An Expert’s Guide to Vintage Shopping for Holiday Gifts

If you’re searching for last minute holiday gifts but don’t have a lot of money to spend, the task at hand can be extremely daunting. Which is why we enlisted the help of Liz Geddes, vintage expert and founder of Octavia & Brown, a full-service vintage rental company. Her showroom just opened at 134 W. 29th Street, Suite 809 in New York City, so make sure to stop by if you’re in the area. Now without further ado, may we present Liz’s tips on vintage shopping for the holidays:

The holiday season already is in full swing. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably still scrambling to find that perfect, while slightly last minute gift for the people on your list. While I know plowing through a large chain store or browsing online, quickly checking off your list is tempting, I encourage you this season to instead step into your local antique shop for a truly one-of-a-kind gift that will definitely impress.

Here are a few of my favorite go-to vintage finds to give around the holidays.

Vintage Barware – Most people I know like to enjoy a beverage, especially around the holidays. Picking out a cool vintage decanter or amazing set of glasses is usually a spot-on gift that won’t break the bank. For an extra special treat, pair the decanter with a nice bottle of liquor or add a bottle of champagne in with the glasses. Hopefully, this will encourage the receiver to invite you over for drinks post-holidays.


Vintage Jewelry – Depending on how well you know the person’s tastes, vintage jewelry can be a big hit. Browse the bargain bins. Look for gorgeous costume jewelry, a well-loved watch or some fab cuff links. Just make sure to avoid anything too big or over the top. Some things should remain in the bargain bin.


Monograms – This will take some digging, but whenever I find something with one of my friend’s initials, I usually pick it up. Anything from a monogrammed box, a small pillow, a bracelet or set of glasses usually fits the bill. One of my favorite gifts from a friend one holiday was a huge blue letter “E” for my wall.


Vintage Trays – Definitely an old standby for me, vintage trays allow people to corral items on a desk or coffee table. They can be placed under a decanter/ glass set for an extra touch or used to serve food. Look for mid-century teak trays or silver plate or brass trays that can be shined. Trust me, you can’t go wrong with these.


Wool Blankets – Brrr, it’s cold outside. Who doesn’t like to curl up under a warm blanket? I dig around vintage stores for vintage plaid Pendleton or Hudson blankets. Old camp or army blankets will also do in a pinch. Just make sure they’re in good condition and don’t smell like they spent the summer at camp.

Need more vintage gift inspiration? Email me at!

Happy Gifting!

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