Easy Guide to Giving Clothing as Gifts

Clothes as gifts might seem like a risky idea, but this guide can help you choose items they'll love.

Updated January 16, 2024
woman looking at clothes

Giving clothes as gifts can be a tricky undertaking, but when you get it right, it can mean giving an unforgettable present. Buying a personal item for someone shows you are paying attention to what the recipient loves to wear. With a little thought and helpful tips, purchasing the perfect piece of clothing as a gift may give the receiver a favorite new staple in their closet.

Analyze the Recipient's Style

Leading up to the gift purchase, pay close attention to what the recipient of the gift wears. What is their personal style? Are they a jeans and T-shirt type, or do they lean more fancy in their sartorial choices? Stick to their style.

Consider Colors, Prints, & Fabrics

Prints are gorgeous, but not everyone loves to wear them. Be mindful of their preferences. If their wardrobe contains florals, geometric prints, or a mixture of patterns, find an item that would look great in their closet. When in doubt, a solid in a luxe fabric might be your best choice.

Related: What Colors Look Good On Me? Find Your Perfect Shade

Hand Touching Fabric

Choose Timeless Over Trends

A well-made pair of jeans or a black cashmere cardigan are timeless favorites. Items that transcend trends will likely be better received than those that feel more fussy or hard to style. 

Visit a Vintage Shop

If the person you're giving this gift to loves unique styles, head over to a vintage shop to peruse the selections of many one-of-a-kind items. Vintage pieces can be quite special, and a well-chosen article of clothing with its own history might be just what your recipient would love.

Stay On-Brand

Some folks are brand loyalists — and who can blame them? When you find a designer or brand that you love, many of us don't want to stray from what's working. Be inquisitive about your recipient's favorite brands and designers, and shop those brands or stores.

Related: Fashion Tips for Your Body Shape

Woman in clothing shop

Sneak Peaks at Sizing

You can absolutely attempt to casually ask the person their size during a conversation but try not to make it awkward or obvious. If you're feeling a little risky, you can snoop in their closet to gather some intel on their size.

Helpful Hack

Take note if the recipient favors fitted clothing or baggy, oversized styles. This is just as important as color and fabric.

Businessman trying suit in store

Choose Quality Clothing Gifts 

Your budget limitations will ultimately affect what you decide to buy, but when possible, choose quality threads as a gift. Don't forget to check out the sales racks, too. A quality piece will likely be very loved.

Check the Return Policy

Sometimes even the most thought-out, well-intended gifts don't work out — and that's okay. This is why it's vital to check the return policy of the item you intend to purchase and save the gift receipt so it can be returned or exchanged for something that will truly be worn. 

Clothing Gifts to Help Refresh Their Wardrobe

Sometimes you might gift clothing because you realize the recipient has some beloved items that have seen better days. Whether the person wears and loves cardigans or cargo pants every week, they might be due for an update on some of their favorite essentials. In this case, you have a couple of options before you buy: 

  1. Give them a duplicate or very similar version of the item they already love. Some people thrive on consistency and might be happy to be surprised with a very similar clothing item to replace the one that's getting worn. 
  2. Gift them the clothing item in a fresh color or style. The person could be excited about trying one of their favorite clothing types in a slightly different look. 

As with other apparel gifts, there's always a bit of a risk in what you buy, but there's no right or wrong answer.

When Not to Buy Clothing for Someone Else 

While clothes can be a thoughtful present, there are a few occasions when you might want to choose an alternative. These include: 

  • If you know the person is trying to lose weight
  • The person is pregnant 
  • The person has expressed they don't like clothing as gifts
Quick Tip

Since clothing as a gift can feel kind of personal, it's also good to consider how well you know the person and what your relationship is like. If you think it could make you or the other person uncomfortable, it might be a sign to choose another option. 

Make It a Meaningful Gift

It might seem overwhelming at first, but buying someone clothing as a gift is a sweet idea. It's a chance to submerse yourself in someone else's style so you can find something they will cherish. And that point is key — don't gift a type of clothing you wish or prefer the recipient to wear that's completely out of their style range.

Instead, choose something that would be right at home in their closet. The feeling you'll get when they absolutely love their gift is priceless.

Trending on LoveToKnow
Easy Guide to Giving Clothing as Gifts