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The Ultimate (Highly Crowdsourced) Gift Guide For All The Teenage/Gen Z People On Your List

First and foremost I want to thank everyone on Instagram who helped make this such a WILDLY comprehensive gift guide for every Gen Z (and older Gen Alpha) on each of our lists! The suggestions ranged from things I predicted to pieces I am still laughing about because they gave me BIG 2002 flashbacks. But that’s the thing, right? No matter what, in about 20-30 years, styles always come back around making your childhood “vintage.” Ha. But since getting these suggestions, I’ve been observing “youths” in the wild and let’s just say this list is SPOT ON. I also want to say that while there will be a couple of categories that are gendered, what I love so freaking much about these generations is that more than ever they are throwing gender rules out the window – whether it’s clothes, accessories, or hobbies! This is all to say that you know your “youth” best and every category on this list is meant for everyone. So throw on your oversized sweatshirt and your butterfly hair clips, cuz baby, this is the only teenage/Gen Z guide you’re going to need.

1. Beats Studio3 | 2. Apple Airpods Pro | 3. Apple Airpods Max

I think it’s safe to say that music is important to most everyone but it’s especially a lifeline when you’re in high school/college. That means you are going to need some headphones. Now Airpods are still on the youths’ wishlists, but more and more they want “over the ear” headphones. Of course, these are way cooler than the ones of the early 00s because they are noise canceling, wireless, AND have built-in microphones for phone calls. All three of these picks above were mentioned over and over so I think they are safe bets and go in order of most affordable to most expensive. Any of these would be an incredible “big gift.”

1. Vintage Soft Hoodie | 2. Oversized Hoodie | 3. Women’s Over-Oversized Pullover Hoodie

This suggestion was no surprise to me but a great reminder. I have seen countless TikTok videos of people simply wearing massive oversized sweatshirts or talking about them. So if your person loves an oversized sweatshirt these are all great! But remember to GO BIG. These are all meant to be oversized but maybe go a little bigger than their traditional size. They want to nearly be swimming in them.

1. Two Tone Hoodie Sweatshirt | 2. Men’s Fleece Crewneck Sweatshirt | 3. Pewter Solid Hoodie

Now the look is either crisp and new or kind of random and vintage (like #1). This also means if you don’t find any online that you like feel free to go to your local vintage shop! The only risk you take is if they want to return it, it’s a little harder.

1. Cargo Sweatpant | 2. Nike Basketball Pant | 3. Russell Athletic Straight Sweatpant

And why stop at oversized sweatshirts when you can also have baggy sweatpants? Now, these don’t need to be as oversized as the tops. Just large enough to be loose and comfortable. The three above are perfect for exactly that. In general, classic brands like Nike, Adidas, Russell Athletic, Champion, etc. are all very cool and safe bets when you are searching.

1. Jogger Sweatpant | 2. 5 Stripe Sweatpant | 3. BouncePlush Jogger Pant

Sweatpants that are traditionally designed for girls still should have that loose, lowrise, roomy look to them. We were specifically told that Aviator Nation (#2) was a brand that the girls wanted!

1. Aerie Super Flare Legging | 2. Essentials Rib Flared Pant | 3. Full Force Flare Pant

But of course, not everyone wants a loose fit. In fact, the flare legging is VERY IN and #1 was specially requested by Mallory’s BF’s younger sister. Actually, she made a whole PowerPoint of gifts she wanted to help her family with ideas. Not only was it incredible to look at but also VERY helpful for this post:)

1. Custom Vans | 2. Air Jordan 1 High OG “Royal Reimagined” | 3. Samba OG Shoes

Sneakers were suggested over and over and over. So this would be a great gift. One very cool option is to get them Vans or Nikes they can customize! That way it’s unique to them and you don’t have to worry about picking the wrong shoe. But if you want to get them a cool shoe, a Nike Hightop or the Adidas Samba sneaker are solid picks. Sambas are still VERY MUCH the “it” shoe and come in a few different colors.

1. Tidepool Cell Phone Grip | 2. Popsockets Phone Grip | 3. Checker Cell Phone Grip

I was kinda surprised that Popsockets were still such a hot item but they were suggested a ton! There are ENDLESS options to choose from but since “Millennial fashion” is so hot at the moment, these three seemed perfect. Did anyone else draw endless Ying and Yang symbols and collect those alien head stickers in the late 90s???

1. Opalite and Pearl Phone Strap | 2. Good Vibes Phone Charm | 3. Beaded Phone Strap and Tech Lanyard

Phone charms were another big suggestion. I mean why stop at a phone case and Popsocket?? Let’s get some charms on these phones! Well, they are meant for your wrists so actually it’s a functional gift that happens to be very cute. These are all fun and trendy if you ask me:)

1. Slim Portable Charger | 2. Portable Charger with Lightning and Android Cables | 3. Juicebox MagSafe Charger

But what good is a phone if it’s cute but dead?? A handful of people recommended a portable phone charger which is a pretty great idea. These are all slim which is great and all are HIGHLY rated (#2 even has some more metallic color options).

1. Stanley Quencher FlowState Tumbler | 2. Owala FreeSip Water Bottle

These two water bottles were mentioned A LOT. I think by now we know the wonders of the Stanley Quencher (it comes in sooo many colors and sizes too) but apparently, the Owala FreeSip is the next “it” bottle. Who knew? Now we do:) It also comes in a bunch of different colors.

1. Carhartt Beanie | 2. LA Dodgers Beanie | 3. Nike Beanie

These babies want beanies, y’all. You can’t miss with a Carhartt beanie (or jacket for that matter). But it’s a cool and standard beanie that has a bunch of color options. But having a classic sports team on your beanie like the Dodgers or Yankees is also pretty cool. And then you have Nike which might be the most classic. Who wouldn’t be pumped to get a Nike beanie, right? You have 10 colors to choose from!

1. Textured Fleece Bucket Hat | 2. Theo Plush Bucket Hat

This suggestion made me laugh a little but hey, these kids should be able to express themselves however they want! And if a fuzzy bucket hat is one of the cool hats of their time then they should wear it:) Plus TBH it’s probably really comfortable. Also, these are from Lululemon and Princess Polly which are two places the cool kids love.

1. 100 ft LED Lights | 2. Corner Lamp | 3. Galaxy Projector Nightlight

Another suggestion I knew was coming! Even Em’s little kids had asked for colorful LED lights for their rooms at one point. I mean it’s fun and weird and cool and looks great when you are making videos. Each of these is a little different. I’m most familiar with the LED light strips but the corner light is cool and avoids any potential wall damage. But that little astronaut galaxy projector is the coolest in my opinion:)

1. Frigidaire Mini Portable Fridge | 2. Marshall Mini Fridge

Mini fridges were another surprise suggestion! I guess since kids these days have computers or phones they are asking for mini fridges rather than TVs or a landline. Honestly, the idea of having some cold drinks in your room for when you are doing homework late or have friends over is pretty cool. I’m in.

1. The Tennis Collection Bezel Set Crystal Necklace | 2. Hialeah Necklace | 3. Strawberry Beaded Necklace

One of my favorite topics…jewelry! The Tennis necklace trend took me by surprise but I really like it. I like it even more when said necklace costs under $70. But let’s talk color. I found this colorful yet delicate necklace on Princess Polly so I feel confident it’s a slam dunk. But so is this beaded strawberry necklace from Etsy. Beaded jewelry is also super popular.

1. Teardrop Hoop Earring Set | 2. Angus Hoop Earring Set | 3. Chunky Medium Hoop Earrings

Hoop earrings were specifically called out so here are a few great options! The teardrop style is very cool right now so this set is great for multiple options. The same goes for this silver set. Cool, small, but bold. However, a classic gold chunky hoop is a staple in anyone’s collection. If they don’t have them then it’s a perfect gift.

1. Jewelry Storage Stand | 2. 3 Drawer Accessary Box | 3. 3 Tier Jewelry Stand

Hmm, all this great jewelry with nowhere to properly put it. Jewelry organizers were kind of a surprise suggestion that probably shouldn’t have been. It’s the kind of thing you always think about getting but never do…just me?? Well, show your person the glory of having their pieces organized with any of these three very cute options!

1. Tweed Asymmetrical Shoulder Bag | 2. Classic Curved Crossbody | 3. Lock & Key Chain Handle Bag

Bags were, of course, highly suggested. But the younger folk want more of an over-the-shoulder more than a crossbody so it seems (unless it’s a fanny pack:)). So #1 and #3 were on the PowerPoint we borrowed from and #2 is a hot brand that a follower suggested, Stoney Clover Lane. And yes, I know that one a crossbody:)

1. Weekender Bag | 2. CALPAK Compakt Duffle Bag | 3. Patagonia Black Hole Duffle

So while purses made sense to be highly suggested, I didn’t think weekenders or duffle bags would be as big of an ask as they are this year. When these kids go for a sleepover or a short trip they want to do it in style. Who can blame them? All three of these are truly great bags they can have for a loooong time.

1. Multichrome Gel for Eyes and Face | 2. Rare Beauty Liquid Blush | 3. Rare Beauty Discovery Palette

What, did you think we’d make it through this list without talking about makeup?? No way. Ok, so this Danessa Myricks Multichrome Gel for Eyes and Face is SO cool and was specifically called out as a great gift. They have a ton of other colors and the product is incredible. But, of course, Rare Beauty by the one and only Selena Gomez was a hot rec. I have that blush and it’s so pretty. 10/10 but you can’t go wrong with any of her products.

1. Makeup Brush Set | 2. Total Sponge Set | 3. Halo Glow Powder Puff

Since they are younger, it’s nice to set them up with some helpful makeup tools. A brush set is so great to have and makes playing around a lot easier. Then you can’t ever go wrong with sponges and this is a perfect set. Lastly, I’ve come to realize the importance of a powder puff so if they love makeup, I know they’d love this.

1. Dyson Corrale™ Hair Styler Straightener | 2. Boar Bristle Slick Back Hair Brush

Ok, so I only put this straightener on her because it was suggested a few times! It’s definitely on the “big gift” side of things but I’m sure they’d have it for a very long time since it won’t break after a year or so. Then I was introduced to this hair brush on TikTok and was convinced it was THE brush to use if you want to slick your hair back into a bun or ponytail (which if you’ve noticed, it’s a huge hair trend).

1. Flower Stretch Headband | 2. Heart Barrette Set | 3. Pearl Mini Claw Clip Set

“Millennial hair accessories” were what was suggested so this is what I chose! Those headbands were SO COOL growing up. Mine never had cute flowers so this one is a step up. Now the Barrett set feels a bit more goth and cool. And then instead of actual butterfly clips, I chose these mini pearl cuties since pearls are still very much on-trend.

1. The Rhode Kit | 2. Bubble Skincare Rise & Shine Set | 3. Brazilian Bum Bum Jet Set

Poor teens are dealing so a lot of skin stuff so skincare was another popular suggestion. Hailey Bieber’s Rhode line was mentioned A LOT. I’m sure it has nothing to do with wanting the same skin as Hailey’s:) But it also has good reviews so it sounds like a great gift. A skincare brand I hadn’t heard of but was recommended a bunch is Bubble Skincare. They have a bunch of sets but the Rise & Shine Set seems like a good place to start. All the kids want it! Last but not least is the Brazilian Bum Bum Jet Set. I mean it smells incredible. Who wouldn’t want it??

1. Beauty Fridge | 2. Lip Sleeping Mask Intense Hydration with Vitamin C | 3. LED Mirror Beauty Fridge

Beauty fridges are a real thing so if your person is a skincare LOVER then a beauty fridge wouldn’t be sick! Oh, and that Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask was asked for over and over again. It’s good.

1. Skin Camp Acne Patches | 2. Squish Flower Power Acne Patches | 3. Little Twin Stars Blemish Patches

Teens (and adults) get pimples! Since they are an inevitable evil why not make your face incredibly fun during the healing process?? Cute pimple patches were a real request and a good one at that!

1. JB Skrub Ultimate Bundle | 2. Method Men Shampoo/Conditioner | 3. Grooming Short List Kit

I wish all skincare and haircare marketing were targeted at everyone but we all know that’s not the case. So here are some truly great options to help your maybe stinky child get clean and look sharp. JB Skrub was created by two boy moms (one being Modern Family’s Julie Bowen) who wanted to help their teen boys with their hygiene. It’s fun and sustainable making this set a great gift! Speaking of smelling good let’s move onto hair. Normally, I wouldn’t promote a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner but for your average teenage boy, the fewer steps the better. Plus Method’s products are awesome. But if your “youth” wants to spend a bit more time on their hair then go for this great Grooming Short List Kit.

1. Olive & June Press-On Fake Nails | 2. Mini Gel Nail Polish Kit | 3. Glamnetic Press-On Nail Kit

Man oh man do I love a manicure and here are two options for CUTE press-on nails that aren’t too long and a great gel nail polish kit!

1. Gah! Nail Art Stickers | 2. Stay Groovy Nail Art Sticker Sheet | 3. Mod Floral Nail Art Stickers

I used to LOVE nail stickers when I was little and am happy they are back! But this time, they are muuuuch cooler. Look at these options above!

1. Eras Tour Poster | 2. Eras Tour Hoodie | 3. 1989 (Taylor’s Version) Vinyl

I don’t think I need to explain this one too much. Merch is BIG right now and the biggest might be for Miss Taylor Swift herself. I love the Eras tour poster collage A LOT because it’s a little DIY, the hoodie sweatshirt is epic and from the official site, obviously, and the 1989 (Taylor’s Version) album is the most recent to drop. Any of these would be a great gift for a Taylor fan:)

1. Friends Fanny Pack | 2. Friends Planner Sticker Book | 3. Friends Boyfriend Fit Tee

I was a little surprised by these next too! Who knew Friends was making such a comeback?! I think all of these are great Friends gifts.

1. Hedwig Plush Head Throw Blanket | 2. Sew On Patches | 3. Floating Candle String Lights

I didn’t realize how big the resurgence of Harry Potter was until I was a little girl with a backpack COVERED in Harry Potter patches. So that’s where I started with these patches. Then to be a fan AND want to be cozy, I thought this Hedwig Plush Head Throw Blanket was pretty cute, no? And what’s Harry Potter merch without a little magic (or batteries)? These light-up floating candles are an HP fan’s dream.

1. Turntable with Bluetooth Receiver | 2. Checkered Crosley Royale | 3. Crosley Cruiser

LOTS of requests for record players. I think since they are for younger people, playing with color and pattern like in #2 and #3 is awesome. But if you have a kid that loves true-looking vintage things then #1 is ideal.

1. Fujifilm Instax Camera | 2. 1080p Digital Camera | 3. Kodak Digital Camera

Yep, the kids want old-school digital cameras! Teens seem to want to go back to older technology since what we have now is so intense. I fully support this! I also support them wanting a Polaroid camera.

1. G920 Driving Force Racing Wheel and pedals for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC | 2. Switch 32GB Lite

The teens like to game so why not make it more fun with this follower’s suggestions of a Driving Force Racing Wheel and pedals. It looks SO COOL and works with a bunch of different systems. But if they are just starting out, a Nintendo Switch is extremely fun and they will love it!

1. 3D Printing Pen | 2. Cruzer Skateboards for Beginners | 3. Boba Tea Kit

While gaming is great, there were awesome non-screentime suggestions. I think this 3D Printing Pen is so fun and silly but stimulates their creative mind! Skateboarding would take them outside which is even better and this board is meant for beginners. But maybe “cooking” is more up their alley! This boba kit (that was recommended) looks easy and really fun.

1. Singer Singer Sewing Machine With Accessory Kit & Foot Pedal | 2. Brother Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine

The cool thing about social media is that it opens peoples’ minds to the possibility of what they can do…like making dope clothes! Both of these machines are great for beginners. Love this reader’s suggestion.

1. North Face Thermoball Traction Slippers | 2. UGG Women’s Disquette Slipper | 3. Nike Burrow Women’s Slippers

Maybe it was lockdown, maybe it was always this way, or maybe these teens just know how to be cozy! #1 looks like a cool house shoe that will never let your toes get cold. The UGGS are so cute! Also warm but so soft. Then I love the pink ones (they come in other colors) because they have a zipper on top for some money, a single key, a credit card, you name it. Cute and practical!

1. Stuffed Animal Storage Bean Bag | 2. Sherpa Fleece Throw Blanket | 3. Stance Quarter Socks

More cozy stuff! Bean bags are definitely back and this brand was recommended. Lots of color options and it’s affordable! Now tell me that blanket doesn’t look like heaven? You can’t and it also looks cool. V important:) Then for the socks, they just look cool and retro. This brand was also recommended a few times and they have a ton of other styles and colors. I just love this one:)

1. Fitted Racer Moto Jacket | 2. Brooklyn Faux Leather Long Coat | 3. Off-The-Shoulder Sweater

Most of these are straight from the Gen Zers mouth (Mallory’s BF’s younger sister)! Now, I do have to say I really like that moto jacket and think it’s a piece they could have for a very long time. The long coat on the other hand is just pure fun! The cuffs are incredible. But man, that off-the-shoulder sweater is giving millennial SO HARD. But hey it’s pretty and comes in other colors. I’m sure they’d love it!!

1. Mock Neck Tank | 2. Slinky30 Black | 3. Soft Lounge Tank

These tops are very cute and actually look soft and comfortable! Recs from our Gen Z sister 🙂 Oh, Skims is for sure a hot store to buy from. Trust that you will look cool giving something from there. But the icing on the cake are those shoes. I used to have a pair, my mom had a pair, and I never thought I’d see them again. Well, the joke’s on me cause they are cool again.

1. Cameo Gift Card | 2. Ticketmaster Gift Card | 3. YouTube Premium

Last but never least are gift cards. Do they feel the most personal? No. But they are so great and the person can then get whatever they want. I do love the idea that was given a couple of times to buy a cameo of the person’s favorite TikTok star, actor, or athlete! So fun and thoughtful. Or a chance to go to a concert or show is so special! But letting them choose when and where is ideal hence the Ticketmaster gift card. And finally, teens obviously LOVE LOVE YouTube. So if they don’t already have YouTube Premium this would be a killer gift.

Thanks for reading! Hope it helped and again, thank you to everyone who contributed! Good luck, y’all:)

Opening Image Credit: Photo by Veronica Crawford | From: When You Think You Can’t Pull Off Certain Trends And Then Maybe You Can? We Test Some ‘Best Sellers’

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4 months ago

Okay I know the trend wheel is perpetually turning, but I’m LOLing that BODY GLITTER is back! Gotta love it 🙂

4 months ago

The flare leggings link sends you to the AirPods.

4 months ago
Reply to  ParsedLee

that one’s my fault!! the correct flare legging link (and they’re 55% off today?! i might need to grab!).

Jen A
4 months ago

If anyone else is tired of spending $$$ on shoes their teen outgrows within 6-8 months, I found these slippers on H&M with a similar look but less pricey than northface or REI. Just ordered for my 14 yo. (For those with younger kids be prepared! The early teen years is like having a toddler again, I am buying new pants every 5 months. Grateful kid is healthy but ugh on the wallet.)

Jen A
4 months ago

Also this pizza blanket is hilarious.

4 months ago
Reply to  Jen A

My youngest teen has that blanket and my oldest one has a tortilla blanket!

4 months ago

ok the steve madden slides. i totally had a pair in the early aughts and i can hear the noise they make when you walk in them- SLAP SLAP hahahahaha wow. I’m old.

4 months ago

I appreciate that this list is surely what kids want and I’m probably being unfair to some of the items but I’m disappointed at how few of these gifts spark creativity, active engagement or experiences. I have several nieces in this age range who would all love me for giving them Sephora gift cards but I’d much prefer to offer other interests.

4 months ago
Reply to  Sheila

Respectfully, I think this isn’t the best strategy long-term. What’s wrong with buying things that are actively wanted and that will actually be used? When kids want pieces related to their interests, they’ll ask. (I guarantee it, from the parent who has bought WAY too many musical instruments.) All this to say that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a Sephora giftcard! And sometimes I think we hurt women in particular by suggesting that makeup or skin care or hairstyling isn’t a valid interest. There are millions of beauty professionals around the world, and who knows, that gift card might unlock a new career path! I totally understand where you’re coming from – I’ve been there myself – but just wanted to provide how my views have changed over the last couple decades.

4 months ago
Reply to  Shannon

I don’t disagree with you. The Sephora gift cards are a given – my nieces spend $100’s there monthly and my gifts help fuel that – I just like to throw in a little something more engaging or thought provoking. I’ll try and quit that and stick to Sephora!

4 months ago
Reply to  Sheila

Another thing to remember is how wildly creative some of these kids are with their makeup. They are in the stage of trying things and seeing themselves in different lights. I have one kid “into makeup” and it is FOR SURE a creative outlet. Really took seeing it in action to understand that.

4 months ago

Holy cow this is incredible! One of the best gift guides I’ve ever seen!

Lisa Carr
4 months ago
Reply to  N.

I agree. I screenshot the whole thing.

4 months ago

OMG, the flared leggings….I experienced a reaction that can only be described as a gasp-gag. Does anyone remember that the OG leggings from the early 2000’s? They were *all* flared, and they weren’t known as leggings, but as “booty pants”? I have the diary entries to prove it.

4 months ago

this is so good you guys!! I don’t even have a teen to shop for but I really really appreciate the thought and care you put into your gift guides and genuinely enjoy reading them – thank you so much!!! <3

4 months ago

The stuff for the boys was pretty spot on! My boys love the oversized hoodies, but they don’t care for sweatpants and prefer shorts year round, which is hard to find this time of year! My boys are also asking for crocs and love getting virtual currency to spend on their video games. They also will get the plain Mighty Patches for their stockings because they don’t want the “cute” ones.

4 months ago

Jess, this is beyond good. Us old boomers would love lots of these gifts! We’ll done!

4 months ago

Three very surprising (to me) things our high school son wants: the Pokemon Pikachu Sleeping Kids Plush Buddy and the Minecraft Charged Creeper Figural Mini Fridge (both from Target) and a pair of Sharkicks Pro Slides (in Black Suit) from Hello Slippers. I would have thought he had outgrown all these “character” things.