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Fashion & Finance: Glitz, gifts and giving in holiday style

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November 23, 2011

Welcome to the winter holiday season, a busy period where we all attempt to balance time with friends and family, make room on our schedules to enjoy special events in and outside of the office, and complete year-end work and manage our responsibilities for clients.

It’s a hectic time for busy professionals to manage both work and life, but I thought I’d use this blog post to share some great gift ideas and special tools that may help ease your holiday shopping endeavors.

Although you may not be buying gifts for any accountants this year, it doesn’t hurt to drop a few hints to those who may be looking to pick up something special for YOU this season! There are many great presents out there for professionals who want to appear stylish in the workplace, but also many items that are very functional, and can make traveling for business easy and enjoyable.

Super stylish gifts for accountants:

Men

Designer grooming sets: From Gucci to Dolce & Gabbana, to Calvin Klein and John Varvatos, many designers have created beautiful grooming sets including toiletries such as shampoos, deodorants, eau de toilettes, shower gels, and even small travel bags to store them all in while on-the-go. These sets can be found at most major department stores and many are priced under $100, although you can also find many drug store-brand items at a lower price point as well.

What’s nice about grooming sets is that they can be easily tucked into a suitcase and brought along on a business trip, and will help keep those who use them well put together and stylishly scented. Just remember, many HR professionals recommend using fragrance sparingly, as your fellow employees may suffer from allergies or be sensitive to the notes found in perfume and cologne.

Robert Talbott accessories: Looking to make a statement? The hand sewn neckwear from designer Robert Talbott varies from staple classic items like solid and striped silk ties, to more fashionable statement pieces like bright paisley print pocket squares. The accessories items can be found in many department stores such as Nordstrom, and those who like the look can also check out the designer’s website for more options including business appropriate apparel and holiday wear.

Ladies

Nixon 42.20 Chronograph WatchAlthough many people use digital tools like cell phones and iPads to check the time, a beautiful watch is still a wonderful way to keep on schedule and in style. A watch can also be symbolic, as it represents practicality and usefulness, and often can symbolize wishing the recipient a long life by giving a gift of time.

I love the Nixon 42.20 Chronograph design as it comes in a large range of colors and materials to suit anyone’s style preference. From the gunmetal/emerald acetate combo to all rose gold, each color option offers six hand Japanese quartz with second sub dial, chronograph and date displays.

These watches are a bit pricey at approx. $400-$600, but less expensive similar styles can be found in department stores by designers such as Anne Klein, Michael Kors and Skagen Denmark.

Spa-like relaxation at home: Spa appointments can be wonderfully relaxing and help take away the stress of the day. One of the best parts about a day at the spa is the use of aromatherapy, purposely altering the client’s mind, mood, stress level and health.

There are many ways to create a spa-like environment at home using fragrance products, to set the mood and easily unwind from a hectic schedule.

Take a look at a trio of fragrance items that can help turn any room into a serene, relaxing place to enjoy a beauty treatment, read a book, or simply take a cat nap and recharge.

Antica Farmacista Home Ambiance perfume permeates the air with reed diffusers instead of flames.

Diptyque candles: the luxury candles found in five-star hotels around the world in amazing scents

Voluspa two-wick candles: the 11 oz. candles are said to burn for approximately 50 hours

In addition to the items you may have on your own holiday wish list, or intended for others, don’t forget that this season is a great time to give back to the local organizations that help make a difference in your community.

While giving your money and time throughout the year is the best way to help support organizations in need, the holidays are a good time to reflect on all that you have, are thankful for, and how you can help others. There are many sites online that can help you identify worthy charities anad organizations in need, and also locate matching donation opportunities, to help make the most of your contribution. Some of these sites include:

www.givewell.org

www.charitywatch.org

www.charitynavigator.org

Last, but not least, I recently came across a great article I wanted to share by Nadine Heintz on Inc. magazine’s website. The post introduces readers to a newly created iPhone app designed to manage all of the online shopping you may be doing to save time. Check it out here!

I hope that I have suggested a few inspirational ideas for the holiday season and thank you for reading my posts. Enjoy your time with friends and family and feel free to email me with story ideas or questions you have about wardrobe in the workplace!

Emily Alexandria Burns is a State University of New York Fashion Institute of Technology graduate and started her career in New York City working for companies including Giorgio Armani Le Collezioni, Christian Dior and Jones Apparel Group. She is now e-marketing communications specialist for Freed Maxick & Battaglia CPAs in Buffalo, N.Y., and recently named the Association for Accounting Marketing's 2011 "Rookie of the Year." Follow her on Twitter @FreedMaxickPR or email her at emily.burns@freedmaxick.com.

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