Wrap up retro jammies and indie iPhone cases this holiday season


Woolly warmers

Here’s a way to warm up with a clear conscience. Janna Hurtzig, best known as the designer behind AstroSatchel purses, has a line called Winterluxe—cozy mittens, tuques, cowls, arm warmers, and scarves, all made from recycled cashmere. We love the old-fashioned wooden buttons. The collection will be at the Shiny Fuzzy Muddy show on December 8 (from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and 9 (from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) at Heritage Hall (3102 Main Street). Admission is free.

Head cases

What you choose to wrap your cellphone in is almost as important as the phone itself. For the Apple-owning, indie-minded person on your list, check out locally designed iPhone cases by Field Trip. Gastown-based graphic designer Amy Lowry has a penchant for nautical motifs, geometric prints, and dressed-up felines. Her styles for the iPhone 4 and 5 ($20) are available at Meadow Gifts + Apparel (104 Water Street).

So bad they're good

Give your guy the ultimate outfit for Christmas Day dinner: an ugly holiday sweater, courtesy of the new kitsch-crazy Canadian website RetroFestive.ca. For $69.99, he can sport a truly hideous Bucktooth Rudolph version, or a more traditionally tacky Reindeer Conga Line one that would make Clark Griswold green with envy. There are also Hanukkah renditions and a more subtly subversive Festive Pot Leaf style (the latter is $54.99).

Wrists and rings

For the girl who can’t layer enough on her wrists, add to her collection with Anne Sportun’s beaded wrap bracelets, now at Kiss & Makeup (in the Village at Park Royal; we like the lapis and amethyst, about $450). Or make a real splurge and go for her one-of-a-kind creations in ethereal, organically shaped quartz or aquamarine, from drop earrings ($275) to unearthly oval rings set in gold ($1,826).

Sleep in style

Lounge Christmas morning in a 19th-century-style Sleep Shirt ($210 for long; $195 for short)—at Old Faithful Shop (320 West Cordova Street) and Rebecca Bree (3680 West 4th Avenue). Vancouver-born designer and style blogger Alexandra Suhner Isenberg’s perfectly tailored nightshirt is one-size-fits-all in blue-and-white-pinstriped cotton.

Bath bliss

The Pink Door Design Lab handcrafts lavish soaps, bath oils, bath salts, and massage candles at its Main Street studio. Products are made in small batches from natural, locally sourced ingredients—excluding the Dead Sea salts from Jordan. The Lab has created eight scents, including Bliss, a delicate but velvety fragrance with notes of vanilla (about $26 to $40 at BeautyMark [1268 Pacific Boulevard]).

Cozy concoctions

Vancouver-based, all-natural wellness company Escents Aromatherapy has released four limited-edition scents to tie in with the season. The Holiday Aroma Blends ($12.95 for five millilitres at Escents Aromatherapy [various locations]) make great host or hostess gifts and are perfect for creating a warm, inviting feeling in the home. The four concoctions include Christmas Joy, a cozy combination of spicy cinnamon and rich vanilla; Noel, a woodsy nutmeg and cedarwood blend; Cheer, a comforting mix of benzoin, orange, and cinnamon; and Westcoast Pine, which captures the clean and crisp scent of pine and fir trees. The blends can be used in a variety of ways, including as a fragrance, added to unscented lotions ($13.95 for 250 millilitres), or in a diffuser ($85 at Escents Aromatherapy). Three of the blends—Christmas Joy, Noel, and Westcoast Pine—are also available as reed diffusers ($37.95 for 200 millilitres), which slowly disperse the aroma in a room for up to six months.

Seasonal scents

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas: Lush has a few new additions to its usual festive assortment of bath products, and the scents conjure all kinds of Yuletide imagery. We like the pink-and-white North Pole Soap ($6.95 for 100 grams), with its icy peppermint fragrance offset by cocoa, with soothing cedarwood and cypress oils. The light-blue Snow Globe Soap ($7.95 for 100 grams) is a refreshing dome of lemon myrtle, grapefruit, and lemongrass. (Both are vegan-friendly.) And check out the candy-floss-pink Snow Fairy Shower Gel ($9.95 to $27.95 for 100 to 500 millilitres), a vanilla-scented lather that leaves flecks of iridescent shimmer.

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