Nordstroms fashion guru Kate Bellman offers holiday shopping tips

Mark A. Carlson

Kate Bellman, Nordstrom’s managing fashion editor, knows that you’re already making a list and sighing over it twice.

What is the perfect present for that husband who insists he only wants peace on Earth? What about the mother-in-law return-a-holic? Or that business partner. Silky PJ’s? We think not.

Bellman actually has answers for this still COVID-cautious but increasingly social and, dare we say, bold holiday season. “People are ready and excited to get back out there this holiday season,” she says. She oversees fashion content at Nordstrom’s corporate, supporting all stores including the one at Fashion Show Mall on the Strip. Her job is to make shoppers aware of must-have trends and items. She is also well known for her Style Stories through the store’s livestream

Are you saying it’s beginning to look like a glitzy Christmas season?

Yes! People are ready to dress again, which means statement pieces reflecting all-out glam. The holidays, especially in Las Vegas, are a time to be seen and to see. I think it reflects that everyone is saying, “I’m so sick of my sweat pants.”

What will constitute the holiday look on the Strip?

Full glam. Think Roaring ’20s. Vegas will come out of the pandemic with festive, opulent, sexy and bold holiday dressing. If that’s not your thing, there is still cozy, layered but still eye-catching. Just make sure it looks fun and festive.

Switching gears to holiday presents: What is a great gift for the man in your life?

Husband. Son. Father. It doesn’t matter. Make it outdoors-related even if he’s not an outdoors enthusiast. The look is so on trend right now and includes buying him a fashionable Cotopaxi puffer vest or Columbia jacket. If you know his shoe size, then Timberland boots are a great gift. Also think about gear if he is outdoorsy, such as portable cooking pots or other L.L. Bean stocking stuffers.

It’s so tough to find something for someone who works with you. Help!

A nice candle is my go-to gift for work people. One of my favorite brands is Diptyque, which has many scented candle options. Nest scented candles are another great option, as is Voluspa. We also have some cool, unique candle brands for younger, edgier gifts including some from Brooklyn candle company that feel very sophisticated.

What are a few options for women?

I focus on sweaters, handbags and beauty gifts. Cashmere is a no-brainer. Whatever you feel like spending, a cashmere sweater always feels luxe. Another great gift is a bag. Every woman needs a good tote, especially as she heads back to the office. A good way to spoil her is a Tory Burch tote filled with her favorite stocking cosmetics or fragrances. As for beauty, try a prepackaged, ready-to-go beauty gift from companies like Kiehl’s or Olaplex.

Your college daughter is coming home from school. She has laundry, attitude and no gift under the tree.

You can’t go wrong with a new backpack. It doubles as something she can use for travel and going to class. Herschel Supply Company is a great brand, and so is Fjallraven. Also, with this age group, I’d focus on tech and sustainability. We have wireless Bluetooth speakers at various price points. Need a gift for a friend’s teenager? A Hydro Flask covers it.

What about that older relative or friend?

I’d go cozy. Everyone wants a soft, cozy, luxurious throw blanket. Barefoot Dreams has some of the coziest blankets, plus we have new brands, including weighted blankets from Bearaby. Throw in a robe from Barefoot Dreams if you want to add another element.

If you’re freaking out on Dec. 24, what’s a last-minute gift that says “I really did think about this for months.”

For everyone in the family: Ugg boots or shoes.

By the way … what do you want for Christmas?

I love a great coat because I’m always cold … I’m imagining a sleek, sophisticated wool coat or a puffer jacket. Hint, hint.

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