Listen, we've all been there. The holidays are fast approaching and you're supposed to be buying gifts for all the loved ones on your list, but you keep getting distracted by cute clothes that you really want. Don't feel guilty; it happens to the best of us. After all, it can be hard to do so much shopping without getting a little something for yourself. That's why, this holiday season, we're giving you permission to treat yourself. You're awesome, you've worked hard this year, and you're worth it. Besides, who knows your taste in fashion better than you do?
So with that in mind, here are a few carefully-selected fashion staples that would make an excellent gift to yourself. Most are a mix of style and practicality. Maybe you really need a nice dress for all of your upcoming holiday events, or maybe you're starting an internship or new job in 2016 and you need a professional outfit. If you live somewhere cold, you definitely need some warm outerwear and accessories.
Whatever you choose, ultimately I'm not talking about a casual shopping spree at your favorite fast fashion store. No, this is the time to splurge on something special, perhaps something a little more expensive than you would normally consider but that will last for years. Here are 15 gorgeous items that you'll want to wrap up for yourself, perhaps with a tag saying, "You deserve this. Love, Santa."
1. A Stunning Coat
Marigny Faux Fur Coat, $398, anthropologie.com
Unless you live in a warmer climate, you should hopefully already have a decent winter coat. That doesn't mean you shouldn't treat yourself to something new and special, though. A coat is probably the one thing you'll wear the most in the winter so it should be something you really like. This gorgeous jewel-toned coat from Anthropologie is the perfect example of the kind of coat you should get: It will instantly elevate every outfit while keeping you warm and cozy.
2. Snow Boots
Sperry for J. Crew Shearwater Buckle Boots, $180, jcrew.com
This is another practical purchase for those of you dealing with snow and sleet. These boots will keep your feet warm and dry (and keep you from slipping on ice!). It doesn't hurt that they're completely adorable. If you don't live in a snowy climate, treat yourself to a cute pair of rain boots instead. Everyone deserves weather-proof footwear that's practical, comfy, and stylish.
3. Heattech Layers
Heattech Crewneck Long Sleeve T-shirt, $20, uniqlo.com
Heattech is ideal for helping you get out of bed on chilly mornings. You can layer these thin shirts, leggings, and sweaters underneath any outfit for tons of extra warmth without anyone being the wiser.
4. A Special Holiday Dress
Nasty Gal Kiss And Bell Mini Dress, $98, nastygal.com
Whether you go for something sparkly, a classic LBD with a twist, a floor-length showstopper, or something you can repurpose for work post-holidays, this is the time to treat yourself to a new dress. You can wear it to family gatherings and office parties this holiday season and then re-use it for dates and other events throughout the year. Opt for something with more drama than you usually allow, such as this dramatic bell-sleeve dress (which is also available in black).
5. A Cozy Sweater
The Cashmere Crew, $125, everlane.com
Everlane has a great collection of cashmere tops and sweaters in various colors, all of them made ethically and fairly priced. You'll wear it for years, both at work and at home. I personally find it impossible to say no to an oversized cable knit sweater this time of year, especially if it has elbow patches.
6. A Sturdy Bag
The Zip Transport Tote, $188, madewell.com
There's nothing like a well-made, sturdy leather bag that you can rely on for traveling, work, school, and casual outings. This one comes in tan, black, and burgundy, and you can even personalize it with your initials.
7. Fancy Lingerie
Eva Black Satin & Chantilly Lace Bra, $75, luvahuva.co.uk
Every girl should treat herself to some fancy lingerie at least once a year (because nothing's more depressing than having an entire drawer of just granny panties and worn out bras from Target). We love LuvaHuva because they hand-make their lingerie out of high-quality and ethically sourced materials, offer custom sizes, and are still somehow on the more affordable side for fancy lingerie.
8. A Cute Matching Pajama Set
PJ Salvage Print Flannel Pajamas, $62-72, shop.nordstrom.com
Nothing's better than getting cozy in an adorable pajama set around this time of year. These PJ Salvage pajamas are available in plus size and regular, and come in a variety of fun prints. Get yourself some warm slippers too while you're at it.
9. A Warm Hat
Madeleine Pom Pom Wool Beret, $28, nastygal.com
Keep your ears and noggin warm by getting yourself a cute hat this winter. You heard it here first: the beret is about to make a big comeback, and this wool one with a cute pom pom is the perfect topper for all of your winter outfits.
10. Workout Clothes
Athletic Zip Jacket, $48, abercrombie.com
What better way to get a head start on those New Year resolutions than by updating your workout clothes? I love the simple but stylish options from Abercrombie. If bright color is more your thing, Old Navy has some affordable and cute activewear options that are surprisingly well-made considering their cost.
New Balance 996 Khaki Suede Sneakers, $159, asos.com
At the very least, encourage yourself to get moving in 2016 (and take a break from heels) with a cute new pair of sneakers. This New Balance pair screams "holiday spirit," but they'll look stylish year-round.
Long Sleeve Tux Dress, $68, missguidedus.com
Chic workwear is always a good investment, whether you've been at the same job for years or you're just about to start an internship. A suit might feel too stuffy for some workplaces, but a tuxedo dress always looks stylish and put-together. Pair it with tights and, especially in the case of the dress shown above, a silk blouse. A few other options if you're looking for a tuxedo dress: this Ralph Lauren Jersey Tuxedo Dress, this DKNY Tuxedo Dress, and this gorgeous Mynt 1792 Plus Size Tuxedo Dress.
13. New Jeans
Everyone should have one perfect pair of jeans in their wardrobe that are cozy enough for weekends but also stylish enough to dress up for work or going out. I suggest choosing a pair that's dark wash or black in a skinny or straight-leg cut; they'll go with everything. But you can feel good about choosing virtually any pair from Levi's Water<Less section, which is saving water by using only a fraction of the amount of water it usually takes to make a pair of jeans.
14. A Leather Jacket
PeleCheCoco Leather Jacket, $275, urbanoutfitters.com
A leather jacket is a staple because it goes with everything, instantly makes you feel cooler, and can be worn pretty much year-round. If you've been putting it off, maybe it's finally time to find your perfect leather jacket. This particular jacket is made entirely from recycled leather, and is also available in other colors such as green, tan, blue, and red.
15. High-Quality Gloves
Cashmere Lined Leather Gloves, $138, brooksbrothers.com
Leather gloves lined with cashmere might sound like a major indulgence, but if you're constantly complaining about cold hands all winter then you owe it not only to yourself but to your poor friends and family to buy yourself a pair. These gloves will keep your hands toasty and look extremely stylish, and since you'll probably wear them every day for months they'll quickly be worth the cost.
There will never be a better excuse to treat yourself than holiday season, so you may as well go all out, right?
Images: Courtesy Brands