Fashion Trends

Ask Magpie: Gifts for Girlfriends, Trays, + Cool Sneakers.

By: Jen Shoop

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If you are new here, hi! Feel free to email ( or direct message me on Instagram with shopping questions! I add them to a long list and answer them episodically in these “Ask Magpie” posts.

Also – if you like the photo above, you might love this dress.

Q: Am looking for suggestions for a gift for my friend who is turning 50. She is originally from NYC, has excellent style and is petite like you. She knows what she likes – and doesn’t like. I got her a Hanni set after learning about it here but want to amplify/supplement the gift. For reference, she lovingly made fun of my yoga gear, so got me leggings and a top from Lulu which I think was very generous.

A: Hi! Since you already have the shower theme going, what about one of the short-sleeved robes from Weezie? So amazing for post-shower styling/prep, especially if using hot tools. Alternately, people go crazy for this hair towel, which reportedly cuts drying time in half. I have one in my cart. I also absolutely love to gift these splurgey lip plasmas to girlfriends/sisters.

Q: I am looking for a good-looking tray to corral my 6-year olds “objets” (marbles, cut paper, lone legos, handful of coins) where he leaves them on top of the dresser. Maybe something in navy or navy/red?

A: What about one of these handsome leather valet trays? I like to mix in some “grown up” type accents into my son’s room. Leatherology offers similar in the colors you requested, too, but more expensive. Alternately, this in the blue in the small size, or these scalloped ones in a range of primary colors!

Q: Can you recommend a pretty gold bag for Mother of Groom with shoulder strap or chain?
Room for phone, lipstick etc. Need hands free at some points

A: This was such a good question! So many evening clutches look so dated IMO. A few that do not — the oyster clutch or shell clutch from Simkhai; this vintage inspired Judith Lieber; this tiny Prada. If you’re open to something beyond gold, this pearl is fun, and I love this Bottega-esque rattan woven style from Poolside. I also found an Etsy shop that does a pearlized clutch similar to Simkhai’s oyster for a fraction of the price.

Q: Side table for living room, under $200.

A: Marshall’s has such great finds — what about this? Also always love this wicker side table from Urban.

Q: Fun sneakers that everyone won’t have. Not Adidas, Veja, etc.

A: I would look at Autry or these colorblocked ones from Woden! These ones from SeaVees also turned my head. More chic sneakers here!

Q: I like your chunky gold knot earrings – any looks for less?

A: Thank you! These were a gift from Aureum. I have been wearing them non-stop. A few brands that have great similar looks for $100 or less: Adina Eden, Heaven Mayhem, and Shashi.

Q: I love the way you honored Tilly with that signet ring. Any other thoughts for jewelry to commemorate a dog, closer to $100?

A: I’m so sorry for your loss, too. Thinking of you. Catbird has a less expensive, more vintage-looking signet ring option that is under $150 that might be a good fit. I tried it on, too — it’s very dainty and sweet. Sarah Chloe has a more traditional, chunkier signet style that is at a similar price point, and Gorjana also has an option that is somewhere between Catbird’s daintiness and Sarah Chloe’s boldness. GLDN also does slim initial rings that could be sweet to stack with your everyday jewelry. I have one of these rings with my daughter’s initials on one end and her birth date on the other – could be a sweet option, too. Or you could have your pup’s name engraved on a simple heart necklace!

Q: A dress for newborn photos!

A: Congrats, mama! I love something like this — feminine and classic — or one of the Asha caftans. This dress is also really interesting and different (look for less with this), and I’ve yet to meet a woman who doesn’t love her Emerson Fry Frances dress!

Q: Laundry hamper, not woven / seagrass.

A: How about this one? My son has one of these Poppin ones — a great option, too.

Q: Small crossbody bag.

A: I love my one from Paris64. It’s the perfect size for carrying just the essentials. Comes in tons of great colors / materials.

Q: Curious what you got for your daughter’s Taylor Swift themed birthday!

A: I got one of these friendship bracelet making sets for the girls to do after they perform their song (they’re going to a studio to record a music video of them singing Taylor Swift!), this garland, these streamers, these glasses as “props,” these plates for cake, and these stickers to scatter on the table. The party favor: a scrunchie and a few friendship bracelets tucked into this little personalized tag. Also! Harris Teeter will imprint any photograph onto a cake for you, so I had this picture printed (via Amazon) and brought it to them so they can put it on her birthday cake. This was my daughter’s request! (!!)

Q: Crochet beach dress cover up.

A: These are very on-trend. I love this, this, and this. Stylest also has one in a special quick-dry material.

Q: Maternity clothes – help!!!

A: I would look at Quince’s maternity section. They have great basics at reasonable prices. This dress is almost identical to one I wore every other day in my third trimester. I just swapped out the accessories to make it feel different. Also love that Beyond Yoga has some maternity options for more casual! Beyond that, stock up on bold cardigans and fun shoes to pair with maternity leggings / dresses.

Q: Melamine plates for everyday.

A: We own and use these constantly.

P.S. Where do you find meaningful stuff?

P.P.S. A specific part of Central Park that I loved, right by my first apartment on Central Park West.

P.P.P.S. A prelude to love.

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