Gen Z Gift Guide!!!

It’s gifting season once again! As a mother, aunt, and godmother, I still struggle with finding something on-trend that the teens and twenties in my life will really love, so I went straight to the source. Meet guest curator Clare Daly! She’s a New York-based creative (and my goddaughter!) and I’m so excited to welcome her to the blog.

New to Empty Nesting?

If your recent renter is looking to decorate their new digs, help them say goodbye to the dreaded landlord special. This golden, scalloped Anthropologie switch plate (#3) and the Wayfair mid-century-inspired armchair are perfect to make a starter apartment their very own. The armchair (#10) is available in so many cute colors, and it’s on sale! Add in this sweet sleeping cat lamp (#9) because no one uses the big light these days— it’s all about ambiance. 

Whether or not your Gen Zer is new to the kitchen, Shelly Westerhausen Worcel’s Every Season Is Soup Season (#2) couldn’t be an easier gift. The base recipes for everything from quick broths to days-long chilis establish a strong culinary foundation. Worcel’s tips and tricks for freezing and storing will come in clutch when a long day at the office calls for nothing more than a microwave. WFHing? Make a bowl of tomato basil for lunch and rest it on this multi-functional acrylic laptop stand (#15) that blends into any desk setup. 

For the Fashion Forward 

Your Gen Zer with a heart of gold (…or not) will obsess over Elizabeth Cole’s Nixine Necklace (#1). The evil eye symbol, known for its ability to repel bad vibes, is one of this holiday season’s hottest trends. Accented with Swarovski crystals, the California-designed, Rhode Island-crafted necklace is perfect for warding off the very worst: a gifting faux pas. 

Hop on the athleisure train with this Alo Yoga sherpa jacket (#11). Complete with a removable hood, it is an adorably versatile option for heading to the gym, running to class, or anything in between. Designed in neutral colors and sized for layering, the recipient of this gift can make this fuzzy bomber a daily driver in their Fall/Winter wardrobe. Pair it with this Oat Milk tee (#12) and your Gen Zer will never have to remind a barista of their lactose preferences again. 

Fellow twenty-something teenage girls, listen up. Work shoes with style do exist! Put these two on-the-pulse pairs on your list. Right. Now. 

Sam Edelman Jildies (#14) gives you 4 inches of height and leans into the square-toe Mary Jane Renaissance. Clunky, cute, and classy for under $200. Also, Express just collaborated with iconic shoe designer and social tastemaker Brian Atwood for an affordable take on haute designs. Any pair of Atwood’s are a major slay, but I love these pointed flats (#14) with a silky bow. Translation for moms: These are the grown-up versions of the shoes you made us wear, often kicking and screaming, for every first day of school until we were, like, 12. No, it’s not hypocritical. They’re cute now! Read Nicole’s post about the collab HERE. 

Makeup & More

If I could only have two beauty items, I would keep my Merit Beauty Minimalist Stick (#7) and Glossier You fragrance. The Minimalist, true to its name, can replace multiple pieces in your Gen Zer’s makeup bag. Its variety of shades blend into the skin seamlessly—all over, undereye, and on problem spots— and choose a darker shade for a creamy, matte contour. Looking to gift their first signature scent? Glossier You is IT. If you don’t know Glossier by now, I’m convinced you’ve taken up residence under the world’s most soundproof boulder. I digress.  

I’d prefer to find my perfect scent on the shelf, instead of painstakingly poring over each element at these so-called “fragrance labs” I keep seeing pop up in New York. Once again, I digress. Gluten-free and vegan with base notes of pink pepper and iris, Glossier’s unisex eau de parfum (#6) (is an amazing experiment in skin chemistry. Spritz or roll it, but don’t rub! Make sure to let it settle in on its own. When the fragrance settles, the base combines with the body for an elevated natural scent unique to the wearer that compliments any outfit or event. 

Toys for Totes

One of my go-to gift ideas is to fill something: a water bottle with candy, a basket with grooming essentials, etc. I can never have too many totes, so receiving one that’s sturdy and stylish, like this Baggu (#8), would make my holiday. As for the filling, go for my favorite gifts to get: a vinyl record of the latest Taylor Swift album and the cutest self-care book there is. At the time of publication, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) (#5) is still the stuff of “Suburban Legends”. For those who have yet to indoctrinate into the Swiftie persuasion, that’s a vault track on the most recent release. Instagram sensation Maybell Eequay’s inspirational little frog characters have arrived on the page in Little Frog’s Guide to Self-Care (#13). Positive messages, plus the sweetest drawings, what’s not to love? Throw in this Heyday 35mm Film Camera (#16) to capture the other goodies and memorable moments of the holiday season and beyond. 

Happy gifting!

Screenshot 2023 11 28 at 11.59.21 PM
Screenshot 2023 11 28 at 11.59.21 PM
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