At Ease, Smart & Chic – Stylish Loungewear for the Holidays

Something that you’ll love to wear when you’re not in the office.

I’m wrapping up this week of cozy comfort clothes with some fantastic loungewear.

But first, please let me make your life a little easier. If you’re like 90% of Americans, you know that you wear loungewear / activewear /sleepwear (call it what you will) more than you should.

And you also know that you regularly leave the house wearing that raggedy ________ (fill in the blank) even though you promised yourself that it would never see the light of day.

This is not a battle worth fighting!

Embrace the activewear trend – which is here to stay – and treat yourself to some stylish new casual clothes. And get rid of anything you wouldn’t want your boss / new boyfriend / ex-boyfriend / mother (or all of the above – it’s your choice) to see you wearing.

You will not believe how wonderful it feels to do this! That’s all.

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If you can afford just one new piece of activewear this winter, you’ll get the most bang for your buck with a sweater or jacket.

This Rosegold Robe by La Fee Verte reminds me of a long Missoni cardigan – and I would not hesitate to style it as a sweater. It has a detachable belt and sparkly lurex thread. It’s also one of the select gift items that are currently 20% off at Anthropologie – marked down from $148 to $118.40.

Rosegold Robe by La Fee Verte

Rosegold Robe by La Fee Verte - back

If sporty is more your style, check out the beloved Lululemon Scuba Hoodie II ($108, shown here in black and coal houndstooth), which comes in enough fun prints, bold colors and basics (yes, black) to suit anyone.

Lululemon Scuba Hoodie II

If you’d like a similar style at half the price, check out the Zella Pretty Moon Dust Hooded Jacket in Regular and Plus Sizes from Nordstrom ($49.90 on sale; regularly $68).

Zella Pretty Moon Dust Hooded JacketZella Pretty Moon Dust Hooded Jacket - Plus

Moving on to pants, it’s amazing how far sweatpants have come in our lifetime (something you can look forward to telling your grandchildren about). You can pick from sleek basics like these Life is Good French Terry Pants ($52 from Zappos) or something surprising and unique like these Obey Lola Black Heather Floral Sweatpants ($58 from Zappos).

Life is Good French Terry PantsObey Lola Black Heather Floral SweatpantsI was also excited to discover that many of Lululemon’s Wunder Under Pants ($82-$92, shown here in Garden Party floral) feature a print on the front but are solid on the back – where even I usually prefer to stick with basic black.

Lululemon Wunder Under Pants - floral front & black back

Comfy casual tops are probably the easiest place to have some fun with color and print. I recently bought this Heart Center Top ($58, Made in the USA) as a gift and this Tundra Baby Thermal Top ($68, Made in the USA) for myself – both from Sundance.

Heart Center Top

Tundra Baby Thermal Top

I also find that many of my print tops start off as part of my work / event wardrobe and have a longer second life as part of my casual / exercise wardrobe. The BCBG Agda Top that I featured last month is a good example.

I also love this BCBG Jersey Top in a Purple Print and in a Blue Print – both are on sale for $48.30 (regularly $98) from Last Call.

Disclosure – this post includes affiliate links for Anthropologie, Last Call, Lululemon, Nordstrom and Zappos.

Class it Up – Luxe Sleepwear & Robes

Today I’m continuing this week’s focus on cozy sleepwear and loungewear with a Class It Up post by Amy.

But first I must share an exciting and timely sale! Bedhead is having a special promotion today – 15% off AND free ground shipping from Bedhead Pajamas with code PJSFORXMAS. So Bonnie and I will have our Hello Kitty Pajamas for Christmas after all!

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Have you taken a close look at your sleepwear lately? Seriously, if your sleeping attire – whatever the style or fabric – is pilling, faded, worn thin or (gasp!) has developed a hole or two, it is time to class it up.

Over the years I have acquired exactly two go-to brands for sleepwear: Karen Neuburger and BedHead Pajamas (which are Made in the USA). Other brands I have bought seem to pill, develop holes, or lose their softness far too quickly for my liking.

I always gravitate to Karen Neuburger’s interlock knit sleepwear. This season, my favorite Karen Neuburger print is Ditsy Aubergine. This deep purple floral print comes in both Pajamas ($68 from Zappos; $72 for Plus Size) and a Sleepshirt ($50 from Zappos; $54 for Plus Size).

Karen Neuburger Girlfriend Long Pajamas - Ditsy AubergineKaren Neuburger Pullover Nightshirt - Ditsy Aubergine

Right now, BeadHead Pajamas has a fun fleur de lis print (search for “fleur” on the Bedhead Pajamas website to see a few options on sale). In either cozy flannel or Henley stretch cotton knit, the Rouge French Quarter Pajamas are cute and oh-so comfortable (both are $132 from Zappos).

Bedhead Pajamas Rouge French Quarter Flannel PajamasBedhead Pajamas Rouge French Quarter Stretch Cotton Henley Pajamas

 

For a more regal look, check out the Bedhead Cream French Quarter Cotton Sateen Pajamas with Purple Fleur de Lis ($140 from Zappos). And, if you want to bedeck yourself in purple head-to-toe, then Bedhead’s Purple Heathered Stretch Knit Fabric Pajamas are perfect for you ($145 from Zappos).

Bedhead Pajamas French Quarter Fleur de Lis Classic PJsBedhead Pajamas Classic Stretch Cotton PJs - Heathered Purple

Beth, my friend since high school, came over last week to help me harvest ripe citrus from our citrus trees. As we picked oranges and lemons Beth proclaimed that she likes only silk pajamas and I completely respect that. (Search for “silk” on the Bedhead Pajamas website to see a few options on sale.)

I envision Beth in Bedhead Pajamas’s Multi-color Purple Posh Paisley Glam Silk Slip. With its aqua, purple, lavender and gold paisley patern, this silk chemise is finished with chartreuse Chantilly lace for a lavish slumber. ($105 from Buy.com). Should I go the silk pajama route, my choice is Bedhead Pajamas’s Purple Posh Paisley Silk Tulip PJs with their turquoise, purple, and yellow paisley ($177 from Buy.com).

Bedhead Pajamas Purple Posh Paisley Glam Silk SlipBedhead Pajamas Purple Posh Paisley Silk Tulip PJ

What about your cover up? Admittedly, it is time to class up my robe. It is a little tired. If I didn’t live in the sub-tropics I would indulge myself with a cashmere robe like Nordstrom Collection’s 100% Cashmere Robe in Heather Grey or five other plush colors ($398; also available in Plus Size).

Nordstrom Collection Cashmere Gown

Since I do live in the sub-tropics, my choice is a spa-style, 100% cotton robe with three-quarter length sleeves and great reviews – the Nordstrom Waffle Cotton Robe in a fetching Amethyst Orchid ($58 in four colors; also available in Plus Size).

Nordstrom Waffle Cotton Robe

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for Bedhead Pajamas, Buy.com, Nordstrom and Zappos.

Smart, Chic & Made in the USA – Hello Kitty Bedhead Pajamas

“Smart, Chic & Made in the USA” spotlights American-made clothing for professional women & their families.

12/18/2014 Update – For once my indecision may have paid off! Bedhead is having a special sale today – 15% off AND free ground shipping with code PJSFORXMAS

I started off the week with a cozy flannel shirt, and have decided that this week is going to be all about loungewear – and sleepwear!

Have you ever been tempted by a Mommy & Me outfit – or a retro item with a theme that you loved as a kid? Right now I want both: matching Hello Kitty Bedhead Pajamas for Bonnie and me.

Bedhead Pajamas Hello Kitty Classic Stretch PajamasBedhead Pajamas Hello Kitty Tween Pajamas

The collection comes in two prints and in sizes for women, kids and babies.

There are also two styles for women: the Bedhead Pajamas Hello Kitty Classic Stretch Pajamas shown above ($152) and the Bedhead Pajamas Hello Kitty Henley Stretch Pajamas shown below ($136).

Bedhead Pajamas Hello Kitty Henley Stretch PajamasBedhead Pajamas Hello Kitty Kids Pajamas

The only reason I haven’t bought them yet is because I keep changing my mind about which print and style I like best!

You can shop the Bedhead Pajamas Hello Kitty women’s collection at Nordstrom and the Bedhead Pajamas Hello Kitty kids collection at Zappos. You can also shop the entire collection at Bedhead – and choose from promotions.

Shop the Hello Kitty pajamas collection & enjoy FREE Shipping at BedHeadPJs.com! Use promo code: SHIPKITTY (Valid thru 1/1/2015)

Get 15% Off all regular-priced items at BedHeadPJs.com! Use promo code: HOLIDAY14 (Valid thru 1/1/2015)

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for Bedhead Pajamas, Nordstrom and Zappos. 

 

At Ease, Smart & Chic – Under $100 – Lucky Brand Plaid Flannel Boyfriend Shirt

Something that you’ll love to wear when you’re not in the office.

Is anyone else day-dreaming about Christmas day – or maybe even the day after Christmas – when shopping will be done, holiday outings will be winding down, and you can take a well-earned break from your To Do lists?

I am. And of course I’m also thinking about the cozy clothes I want to relax in!

Today I’m featuring a Lucky Brand Plaid Flannel Boyfriend Shirt ($69.50 from Nordstrom) that has been on my mind since I gave it a shout out in a post about plaid earlier this month.

Lucky Brand Plaid Flannel Boyfriend Shirt

Lucky Brand Plaid Flannel Boyfriend Shirt - Back

I love this top’s cheerful and festive combination of bright blue and oxblood (also known as marsala) and chic, easy fit. But the detail that made it stick in my mind is the button placket and contrasting diagonal plaid on the the top’s shirt tale.

Pretty!

The Lucky Brand Top is also available in red and black plaid from Nordstrom (limited sizes) and in black and white plaid from Macy’s (on sale; limited sizes) or Zappos.

Disclosure – this post includes affiliate links for Macy’s,  Nordstrom and Zappos.

Commandress Holiday Gift Guide 2014 – Gifts for Kids

Commandress Holiday Gift Guides feature a variety of unique gift ideas ranging from affordable stocking stuffers to luxurious presents.

Today’s post features gift ideas for kids – including several of the gifts that I’m giving this year!

Please don’t tell Bonnie, but her amazing godmother is giving her GoldieBlox and the Parade Float ($16.70 from Amazon) for Christmas this year! GoldieBlox is a series of interactive books and construction toys that aim to inspire the next generation of female engineers. You can check out the full selection of GoldieBlox toys at Amazon here.

GoldieBlox and the Parade Float

I wouldn’t mind having this When the Planets A-Dine Plate Set ($30.99 on sale from ModCloth; $42.95 from Amazon). But how times have changed – poor little Pluto is no longer included. Sniff.

When the Planets A-Dine Plate Set

If you grew up reading Beatrix Potter books,*** you’ll absolutely adore sharing this Box Set of the 23 Original Peter Rabbit Books in tiny hardcovers with dust jackets ($100.61 from Amazon; an updated Peter Rabbit Book Set is also available from Anthropologie for $44.99).

*** If you did not grow up reading Beatrix Potter, however, it is likely that you will find the stories to be strangely gruesome.

The World of Peter Rabbit - Hardcover Box Set

Speaking of retro, Nordstrom has a nicely curated selection of games and toys for kids (as well as Stocking Stuffers) that includes throwbacks like the Simon Memory Game ($25) and the “Classic” Etch-a-Sketch ($17.99), which I believe is far superior to the newer versions.

Classic Etch-a-Sketch

Amazon just released a list of the Best Children’s Books of 2014 by Age. I’ll be giving Timmy Failure, Uni the Unicorn, and The Princess in Black (shown below) as gifts this year.

The Princess in Black

If you’ve seen it on TV, you can believe the hype about The Wet Brush (about $5-$10 in various colors and sizes from Target or Amazon). It’s fantastic for little girls with knotted hair!

The Wet Brush for Wet Hair - Metallic Pink

What kid doesn’t like funny noises? One of my favorite stocking stuffers this year is the Musical Moments Sound Machine ($7.99 from the Container Store – which has a fantastic selection of stocking stuffers for all ages).

Musical Moments Sound Machine

My sister gave Bonnie these Kate: The Duchess of Cambridge Paper Dolls ($9.15 from Amazon) as a birthday present, and guess who else also loves playing with them? (Hint: it’s not the dog.)

Kate - The Duchess of Cambridge Paper Dolls

And finally, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a new frock! Whenever my daughter has the opportunity to choose clothes for herself, she gravitates to gypsy-inspired dresses that make me fondly recall Stevie Nicks. And if a store has a dress by the brand Truly Me, she invariably finds it! Her most recent love is this Truly Me Long Sleeve Chiffon Dress ($40.80 on sale from Nordstrom; regularly $68). Right now Last Call has a fantastic selection of Truly Me dresses on sale.

Truly Me Long Sleeve Chiffon Dress

 Disclosure – the links in this post are affiliate links.

Commandress Holiday Gift Guide 2014 – Presents for Him

Commandress Holiday Gift Guides feature a variety of unique gift ideas ranging from affordable stocking stuffers to luxurious presents.

Today’s post features an assortment of gift ideas for men. I’d like to thank the family and friends who have provided suggestions – and inspiration – for this post!

Travel & Commuting

If you’re looking for a special gift for a gentleman who loves items that are made ethically & made in the USA, check out the fantastic selection of Ernest Alexander bags and accessories at Club Monaco – the Ernest Alexander Waxed Brief ($355) is shown below.

For luggage, I still return to my friend Vanessa’s guest post about How to Travel Anywhere with Just Two Pieces of Luggage – and pick from the Ricardo Luggage Crystal City 24 Inch Expandable Spinner Upright Suitcase (shown  below $124.67 from Amazon) or the L.L. Bean Commuter Underseat Bag ($169).

Ernest Alexander Wazed BriefRicardo Crystal City 24 Inch Expandable Spinner Upright Suitcase

Shop the Post – More Bags & Luggage for Men

Non-Iron Clothes

One of my missions this holiday season has been to hunt down the best & most affordable non-iron clothing for men. I’m not surprised to report that Nordstrom had the best mix of quality and value for men’s non-iron shirts and non-iron pants – including the Nordstrom Smartcare brand.

Here are the Nordstrom Smartcare Wrinkle Free Traditional Fit Check Dress Shirt ($38.90 on sale in regular, tall and big sizes; regularly $65) and the Nordstrom Smartcare Wrinkle Free Straight Leg Chinos ($59.50 in five colors and in regular, tall and big sizes).

Nordstrom Smartcare Wrinkle Free Traditional Fit Check Dress ShirtNordstrom Smartcare Wrinkle Free Straight Leg Chinos

Shop the Post – More Non-Iron Clothes for Men

All-Stars Gifts for Men Under $50

Two items that are just under $50 deserve special attention this year – Pendleton’s Flannel Sleep Pants (available in multiple colors for $49.50 from Pendleton and Zappos) and the Nordstrom Cotton & Cashmere V-Neck Sweater (available in 11 colors and in regular and tall sizes for $49.50 from Nordstrom).

Pendleton Flannel Sleep PantsNordstrom Cotton & Cashmere V-Neck Sweater

Accessories

Nice socks are always a good idea, but this category also includes my favorite men’s gift splurge of 2014 – Jan Leslie’s ‘Spinning Globe’ Cuff Links (Made in the USA & $395 from Nordstrom). So fun!

Jan Leslie 'Spinning Globe' Cuff Links

Shop the Post – More Accessories for Men

Classic Gifts for Men – Books & Stocking Stuffers


Disclosure – the retail links in this post are affiliate links. 

Commandress Holiday Gift Guide 2014 – Presents for Her

Commandress Holiday Gift Guides feature a variety of unique gift ideas ranging from affordable stocking stuffers to luxurious presents.

Today’s post features an assortment of items that I will be giving as presents to friends and family this year – and/or presents that I would be delighted to receive myself!

For the Floral Aficionado – Equipment Sloane Floral Print Crewneck Cashmere Sweater ($298 from Nordstrom and Piperlime)

Rebecca Minkoff Black Floral Handbags & Accessories ($38-$195 from Rebecca Minkoff and Nordstrom)  – shown here Rebecca Minkoff Floral Luggage Tag ($40)

Equipment Sloane Floral Print Crewneck Cashmere SweaterRebecca Minkoff Luggage Tag - Floral Botanic Print

Sparkle Is Her Favorite ColorAlex and Ani Night’s Mosaic Collection Bangles (Made in the USA; $38-$58 from Alex and Ani, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom)

Smash Box On The Rocks Brush Set ($62 from Smashbox and Nordstrom)

Alex and Ani Night's Mosaic CollectionSmashbox On The Rocks Brush Set

For the Prepster – Oak73 Jewels Classic Fit Silk Shirt (Made in the USA & $99 from Oak73)

Hanky Panky x Lilly Pulitzer Collection – $26-$92 from Hanky Panky, Lilly Pulitzer and Nordstrom, – shown here Hanky Panky x Lilly Pulitzer ‘Checking In’ Chemise (Made in the USA & $92 from Nordstrom)

Oak73 Jewels Classic Fit Silk Shirt

Hanky Panky x Lilly Pulitzer 'Checking In' Chemise

For the Hostess – Vacu Vin Wine Saver Pump ($9.99 from the Container Store)

Kate Spade ‘Places To Go’ Tidbit Plates ($50 for a set of 4 from Nordstrom)

Vacu Vin Wine Saver PumpKate Spade 'Places To Go' Tidbit Plates

For the Peacock Lover – Baroni Peacock Mother Of Pearl Renewal Necklace ($145 from Amazon)

Tervis Peacock Water Bottle (Made in the USA & $24.99 from Target; save 15% when you spend $75+ on select furniture & decor).
Baroni Peacock Mother Of Pearl Renewal Necklace

 

Tervis Peacock Water bottle (24 oz)

For the Make-Up LoverEssie Nail Corrector Pen ($14 from Ulta and Nordstrom)

Christian Louboutin Rouge Louboutin Nail Colour ($50 from Saks, Sephora and Nordstrom; also available in a range of colors)

Essie Nail Corrector PenChristian Louboutin Rouge Louboutin Nail Colour

For the Reader – The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish by Linda Przybyszewski ($20.50 from Amazon)

The Woman I Wanted to Be Book by Diane von Furstenberg (signed copy from DFV.com for $26; $19.90 from Amazon)

You can check out more books about fashion and style in the Commandress Amazon Store.

The Lost Art of Dress - The Women Who Once Made America Stylish by Linda PrzybyszewskiThe Woman I Wanted to Be Book by Diane von Furstenberg

For the Puzzle Lover – Portapuzzle Standard Puzzleboard 1000 ($44.99 from Amazon)

Charles James Ball Gowns Puzzle ($19.95 from the Met Store)

Portapuzzle Standard Puzzle BoardCharles James Ball Gowns Puzzle

Shop the Post – Gifts For Her $50 or More

Shop the Post – Gifts For Her Under $50

Disclosure – the links in this post are affiliate links except those for the Met Store.

Commandress Holiday Gift Guide 2014 – Presents for Co-Workers

Commandress Holiday Gift Guides feature a variety of unique gift ideas ranging from affordable stocking stuffers to luxurious presents.

The holiday season at the office is full of traps for the unwary – and exchanging holiday gifts with co-workers can be an anxiety-inducing experience.

The easiest route is money or gift cards, but many people prefer giving a “real” present. That’s what today’s post is about – and each of the gifts featured here is under $30.

I actually don’t think gift selection for co-workers has to be so hard. Some people worry about giving “cliche” gifts – like candles or food. If your selection is thoughtful, I wouldn’t give this a second thought. These gifts are popular for a reason – almost anyone can use them.

Shown here: It’s hard to imagine a better boxed bauble than a MOLTON BROWN London Festive Bauble Body Wash ($13.50 each from Nordstrom).

MOLTON BROWN London Festive Bauble Body Wash

MOLTON BROWN London Festive Bauble Body Wash - Boxed BaubleAnd this may be a controversial viewpoint, but I think there’s a degree of thoughtfulness about presents that can easily be re-gifted. At the very least, you’ll give the recipient an opportunity to scratch someone off her shopping list.

At the other end of the spectrum, it’s thrilling to find the perfect gift for someone that you know very well – including a co-worker. Be careful here – and think about whether the person is really more of a friend than a colleague. If yes, have fun!

Shown here: for the co-worker who shares your love of books and dry sense of humor – Everything I Need To Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book, $6 on sale from Amazon.

Everything I Need To Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book

Here are five categories of gifts for co-workers, arranged in order from least to most personal.

Gifts for Pampering

Who couldn’t use some good hand cream this time of year? These gifts are proven crowd-pleasers – and great candidates for re-gifting.

Gifts to Eat

Delicious holiday treats to be enjoyed – or perhaps served at a party.

Gifts for the Desk

What could be more appropriate for a co-worker than a tasteful gift for their office or desk?

Gifts by Theme

For example, it’s sooooo easy to pick out a gift for someone who has thing for butterflies.

Christmas Gifts

You must know your co-worker very well to know what sort of Christmas-theme gift they would appreciate (assuming, of course, that she celebrates Christmas). One person’s white elephant gift is another person’s how-did-you-know!?!

Shown below: Would anyone care for some Downton Abbey Christmas Tea?

Disclosure: the links in this post are affiliate links.

2014 Sale Roundup – Top Ten Green Monday Sales

The second Monday after Thanksgiving has developed into another big online shopping day. Here are the sales that I’m checking out! 

6pm.com – Get 15% off your entire order with code 6PMEU128201415834 – one day only! (12/8)

Alex and Ani – save up to 55% off select bangles & jewelry (ends 12/8)

Amazon – Green Monday Week – save 30% off select clothing, shoes & watches with code GRNMON14

Anthropologie – extra 30% off sale items with code EXTRAMERRY (ends 12/9)

J.Crew – up to 30% off with code MERRYMERRY (ends 12/9)

Kate Spade – 25% off with code JACKPOT (ends 12/9)

Lord & Taylor – 25% off almost everything & 10% off cosmetics, fragrances & gourmet with code FRIENDS (ends 12/17)

Nordstrom – up to 40% off new markdowns

Piperlime – 30% off select holiday styles in apparel, shoes & accessories with code CELEBRATE (ends 12/9)

Sundance Catalogue – save 10% off orders up to $100; 15% off orders up to $150; and 20% off orders of $150+ with code SAVBIG (ends 12/8)

Disclosure: the links in this post are affiliate links.

Commandress Holiday Gift Guide – Pantone Color of the Year 2015 – Marsala

Commandress Holiday Gift Guides feature a variety of unique gift ideas ranging from affordable stocking stuffers to luxurious presents.

I’ve been happily compiling holiday gift recommendations – both on Pinterest and to share here – but today I’m taking a side trip for anyone who loves to be ahead of a trend.

Pantone has just announced the 2015 Color of the Year – Marsala – which Pantone describes as a luscious full-bodied, earthy red wine hue.

PANTONE SMART 18-1438X Color Swatch Card - Marsala

Marsala is a muted and warm brown-burgundy that is reminiscent of classic fall colors like bordeaux, cabernet and oxblood. Today I’m rounding up some of the lovely items currently available in this color family – each of which would be an on-trend and timely gift!

Here’s an easy stocking stuffer for color aficionados – Butter London Classic Nail Polish in Tramp Stamp ($15 from Zappos). I’m a sucker for good copy, and Butter London describes Tramp Stamp as “a delicious, forbidden dark chocolate.” Tasty!

Butter London Classic Nail Polish in Tramp Stamp

 

This Sole Society Crystal and Stone Fan Necklace in Oxblood ($34.95 from Sole Society) is an affordable way to make any fall outfit look festive and updated. As of today there are only three left, so please grab it if you love it!

Sole Society Crystal & Stone Fan Necklace

I love giving fancy socks as presents – it’s a luxurious version of something that people need. For the stylish men in your life, check out these Bugatchi Stripe Socks in Bordeaux ($25 from Nordstrom).

Bugatchi Stripe Socks - Bordeaux

This Diane von Furstenberg Microstitch Wool Sweater is a lovely fall item that’s already on sale ($119.20 in limited sizes from Nordstrom; $178.80 from Diane von Furstenberg; regularly $298).

Diane von Furstenberg Microstitch Wool Sweater

These Tory Burch Leather Bow Gloves in Cabernet are a perfect little luxury item ($175 from Tory Burch).

Tory Burch Leather Bow Gloves

For a high end luxury item, I love this stunning Tory Burch Small Flap Jeweled Shoulder Bag in Cabernet ($850 from Tory Burch).

Tory Burch Small Flap Shoulder Bag - Cabernet

Here are some more wine-inspired gift ideas in a range of prices.

Shop the Post – Gifts for Women & Men in Pantone Marsala 


Disclosure – the links in this post are affiliate links.