My 59-Year-Old Mom Has $200 to Spend at Nordstrom—34 Items I'd Buy If I Were Her



If you ask me whether or not to buy someone a gift card as a present, I'll tell you that it's impersonal and a bit of a yawn 90% of the time. The only time I praise them is when the recipient is anything like my mother, who almost never buys anything indulgent for herself and therefore needs the incentive to go out and splurge on something that's just for her.

That is why I was thrilled to find out that she'd been gifted with a $200 gift card to Nordstrom aka our department store. (Everyone has one that holds an extra-special place in their hearts.) I'm aware that she knows her way around Nordstrom just as well as I do from years of experience, but given how little time she spends shopping anymore, I took it upon myself to scour the entire contents of the store (no really, I did) to help her get busy spending it. Below, find 34 under-$200 items that I'd pick if I were my gift card–holding 59-year-old mom.

Nothing feels better than slipping on a fresh pair of Ugg boots. 

My mom's never been one to enjoy an uncomfortable, super-tight pair of jeans, unlike me, who spent most of my high school years in denim that stretched as much as Skims's bodysuits when you put them on. A relaxed silhouette like this one has always been much more her style. 

She lives in Michigan, so having good layering pieces is essential to staying warm while still looking nice and put-together. 

No one is more low-maintenance about beauty products than my mom, so a subtle tinted balm like this one is ideal. It adds just the right amount of color without being overwhelming.

Nothing frustrates my mom more than a tiny bag. She has things, and she needs a stylish place to put them.

Though it's cold where she lives in the winter, in the summer, it's a "beach town" right off Lake Michigan. A flowy top like this one is perfect for tossing on to walk the dogs down to the lake and back.

Speaking of walking the dogs, when the weather is even slightly too wet or messy for her current favorite boots—she got a pair of off-white Sam Edelman boots during one of the recent Nordstrom sales and wears them constantly—these waterproof clogs would be the perfect alt.  

We're not big fans of bras in our family, but I recently tried this low-key style from Wacoal and would happily recommend it to her. 

My mom was an earring person long before I became one. 

We're big throw and scarf people, but rarely do either of us dare to buy one in a bold color. A gift card, however, is a great opportunity to shop outside your comfort zone. 

I had on a cardigan just like this one the last time I was home, and my mom wouldn't stop asking about it. 

It's never a bad time to stock up on great basics. 

If you have dry hands, you know that you can never own too many different hand creams. This one is so luxurious and fragrance-free, so it's great to keep in your bag at all times. 

Given the sale price on this cashmere, I'd suggest she buy at least two of these. 

I sent my mom a burgundy slip skirt last summer, and ever since, she's messaged me at least once a month begging for more colors. 

Like me, my mom is a basics lover, and COS supplies us with some of our best simple wardrobe items. 

While I'm a huge fan of tall boots, my mom is far more into ankle boots, especially ones with a comfortable, chunky heel.

At 5'8", I've never been one to gravitate toward bootcut jeans. But since my mom is 4′11", they're the perfect fit for her height. 

Being a bath lover is a lifestyle that involves a lot of different experience-heightening products. This therapy bath from Osea has Gigartina seaweed in it that hydrates and soothes as you soak, leaving your skin feeling incredible. 

Because of her height, my mom isn't a fan of anything super oversize, as it tends to overpower her small frame. That's why this hourglass-style blazer is an ideal fit. 

Would anyone be upset about a fresh pair of Chuck Taylors? I would certainly hope not. 

It's kind of a running tradition in my family that, whenever we see cashmere lounge pants, we try and get them for each other. 

She already has a great black belt, but brown is just as essential.

If you haven't guessed yet, we're definitely cashmere people. 

My mom has been a natural-beauty person since before it was cool. She doesn't wear a ton of makeup, so a blush like this one that you can apply with your fingers for a subtle glow is right up her alley. 

I swear that my mom has had her classic chambray shirt for as long as I've been alive. In other words, it's time for a refresher. 

Though she usually carries a larger bag around, this smaller shape feels like a perfect alt for nights when she goes out to dinner or simply doesn't need to pack as much.

When I think of my mom, I think of her wearing a flowy, white blouse. 

This jacket is the perfect length for someone on the shorter side, and her green eyes would absolutely pop in this color. Double win. 

As a Pilates instructor, my mom lives in leggings, but to my knowledge, she's never owned a pair made of cashmere. It feels like the time to change that. 

My mom was the one who kick-started my obsession with Hanky Panky underwear. 

This product changed my life, so naturally, I'm passing the love onto my mother. 

No one has ever regretted buying a classic denim jacket. No one. 

She's never been a huge heel person, but I think the sturdy heel and thick slingback on these make them a safe bet.