gear that performs and looks chic is highly coveted. Right now I have my sights set on pieces from NikeLab’s collaboration with Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenço. The colour-blocked palette of satiny pink-nude, matte black and soft silver is a fresh change from the neon-overload my fitness wardrobe current suffers from. This collection is about as sophisticated as activewear can get.    Bourbon-Sea Salt Caramels ,  Bon Appétit recipe.   For the holiday season, I see no better way to thank a hard-planning party host or to spread joy to friends and colleagues than with the gift of an indulgent sweet treat, homemade with love—and laced with booze (’tis the season, after all!). Last winter, I whipped together a batch of one-hundred individually-wrapped Bourbon-Sea Salt Caramels.

Spiked Sponge Toffee with Lime & Tequila, LCBO Food & Drink recipe (Holiday 2014).  I’m planning to try my candy-thermometer-weilding hand at a recipe

Mexico The Cookbook $35. I read cookbooks like they’re storybooks, lounging on my sofa flipping through page after page of beautiful photos and tempting words. I love Mexican food—with more than 700 recipes for snacks, drinks, main dishes, and desserts, this book looks like the next best thing to a culinary vacation.

Blendtec 675 High-Speed Blender in Charcoal $550.  My basic blender has been on the fritz lately. If Santa really, really loves me, he'll bring me this sleek & splurgy luxury model for a major upgrade. I'll thank him by using it to whirl up some homemade nut butter and a whole-food green juice to enjoy as a healthy change from his standard milk & cookies.

Nike x Pedro Lourenço Activewear $175.  Between a (somewhat sporadic) routine of yoga and Pilates classes, runs, and group interval training sessions, I spend a fair amount of my time in workout wear, so gear that performs and looks chic is highly coveted. Right now I have my sights set on pieces from NikeLab’s collaboration with Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenço. The colour-blocked palette of satiny pink-nude, matte black and soft silver is a fresh change from the neon-overload my fitness wardrobe current suffers from. This collection is about as sophisticated as activewear can get.

Bourbon-Sea Salt Caramels,  Bon Appétit recipe.  For the holiday season, I see no better way to thank a hard-planning party host or to spread joy to friends and colleagues than with the gift of an indulgent sweet treat, homemade with love—and laced with booze (’tis the season, after all!). Last winter, I whipped together a batch of one-hundred individually-wrapped Bourbon-Sea Salt Caramels.

THE GIRL BOSS curated by Catriona Smart, Founder Coco & Cowe.

Receiving a gift is great but there’s nothing more special than giving the perfect gift. I’m constantly asking my ‘cooler-than-me’ friends what they’re lusting over and these are a few that top the list.
   Mariposa Ear Jackets  $32.  I   have a few pairs of these interesting earrings which are like a hybrid between an ear cuff and a traditional earring.  I get the most compliments when I wear them and for $32 you can buy one for yourself and your friend and not feel super bad about it...     GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso  $28.    I forever have my nose in a book and it's because I haven't had a chance to read this highly buzzed book by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso that it's high on my list.  From what I hear it's a great read that inspires empowerment which would make it an equally interesting gift to give.     Medium Liaison Catch All Dish  $350.    I'm the worst at putting my jewelry away at night and though a sweet little dish like this would be ideal to sit on my bedside to collect said jewels, I probably would never get around to buying it for myself thus making it the perfect gift for me....  Plus I know three people I would also love to gift it to.  Double plus, Kelly Wearstler is a dream.     NARS Vault  $600.    Being a lipstick and nail polish fiend, this NARS 'Vault' is the ultimate.  I actually saw it in real life and almost instantly snapped it up for myself - it's that stunning - but the $600 price tag put it solidly back on my 'wish' list.     Coco & Cowe T  $40.    Last but not least, what's better than giving something that you've made?  We've created a small collection of t's and tanks and our first release reads: Comment dit-on on the front and on the back spells out all of our favorite designer's names phonetically, because, let's face it, some of them can be more than a little tricky!  We love seeing our friends wear our work so it's a win, win.  Plus they're super soft and comfy...

Mariposa Ear Jackets $32.  I have a few pairs of these interesting earrings which are like a hybrid between an ear cuff and a traditional earring.  I get the most compliments when I wear them and for $32 you can buy one for yourself and your friend and not feel super bad about it...

GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso $28.  I forever have my nose in a book and it's because I haven't had a chance to read this highly buzzed book by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso that it's high on my list.  From what I hear it's a great read that inspires empowerment which would make it an equally interesting gift to give.

Medium Liaison Catch All Dish $350.  I'm the worst at putting my jewelry away at night and though a sweet little dish like this would be ideal to sit on my bedside to collect said jewels, I probably would never get around to buying it for myself thus making it the perfect gift for me....  Plus I know three people I would also love to gift it to.  Double plus, Kelly Wearstler is a dream.

NARS Vault $600.  Being a lipstick and nail polish fiend, this NARS 'Vault' is the ultimate.  I actually saw it in real life and almost instantly snapped it up for myself - it's that stunning - but the $600 price tag put it solidly back on my 'wish' list.

Coco & Cowe T $40.  Last but not least, what's better than giving something that you've made?  We've created a small collection of t's and tanks and our first release reads: Comment dit-on on the front and on the back spells out all of our favorite designer's names phonetically, because, let's face it, some of them can be more than a little tricky!  We love seeing our friends wear our work so it's a win, win.  Plus they're super soft and comfy...

Maybe my hubs will somehow stumble across this list...

Gift Like A Boss – Tips from a Pro

Show-Stopper: The Statement Coat