Shipping delays are a thing right now, so if you want in on this holiday season’s hottest swag, it’s time to put together your shopping lists. To get insight into the biggest trends for holiday 2021, we reached out to Lindsey Smecker, a trend forecaster with ESP Trendlab.
“Overall, we’re finding that consumers are buying less but better,” she said. “Better quality and better for the environment. The importance of sustainability continues, and there is a general back-to-basics spirit.”
She said some of the best gifts this holiday season are those that make a home a haven. “Our home has become our sanctuary, a safe space away from the outside world,” Smecker said. “More people are seeking pieces that create a clean aesthetic and soothing ambience.” She also sees a new hybrid style of streetwear where function meets comfort. “We see organic, neutral and even undyed shades paired with natural materials.”
Scroll down to get an inside track on some of the biggest trends this season.
Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s 2021 Gift Guide to find the perfect present for everyone on your list!
Best holiday gift trends
Nothing says home like a candle that fills the air with your favorite fresh fragrance. This candle comes in three different scents, but when it's done burning, it can also be used as a planter. Each scent comes with seeds for growing daisies, basil or aloe so you can give the candle holder a new life.
It seems there’s always a Nike shoe that’s trending, and this dress-up, dress-down model is no exception. “These '77 vintage-inspired Blazers are the perfect high-top sneaker for hybrid in and out of office lifestyles,” Smecker said. They come in men’s, women’s and kid’s sizes. Tip: There’s even a “design your own” option, which allows you to specify everything from the sole to the backtab and swoosh color.
Upgrade their athletic wear — and help them ditch all that blah black — with a cute new hue. “This is the perfect athletic set for hi-low styling,” Smecker said. “You can wear it to your yoga class at 6pm and then out for drinks at 7pm paired with a blazer and baseball cap.”
Warm and fuzzy meets stylish with this snuggly coat. “It features NorthFace's iconic silhouette, with 100% recycled Sherpa fleece and high-quality materials that combine to make this the warmest and trendiest jacket to cocoon in,” Smecker said.
It can be easy to get caught up in the madness of day-to-day responsibilities. Help them remember to slow down every once in a while and take some time for themselves with this spa kit that has everything they need for a night of much-needed rest and relaxation.
Goodbye plastic wrap, hello reusable Bee's Wrap. Made with beeswax, organically grown cotton, organic jojoba oil and tree resin, these sustainable printed wraps are designed to store bread, cheese, vegetables or cover a bowl to keep food fresh while minimizing environmental harm. The set of three comes with three sizes: small, medium and large.
Baseball caps are a must-have accessory this season, and Smecker liked that this brand mixes heritage and uniform. Recipients will love that it’s a fancy take on a classic—and that it’s a good way to disguise a bad hair day.
Childhood favorite press-on nails are back but being done in a new way. Chillhouse’s vibrant, funky designs are beloved by teens and adults because they’re nontoxic, reusable, no-mess, and there’s no drying time needed. They’re also available in bundle packs for those who like to switch up their nails often.
These retro, comfy-cute slippers will start their day with a smile. Give them with smiley face socks and you’ll get extra points.
Colorful beaded necklaces are the Gen Z “It Girl” accessory this holiday, according to Smecker. For a take on a childhood friendship bracelet, try this one with the ubiquitous smiley face.
“Chunky, bright, color-blocked cardigans and knitwear that looks handmade and unique will be trending this winter,” said Smecker. With stripes and puffy sleeves, this snuggly sweater will become their go-to wardrobe staple.
These TikTok-famous mood-tracking stuffed animals remain as popular as ever. Kids (or adults) can show whether they’re happy, ecstatic, grumpy or straight up $*&@#! without having to utter a single syllable.
Ever-popular skin-care brand Glossier has a top-rated kit that features a full skin-care routine in miniature sizes. You'll find a cleanser, hydrating serum, moisturizer, soothing balm in two scents, an oil-serum hybrid and a headband inside a molded, recyclable paper case tied with a reusable rubber band.
A great stocking stuffer for someone who’s health conscious but still has a sweet tooth, these plant-based gummies are inspired by childhood favorites. Think cola gummies, peach rings, sweet fish and licorice twists with less sugar and fewer harmful ingredients.
This is perfect for someone with a work-from-home hybrid schedule who’s looking to find their Zen amidst the chaos, according to Smecker. It’s a super-quiet model that humidifies while infusing the air with plant-based essential oils and a calming atmosphere.
Not surprisingly, the pandemic has caused many people to adopt better hygiene habits and become focused on keeping germs at bay. Giving the gift of fancy, upscale hand soap makes hand-washing feel luxurious rather than like a tedious necessity, Smecker said. Reviewers love that the fresh, citrusy scent acts as a pick-me-up.
When opting for a home gift, think the simpler the better: “For interior trends, we look to the idea of a blank slate, inspired by minimalist Scandinavian design with natural materials, shapely forms and irregular detailing,” said Smecker. “These chalky, matte white ceramic vases are the perfect decor piece to freshen up any room." Giftees will love their unexpected shape and that their accessible size works everywhere from countertop to desktop.
Still looking for the perfect gift? Be sure to check out Shop TODAY’s 2021 Gift Guide to shop for everyone on your list, including:
- 45 stress-relieving gifts your loved ones will seriously thank you for
- It's not too late! 26 last-minute gifts you can get on Amazon
- These 8 thank-you gifts will show your appreciation this holiday season
- 20 last-minute gifts for her that are still thoughtful
- On a budget? We found 45 gifts under $25 for your nearest and dearest