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Shopping with a professional 

Hey Halifax, here are a few key tips for considering stylish gifts for your nearest and dearest: know them and know where you’re going.

Just because you love shoe shopping doesn’t mean it makes battling the holiday hordes to find that perfect item for a friend or family any easier. So, to avoid giving someone a sweater that ends up in the bottom of their Worst Gift Ever drawer, never to be seen again, here are personal shopper and wardrobe consultant Cindy Wheeler’s top five tips for buying clothes for someone else:

1. Cool it, Christian Dior. You may dream you’re the world’s next gift to fashion, but this isn’t an opportunity to make over your friend or family member. Unless you happen to have the same taste and style as your your gift recipient, choose clothing that they will like.

2. Be honest---size does matter. Because size can vary from store to store and brand to brand, it’s best to know the giftee’s size in inches before you head out on your shopping expedition.

3. Steer clear of paisley and puce. Avoid trendy patterns and colours, unless you know your recipient likes them. Colour and pattern are individual, and best if tried on by the individual who’s going to be wearing the item.

4. Stick to their stores. It’s probably easier to find that perfect skirt or pullover if you visit the stores that your friend shops in.

5. When in doubt, accessorize. Purses, shoes, belts, gloves, hats and jewelry are easy to fit and easy to wear, so they’re a great alternative to clothes.

Once you do push your way through the crowds and make it to the cash register, always remember to check out the store’s return policy before pulling out your Visa. Nothing is more frustrating than receiving a sweater that’s just a size too small and realizing you can’t exchange or return it.

Cindy Wheeler is the owner of Customizing Wardrobes by Cindy (18 Carlson Court, 456-7297).

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