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Whether given as a not-so-subtle hint — no more mom jeans — or with ulterior motives — can I borrow that? — buying presents for mothers always carries special significance. Here, some alternatives for the holiday season.

This story first appeared in the December 19, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Name: Sarah Neely

Age: 26

Daughter’s home: Austin, Tex.

Mom’s home: Austin

Gift: J Brand Pallatzo wide-leg jeans.

Bought at: Nordstrom

Cost: $218

Why: “I’m tired of my mother wearing saggy bottom pants that do not fit and are always too short. She needs a fashionable pair of jeans that do not embarrass me!”

Name: Natalia Duke

Age: 25

Daughter’s home: New York

Mom’s home: Key West, Fla.

Gift: A Lululemon yoga top.

Bought at: Lululemon

Cost: $48

Why: “I am trying to encourage my mom to get healthier and thought a great exercise top was a nicer message than a gym membership.”

Name: Kristen Hardeman

Age: 25

Daughter’s home: New York

Mom’s home: Miami

Gift: Christopher Fischer cream-colored cashmere zip-up sweater.

Bought at: A Christopher Fischer sample sale.

Cost: $50

Why: “It was originally a $300 sweater, and I have Champagne taste on a beer budget!”

Name: Lee Heffner

Age: 24

Daughter’s home: Washington

Mom’s home: Naples, Fla., and Louisville, Ky.

Gift: “An Hermès scarf and/or pocket square — I’m a last-minute shopper.”

Bought at: Hermès

Cost: $110 for a pocket square, $325 for a bigger scarf.

Why: “She’s really into wearing the scarfs for a pop of color in her usual outfit of all black. We like buying accessories for each other so that we can share them.”

Name: Colin Smith

Age: 26

Son’s home: New York

Mom’s home: Sturgis, Mich.

Gift: “A Triple Band ring: two bands each with my foster sisters’ names on it (one band saying Gabriel, one saying Alexis) and one band that says Mom and Dad.”

Bought at: Nelle and Lizzy (Fort Worth retailer, from

Web site).

Cost: $98

Why: “My parents have acted as foster parents for two children, Alexis (five years old) and Gabriel (about to be three years old), for the last two years. Given that we’re hoping formal adoption is official sometime soon, I though this would be an effective way of reinforcing to the girls that they’re a part of our family by seeing their names intertwined with my parents.”

Name: Rob Sebastian

Age: 25

Son’s home: Chicago

Mom’s home: Moorestown, N.J.

Gift: A silk purse.

Bought at: Jim Thompson House in Bangkok.

Cost: “About $80, which is a lot in Bangkok.”

Why: “I wanted to get her something unique that would help remind her that I traveled through Southeast Asia, and, per her request, came home alive.”

Name: Olivia Ha

Age: 31

Daughter’s home: New York

Mom’s home: Westchester County, N.Y.

Gift: An American Apparel brown rectangular tote bag with gray straps.

Bought at: American Apparel

Cost: $34

Why: “I have one, and she liked it.”

Name: Patrick Burns

Age: 23

Son’s home: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Mom’s home: Dallas

Gift: A handmade bronze necklace with green stone.

Bought at: Friend and jewelry designer Yuko Torihara of AllezHop NYC (

Cost: $70

Why: “Because it will make my mom’s boyfriend jealous.”

Name: Adam Nagorski

Age: 27

Son’s home: New York

Mom’s home: Pelham, N.Y.

Gift: A Coach Edition Canon PowerShot 950IS digital camera.

Bought at: “The only place I could find that still had it in stock:”

Cost: $408

Why: “I know my mom will like the camera’s small size and technical specs, but it was the Coach carrying case that came with it that made me confident she’ll love it!”

Name: Kristin Holligan

Age: 25

Daughter’s home: New York and Southampton, N.Y.

Mom’s home: Darien, Conn.

Gift: “A rainy day around town” basket with a cashmere scarf from Coach, a massage from Red Door Spa, a certificate for a manicure/pedicure, movie coupons and other little throw-ins.

Bought at: Coach, Red Door Spa and other places.

Cost: About $500.

Why: “It covers entertainment and something cool to wear, and the massage is something she loves but never treats herself to.”

Name: Erica Peppers

Age: 26

Daughter’s home: Scarsdale, N.Y.

Mom’s home: Scarsdale

Gift: Tory Burch Serena ballet flats and La Mer The Eye Concentrate.

Bought at: Neiman Marcus

Cost: $225 (shoes) and $160 (eye cream).

Why: “My mom has very small feet and loves how the Tory Burch flats fit, and this particular pair will look adorable with her jeans for ‘dress down Friday’ at work (she might be the only person left in the school who observes Fridays as the only dress down day). She is also in love with her La Mer face cream, so when this eye cream got rave reviews, I thought I would indulge her and get a jar.”

Name: Tom??s Harlan

Age: 41

Son’s home: Los Angeles

Mom’s home: Cuernavaca, Mexico

Gift: Chanel No.5

Bought at:

Cost: $260

Why: “It’s her favorite and a tradition with us. I have purchased this every year for her since I was 14.”

Name: Sashie Nichols

Age: 29

Daughter’s home: New York

Mom’s home: Hong Kong

Gift: Sugar lip gloss.

Bought at: Fresh

Cost: $25

Why: “My mom doesn’t wear makeup — she is a natural beauty and only needs a little gloss. She travels a lot, so it’s a perfect size and also the right amount of color for her (she doesn’t wear lipstick).”

Name: Sheryl Arrich

Age: 28

Daughter’s home: Brooklyn

Mom’s home: Rockledge, Fla.

Gift: Bare Escentuals makeup.

Bought at: Sephora

Cost: $60

Why: “She lives in Florida, so having SPF in her skin care regimen is essential. Plus, she does not like a lot of makeup so with this she has total control of the amount of coverage.”

Name: Jane Gruber

Age: 30

Daughter’s home: New York

Mom’s home: Syracuse, N.Y.

Gift: A gift certificate for highlights with Tammy Sherman.

Bought at: Frédéric Fekkai, Fifth Avenue

Cost: $350

Why: “She chose it. She’s impossible to surprise and incredibly practical.”