30 Gifts That Work For Everyone

Update: This post was originally published on November 26, 2014.
Sometimes, your perfect gift doesn't go over so well. Of course, the giftee happily accepts. But, deep down, you know your present was a total dud, and they'll exchange it for something they actually want the next day. Well, we're letting you in on a little holiday-gifting secret: There are items that will work for everyone on your list.

Maybe, you're not 100% sure what to get the random coworker you drew for this year's Secret Santa or the aunt who is impossible to shop for. It happens. We found 30 fool-proof picks for all the people in your life you've got a big question mark next to. We also included a handy list of dos and don'ts to help steer you in the right direction. Sound good? Let's get started.
1 of 31
DON'T buy fine jewelry unless you've got ironclad knowledge about the person's taste — or they've bookmarked something specific for you to shop.

DO be personal. But, not too personal. A set of initial earrings is an easy (and cute) gift.

Sarah Chloe Mix/Match Earring Singles, $125, available at Sarah Chloe.
2 of 31
DON'T pick up the first thing you see at Hallmark.

DO take into account your giftee's interests with a themed calendar. Pro tip for frazzled souls: Buy one for 2017, not 2016.

ban.do Best Year Ever Wall Calendar, $20, available at ban.do.
3 of 31
DON'T buy a bag for someone you don't know very well. If you do, we suggest providing a gift receipt (just in case).

DO opt for a small bag charm instead. This way, you're much more likely to hit the fashion target.

Building Block Navy Tassel Cube, $85, available at Need Supply.
4 of 31
DON'T rely on CVS' holiday and candy aisles for last-minute presents.

DO seal the deal with artisanal chocolate. Who would turn down a delicious, sophisticated treat like this?

Mast Brothers Chocolate Herb Collection, $28, available at Mast Brothers Chocolate.
5 of 31
DON'T dump a ton of money on an unnecessary gadget.

DO give any phone-obsessed friend a change of pace with a fun instant camera.

Lomography Instant Camera, $159, available at Yoox.
6 of 31
DON'T buy clothing for someone who isn't you and whose sizes you aren't 100% sure of. Just don't do it.

DO look for an oversized sweater: This is an exception to the no-clothing gift rule, and something everyone needs in the winter.

Zara Cropped Jacquard Sweater, $49.90, available at Zara.
7 of 31
DON'T call up Dunder Mifflin and order your "favorite" aunt five reams of paper.

DO select a notebook with a fun, personal sentiment. Even if she's, well, not your favorite aunt.

Kate Spade New York Notebook, $16, available at Nordstrom.
8 of 31
DON'T gift giant planters (or any giant décor items). People won't know what to do with 'em.

DO get some small planters that'll look great on your coworkers' desks.

Workaday Handmade Confetti Tumbler, $42, available at Mociun.
9 of 31
DON'T buy any hat that's not one-size-fits-all.

DO scout out a beanie with character. Make sure it's super-soft, too.

Brooks Beanie, $117, available at MyTheresa.
10 of 31
DON'T give any gifts that take up way too much space in anyone's closet.

DO give a stylish present that takes up minimal real estate (and mostly because they'll be using it so much).

American Eagle Faux Shirpa Crossbody Bag, $29.95, available at American Eagle.
11 of 31
DON'T buy lingerie for people who aren't your significant other.

DO shop for a playful pajama set instead. Sleepwear is a safe bet, and something people don't always think to buy for themselves.

Alas Plant Disguise Pajama Set, $149.95, available at Alas.
12 of 31
DON'T try to guess someone's style with an out-of-the-box fashion gift.

DO give the gift of warmth with some Heattech in a classic pattern that goes with everything.

Uniqlo Heattech Scarf, $14.90, available at Uniqlo.
13 of 31
DON'T give the same wallet someone will likely get from their great aunt.

DO get quirky with more memorable leather goods.

Coach Rexy Coin Case, $95, available at Coach.
14 of 31
DON'T buy generic socks.

DO find patterns that'll look cute styled under ankle boots.

Madewell Striped Diamond Trouser Socks, $8.50, available at Madewell.
15 of 31
DON'T spend money on perfume unless you know the giftee's favorite scent.

DO opt for a crowd-pleasing scented candle. It's all the fragrance without the risk of someone hating it.

Flores Lane Williamsburg Candle, $22, available at Flores Lane.
16 of 31
DON'T get overly political with your gifts — we've had enough drama this election season.

DO get fun enamel pins for anyone on your list. Come on, who doesn't love donuts?

Jolly Awesome Donut Enamel Pin, $14, available at ASOS.
17 of 31
DON'T think too seasonal when you're gift shopping — red and green only look fun and festive for so long.

DO give gifts that can actually be used year round.

Michael Kors Kamden Leather Luggage Tag, $58, available at Michael Kors.
18 of 31
DON'T regift those eccentrically colored gloves grandma gave you last year at this year's Secret Santa.

DO take people's needs into account. These texting-enabled gloves have convenient slits on the thumbs and index fingers. Because, why should the cold keep your friends from staying in touch?

H&M Smartphone Gloves, $5.99, available at H&M.
19 of 31
DON'T give a book that will only collect dust.

DO offer up tips to make their Instagram on point (who doesn't want that?) and get a mean #shelfie out of it, too.

Capture Your Style by Aimee Song, $20, available at Shopbop.
20 of 31
DON'T try to buy a framed print for the host if you don't know them that well.

DO arrive to the dinner party with a chic set of coasters that's sure to fit any personality.

Target Marble & Wood Coaster Set of 4, $11.99, available at Target.
21 of 31
DON'T take a wild guess at someone's favorite sports team.

DO opt for a dad-hat that is chic, neutral, and covers up even the worst of hair days.

Rag & Bone Marilyn Baseball Cap, $150, available at Rag & Bone.
22 of 31
DON'T shy away from shades.

keep them sleek and classic, and include the gift receipt for easy exchanging. No one can ever have too many sunglasses, if you ask us.

Aldo Laucia, $11.98, available at Aldo.
23 of 31
DON'T give the gift that gets "mistaken" for trash on Christmas morning.

DO give a fun item someone will want to wear and take photos in even when they're still in pajamas.

Loeffler Randall Stole, $650, available at Loeffler Randall.
24 of 31
DON'T personalize a piece you're not sure they'll love.

DO let them do the customizing with fun stickers that can deck out any wallet or purse.

Fossil Curious Girl Sticker Set, $18, available at Fossil.
25 of 31
DON'T take the plunge on concert tickets unless you can talk them out beforehand — dates can get tricky.

DO let them take their music wherever they go with a portable speaker.

Triple C Soundflex Water Resistant Bluetooth Speakerphone, $30, available at Bloomingdale's.
26 of 31
DON'T splurge on wheeled luggage for just anyone — everyone's got their own preferences when it comes to serious travel gear.

DO take it upon yourself to give them a practical duffel, though. Everyone can use a classic weekender.

Columbia Barrelhead Small Duffel Bag, $39, available at Columbia.
27 of 31
DON'T succumb to the choker trend. Everyone's bought enough for themselves. Trust us.

DO give the gift of a special scarf instead, that can be tied around the neck or their favorite bag.

J.Crew Italian Silk Square Scarf, $69.50, available at J.Crew.
28 of 31
DON'T give glitzy jewelry or sky-high heels to someone who might not feel comfortable in them.

DO get the snuggle going with fleece-y staples anyone would be happy to open.

Abercrombie & Fitch Half-zip Sweatshirt $58, available at Abercrombie & Fitch.
29 of 31
DON'T wait to the last minute and end up buying a discounted set of mugs at your local department store.

DO save up for that (admittedly pricey) classic clutch your mom's been eyeing — think about it, you owe it to her after all these years.

Blacksea Greenwich Clutch, $895, available at Blacksea.
30 of 31
DON'T let anyone's feet go cold this winter.

DO be the one who gifts fluffy-as-can-be slippers that no one will want to take off.

Ariana Bohling Alpaca Art Deco Slippers, $115, available at Of A Kind.
31 of 31

Shop your inbox!

yay! get ready for the good stuff!