Glorious, Affordable, Colorful Presents for Everyone on Your List

Notes from the fashion apocalypse.
Dec. 10 2013 12:42 PM

This Year Everyone Gets Neon

A colorful bargain gift guide for everyone on your list.

Why neon? Why now?

There are so many reasons to adopt a fluorescent theme for your holiday giving this year. Here are three: First, save your sanity. There is such a bewildering glut of product available this season that if you blithely approach the task of gift-buying without some kind of organizing principle you will definitely lose your marbles. By giving your gifts an overarching theme—e.g., this year everyone gets neon—you can greatly simplify the selection process.

Second, save your shekels: This year there is a superfluity of inexpensive stuff in fluorescent hues. Dive in, knowing that the shrill colorations of your gifts will happily distract from the paltry amount you have spent on them.

Advertisement

Last and least important, save lives: Most people have far too much black clothing in their closets. Accessorizing with a touch of neon is not only cheery but may also save a life or two, especially if the recipient is prone to walking the streets in the dark.

Giving fluorescent gifts is even more fun if you pair the items into improbable combinations. These dual offerings can address the multifaceted personae of the intended recipients, thereby demonstrating careful forethought and consideration on your part.

Here are my top fluorescent combos (which come at delightfully rock-bottom prices):

131206_DOONAN_NeonGifts-SkiMaskPurse

Photos via vendors

1) Pussy Riot Goes to Prep School

For your Brooklyn hipster, activist, eternally academic cousin, purchase a $12 neon balaclava … and stuff it inside a gorgeous British-made hot pink 115 pound "flouro" satchel.*

131206_DOONAN_NeonGifts-BandeauGuitar

Photos via vendors

2) Chlorine Plus Clapton

For the hedonistic sister who likes to hang out at those daylong Vegas pool parties but is increasingly self-conscious about the amount of junk in her trunk, pair a $22 bicolor fluorescent bandeau bikini top …  with a BC Rich Gunslinger fluorescent guitar (three easy payments of $116.67). This glowing ax has a sassy cutaway basswood body. According to the website, “the tremolo gives smooth and stable whammy effects.”

131206_DOONAN_NeonGifts-PaintHat

Photos via Thinkstock, vendor

3) Tops Plus Tags

To the archconservative goody two-shoes brother who has always played by the rules but has started to bust out of his shell, gift a $16 baseball hat emblazoned with neon spikes … and accompany it with gallons of fluorescent wall paint. Dare him to deface the local country club.

131206_DOONAN_NeonGifts-SkullFannyPack

Photos via vendors

4) Alas Poor Yorick

For the theater maven in your life—think Corky Saint-Clair in Waiting for Guffmancombine a $28 hot-pink skull … with a nifty neon $18 fanny pack. OK, so Hamlet never wore a fanny pack, but that’s only because they had not been invented yet. He was definitely the fanny-pack type. As is Corky.

131206_DOONAN_NeonGifts-GlovesBangles

Photos via vendor, Thinkstock

5) Mime Your Mittens Off

To the vivacious cousin who loves to deploy frantic hand gestures while speaking, give a pair of $12.99 fluorescent gloves … and throw in armfuls of cheapo neon bangles.

And finally …

131206_DOONAN_NeonGifts-Macrame

Photos via vendors

6) For the Mrs. Madrigal in Your Life

We all have one. It’s time to start appreciating her commitment to hippie-dippie style. Just be glad she does not live in an austere minimalist bunker. Give her what she wants: a fluorescent macramé plant hanger … and a neon macramé owl necklace.

Happy neon holiday!

Correction, Dec. 10, 2013: This article originally misstated the price of the British-made hot pink "flouro" satchel. It is 115 pounds, not $115. (Return.)

Simon Doonan is an author, fashion commentator, and creative ambassador for Barneys New York.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.