LET ME TELL YOU something you already know: You are out of time. You missed most of the holiday trunk shows and sales and craft bazaars. You'll be damn lucky if you don't get hosed at the post office for last-minute shipping, and it's way too late to start knitting. This puts you in a vulnerable position. Panic leads to poor choices like overspending and succumbing to convenience. There are a handful of events you can still hit, and a few key stores that might just save your ass. And if you're done with all your holiday shopping before this hits the streets, you owe yourself a little something. Besides, what are you going to wear on New Year's?
Prairie Underground is a Pacific Northwest staple. The Seattle company (which also produces in our sister city) was one of the first to revamp the hoodie, alleviating much of the style stigma from this kinda-slouchy but irresistibly functional PNW must-have. Peek into the closets of most stylish Portland women, and chances are awfully decent they'll have one of the "prairie" thigh-length hoodies that put the brand on the map. Although they built their house on the hoodie, Prairie Underground also turned their attention toward infusing excitement into other versatile basics like leggings and simple dresses. This week Pin Me Apparel is hosting a trunk show of the label, featuring pieces from the fall and holiday collections, many of which are expected to be of styles that have thus far been unavailable in Portland stores. The shapes are relatively flexible, which takes much of the guesswork out of sizing for gift recipients, and I don't know a single girl in her right mind who would kick a pair of soft, ruche-detailed "tack" leggings out of her gift pile.
The trunk show will also showcase grayling, the jewelry line launched by Katy Kippen, who earlier this year left now-shuttered Nolita after years of managing the Pearl District store to dedicate herself full-time to the project. The modern pieces tastefully strike a balance between noticeable and simple, making them easy to incorporate into an array of wardrobe styles. Current collections include "glamrock" (bold combinations of stones and draping chains), "metallust" (clean shapes in hammered metals) and "whisperwoods," (wood)—my personal recommendation would be for a pair of whisperwood earrings with dangling, perfect disks of wood, a devilishly simple use of an earthy material that avoids an overly hippie connotation. (Prairie Underground/grayling trunk show, Pin Me Apparel, 3705 N Mississippi, Thurs Dec 17, 5-8 pm, Prairie Underground pieces available through Mon Dec 21)
Another last-minute trunk show that should be on your radar: Scarlet Chamberlin will be holding court at one of the city's sponsored pop-up shops downtown, Workroom 719, with a selection that starts as low as $28 for a pair of earrings. Simple without being plain, I'm as riveted by a pair of her freshwater pearl droplet earrings in a dark chocolate-purple as I am of her bolder statement necklaces in pulse-quickening materials like suede and Tiger's Eye—I'd recommend the earrings as a tasteful, elegant gift, and the necklace for your New Year's Eve outfit (note: never buy statement jewelry for anyone whose style you don't know really, really well). While you're there, check out the selection of Entermodal leather bags and accessories, too—they make very handsome gifts for the men in your life, and smaller items go for well under a Benjamin. (Scarlet Chamberlin trunk show, Workroom 719, 719 SW Morrison, Sat Dec 19, 11 am-7 pm, free wine uncorking at 4 pm)
Meanwhile on NW 23rd, IDOM is playing host to a holiday trunk show that includes not only the in-house line by Modi Soondarotok, but also Liza Rietz and Emily Ryan. Look for discounted pieces from past seasons, the current Bob Dylan-inspired collection from IDOM, including pieces with wicked-cool raw zipper detailing (All IDOM pieces will be 50 percent off! For a whole week!), and an imminently useful, adorable gift item is one of Rietz's wool cloche hats. (IDOM/Liza Rietz/Emily Ryan trunk show, 827 NW 23rd, Sat Dec 19, 5-8 pm).
Outside of events, I also highly recommend hitting up stores like Nationale (2730 E Burnside) and Sword + Fern (811 E Burnside, Ste 114) for lovely, useful tokens like small-batch scents, rescued dishware, imported toiletries, and other small treasures, and both Lille Boutique (1007 E Burnside) and JET (3753 N Mississippi) for hosiery (Lille for sexy and luxurious, JET for funky and cozy). And, it's an oldie but a goodie: Andy and Bax (324 SE Grand) has great gift options for men, like merino wool undershirts and hiking socks at some of the best price points in town. If you've got a bit more to spare, hit up Filson (526 NW 13th), Frances May (1013 SW Washington), and Pendleton (220 NW Broadway)—a Pendleton blanket, of course, being arguably the ultimate in regional gift options. Then, hit Flutter (3948 N Mississippi) for a gorgeous selection of wrapping paper that you'll be tempted to glue to your walls. And... that's time.