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My Favorite (Shoe) Things: Under $50

December 9, 2009

The next stop on the tour through my holiday shopping is the $50 level. Very few people in my life receive gifts from this level, mostly because I think it is a skill to find a present that is meaningful, cool, and useful for just a few quid.

(How much is a quid worth? GAH!  I was totally useless in London when it came to money. I just used my credit card the whole time)

Regardless of quid, I like to come up with an inspiration and go with the flow, and sometimes the flow sails you right up to the  $50 mark. If you’ve got the budget, feel free to indulge. But if you don’t (and you can see what your budget should be at the end of this post) then do the responsible thing and stay away from this list. Just because I like expensive shoes doesn’t mean I can’t preach fiscal responsibility.

This $50 list is a bit more “spendy” than my $25 list, but if you’ve got someone you really want to impress with your gift-giving skillz (heehee, skillz) then try one of my tops 10 $50 and under.  (This is NOT a sponsored list, these are just things I like and think are cute shoe-related gifts)

10. The Seductive Shoe: Four Centuries of Fashion Footwear by Johnathan Walford

This is a glossy coffee table book. Get it (and a coffee table while you’re at it) and sit it next to your Vogue subscription, your tall cafe au lait (funny story about that at the 0:36 mark here$40 at

9. Dot-To-Dot Beauty Bins

Cute makeup storage for those of us who need a little help organizing our morning routine. Spend less time searching for your lip gloss and more time sifting through your many shoe options. $35 for the large bin from PB Teen

8. I-Line ‘Dark Metro’ Rectangle Reading Glasses

As the savvy shoe-lover spends more and more time checking out the latest footwear trends online, her eyes are strained by the constant peering at the screen (the drooling over a dreamy pair of Louis Vuittons doesn’t help either) and reading glasses become a must. There aren’t your grandma’s bifocals, however. Sophisticated, flattering, and only $48 from Nordstrom, these frames scream “I’m smarter than everyone else in this room, and I also have the best shoes.”

7. Pure Grace Layering Collection

$50 from (also available at Sephora) I have to say that I am a little biased towards this scent. It’s almost a lack of a smell. Not overpowering, but fresh and clean, like you scrubbed a little extra long in the shower. It works for me, especially in the summertime, but it doesn’t overpower like the lady on the train last night wearing, I kid you not, at least a cupful of Love’s Baby Soft. I immediately switched to another car and spend the rest of the night scrubbing out my nostrils. Pure Grace won’t make you feel like that.

6. Marc by Marc Jacobs Mini Miss Marc Umbrella

Because Umbrellas aren’t just for protecting you from rain. They are also a great fashion statement on a day when you’re covered  up and the first thing people see is the awning over your head. $48 from Saks Fifth Avenue

5. Sushi for Two:  Sushi Platter

“This is a great gift for a sushi-loving couple. Why shouldn’t delivered or homemade sushi be eaten in style? With these sets of Japanese-style plates, dipping dishes and chopsticks they’ll feel like it’s Nobu in their dining room.” $50 at Uncommon Goods

4. The Twilight Saga Box Set

I couldn’t help it. I love these books so much. No, I’m not a 14-year old, nor do I like science fiction, but these books are just so wonderful. True escapes from real life through the printed word. I dare anyone to read these and NOT get hooked on the complexities of love, relationships, and supernatural forces.  On they are marked down from $83 for the set to $39.49 for the set. When I bought mine, $40 would buy me 1.5 of the series. (Oh, and don’t see the movie. The books blow the movies out of the water)

3. Best of Bliss Set 2009

There is a great Bliss Spa located right on the lake in Chicago. Unfortunately, it’s fairly expensive, so I don’t go as often as I would like (every day would be ideal!) However, Bliss has a great product line and they have released a Best of 2009 set for $45 at Pamper yourself with this sampler of these “blissed out” products.

2. Mail-Order Macarons

When I say Macarons, you are either thinking “Hey, she misspelled Macaroons!” or “mmm coconut.” You’re wrong on both counts. I’m talking about French Macarons. I’ll officially say that French Macarons are the new Cupcake. Sprinkles Bakery in California, I am sorry but you are officially old news. Pierre Hermé’s and Ladurée’s, you’re the purveyors of the new ‘it’ dessert.

Unfortunately, Pierre Hermé’s and Ladurée’s are both in Paris, and since a trip to Paris costs more than $50, how about bringing a little bit of Paris to you via This NYC Bakery churns out mailings of the delicate cookies to mailboxes all over the country. And a box of 48 macarons comes in above my limit at $65…

BUT WAIT! If you enter coupon code “HOLIDAYS” at check out, you’ll get $10 off…bringing the macarons to $55 over my limit. They are the easiest way to bring a bit of Paris to you… Until Starbucks begins its macaron sale.

1. Tickets to see The Nutcracker

Ballet dancers wear shoes, so this is still a good shoe-y idea. I’ll be seeing The Nutcracker in Boston, but most cities have a production of this holiday classic. I’ve seen tickets around $35 at the cheapest. Gifts that are experiences (like the ballet) are a great way to gain some major brownie points.


Ok, they are literally in a zillion cities.  I can’t list them all! Find yours here:  A listing of all shows by state/province/country

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