Giving gifts during the holiday season is one of my favorite things to do. I love putting a lot of thought and meaning into the presents I buy for my loved ones, so I take notes throughout the year of what they like. However, more times than I like to admit I’m usually present-less for the most important people in my life days before Christmas. With hopes of avoiding stressful last minute shopping chaos, I headed to The Shops at Yale last weekend with a list of who to buy for. I was so inspired by the items in many of the shops on Chapel and Broadway in New Haven that I had to share with you what I found. In case you’re struggling on last minute gifts, maybe one of these items will be perfect for your family or friends!
Dwell New Haven
The first shop I popped into on Chapel Street was dwell New Haven, a one stop shop for home decor, baby gifts, keepsakes, and more. I immediately knew I could find a present for my sisters who love rustic, yet modern items – like a crystal wrapped with sage to cleanse the home, or a feminist novel, inspiring mug, and cozy throw for a night by the fire. For my pregnant best friend, there are the cutest Connecticut baby blankets and the softest pajamas.
Just a few doors down is Wave Gallery, a unique shop that used to be an art gallery. From sparkling jewelry to luxurious soaps to handmade chocolates, there is definitely a lot to choose from. I was immediately drawn to the ornament ‘trees’ adorned with handmade fairies, whimsical creatures, and silly glass objects. My siblings and I exchange ornaments every year that speak to our personalities – the mustache would be great for my brother. I also like to buy my daughters an ornament for their stocking – the fairies are perfect for their whimsical taste. Giving your loved ones an ornament is always meaningful when you pick something that speaks of their personality and Wave Gallery has quite the selection.
Upon entering Yurway Boutique, I knew I could find something for my friends with eclectic tastes. One of a kind pieces are on display throughout the store and many of the items have a story behind their design. If you have any fashionistas on your gift list, I definitely recommend chatting with the owner of Yurway Boutique. She showed me the most gorgeous floral velvet top and bottom set I know my sister or Mom would love. There was also a beautiful white shaggy vest I wouldn’t mind finding under the tree for myself!
There is something about a boutique that carries clothing made right in the store. Neville Wisdom is a well-known clothing label based in New Haven, CT. The designer himself, Neville Wisdom, was actually in the store while I shopped and extremely nice! His designs are fantastically unique, high quality, and each piece feels custom made. I tried on an incredible jacket and a gorgeous dress, both items I think my sister-in-law would love.
Over on Broadway is FatFace, an authentic British Brand retail store filled with chunky knit sweaters, beard grooming products, and the cutest children’s slippers I’ve ever seen. My husband has been talking about beard balm for awhile now and this is the first time I’ve found any in a store. I was very excited to cross that off my list and to also find a pair of cozy knit mittens, fair isle dress, and puffy pom hat for my oldest daughter. Other items in the men’s section that are must-haves for any husband: sturdy leather boots, festive wool socks, and a delicious smelling soap bar.
Lou Lou Boutique
After stopping to admire the funkiest tissue paper tutu I’ve ever seen on a mannequin in a storefront, I entered family owned Lou Lou Boutique. I found myself smelling the most delicious soaps, which are a great gift for anyone hosting a holiday dinner. Combined with a pair of affirmation socks (they say something positive on the bottom) and lip balm in a vintage tin, I put together a gift for my daughter’s preschool teachers. If I were shopping for coworkers, I’d have picked up a cozy winter hat and glove set, along with a smooth gorgeous stone necklace. There are so many items for the ladies in your life in Lou Lou Boutique!
Patagonia New Haven
My last stop before heading home was Patagonia, a well known outdoor clothing company recognized for their environmental activism. Some of my warmest outerwear pieces to survive the cold weather in New England are from Patagonia! I wanted to check out the children’s section as my daughters are in need of new snowsuits. They had the most adorable coats, as well as snow pants and jackets in the girls’ favorite color: pink! Puffy vests, gloves, and hats were also available in toddler sizes, which are perfect gifts for winter time.
I feel so relieved now that the bulk of my Christmas shopping is complete after spending a few hours at The Shops at Yale. The employees in each store were so helpful and willing to assist with my hunt for the perfect holiday gifts. I am excited to return for birthday gifts and other special occasions in the future to some of the other shops too!
More about The Shops at Yale
There are over 80 unique boutiques, retailers, and eateries at The Shops at Yale. From a two floor L.L. Bean to J.Crew with Madewell to The Yale Bookstore, there are plenty of shops the explore other than where I mentioned. If you’re looking for a coffee, Atticus Bookstore & Cafe or Maison Mathis are amazing. Want to stop in for something light with your friends? Check out Claires Corner Copia or Ivy Wok for casual dining. If you’re going to be making a night out of shopping with your friends, there is fine dining at Tarry Lodge, Harvest Wine Bar & Restaurant, or Midpoint Istanbul.
If you are going to take a trip to The Shops at Yale to finish up your Christmas shopping, I recommend you go soon! There are so many different shops with a wide variety of items to choose from, collectively carrying something for everyone. With free four hour parking after making a purchase of at least $30 from any retailer. From now until Christmas, there are events, in-store sales and promotion, and much more so that the whole family can come shopping for the day. Read more about holiday events at The Shops at Yale here. The Shops at Yale are must-visit in Connecticut!
Read more about holiday events at The Shops at Yale here.