The thing about wearable gifts: They're always usable, and if you don't love them, you can return (or consign) them. At Sock Magic (125 E Palace Ave., 983-3366), find brightly striped Ozone over-the-knee socks ($22), holiday-themed Santa socks ($13) or, for cold-footed adults and children alike, K-Bell socks shaped as pigs or frogs ($15)—all certain to brighten up a gray winter day. Or, blow your whole wad on breathtaking Japanese leg socks ($50) with sexy, ribboned backs.
At the Santa Fe Art Institute (1600 St. Michael's Drive, 424-5050), Patricia McCleery combines art and fashion in a pin that echoes SFAI's architecture ($25, visit sfai.org to purchase). The Santa Fe Farmers Market (1607 Paseo de Peralta) sells knitted hats made in Nepal—including Angry Birds-inspired ones ($22), which speak volumes about the iPhone's ability to unite the world. Adorable, affordable owl backpacks ($30) provide the perfect accompaniment to Santa Fe's answer to Portlandia: make a bird out of it.
If you're more conservation-minded, visit one of the city's many thrift stores, where men's and women's clothing display alongside kitchenware, furniture and curios. Looking for high fashion? Hit up Double Take (320 Aztec St., 989-8886) or Act 2 Consignment (839 Paseo de Peralta, 983-8585); for more cost-friendly options, Goodwill (3060 Cerrillos Road, 424-9732) is a good starting point.
If you're shopping for a smaller person, Boomerang Baby (1845 Cerrillos Road, 984-2229) features gently used children's clothing, while Gypsy Baby (new location: 708 Canyon Road, 820-1898) sells books, toys, adorable onesies and fuzzy organic rompers.
For variety, visit Mira (101 W Marcy St., 988-3585). Go uptown with scarves made from wild silk by a women's co-op in Madagascar ($86-$210) or hyperlocal with Santa Fe-made men's T-shirts immortalizing the "Fanta Se" of living here ($28-$38). Colorful lucha libre masks ($28) will delight the kids (or the kid in you). In the Railyard area, Cupcake Clothing (328 Montezuma Ave., 988-4744) is a longtime favorite. Downtown, Maya (108 Galisteo St., 989-7590) carries beautiful clothing and handy stocking-stuffers: turquoise knitted handwarmers ($34.50), handmade Peruvian wall mirrors ($22-$85), a Japanese coin purse in the shape of a plushie fish ($12) and much more.
On Your Feet (530 Montezuma Ave., 983-3900) and On Your Little Feet (next door) sell much more than shoes, and while Goler (125 E Palace Ave., 982-0924) is also known for its footwear (I could write an entire sonnet about those deep-blue Sam Edelman suede pumps, $120), but also has a great selection of chic dresses, hosiery and accessories. At 4-7 pm this coming Saturday, Dec. 8, the shop hosts a cocktail reception and trunk show for local jewelry designer Meaghan Hennelly's new line, Goldhenn Jewelry.