The ES Shopping Shortlist: What to shop, see and know in December

·7-min read
 (Unsplash)
(Unsplash)

The end of 2021 may be in sight, but there’s still plenty of time to have one last hurrah before New Year’s fireworks.

December has always been the time for parties. The West End is twinkling with lights, folks are staying warm with mugfuls of mulled wine, and present-buying gathers pace as we look for the best gifts to place under our perfectly festooned tree.

For this reason, December’s Shopping Shortlist is piled high with golden nuggets of festive merriment, from knockout dresses to shine at upcoming soirees, to wintry pop-ups that deliver a toe-wiggling dose of hygge.

Despite a shadowy Scrooge menacing us with its growing presence (hey Omicron, this is not how we wanted to learn the Greek alphabet), ministers are urging Londoners to continue to go out and enjoy themselves, albeit with heightened safety precautions.

Face masks are mandatory in shops again in addition to public transport, and while you can go without in restaurants and bars, it’s still wise to keep a fresh one on you. We’ve updated our reusable face covering roundup to give you new options for the season ahead - and well into 2022. As well as keeping you and others safe, it’s another welcome layer of warmth against dwindling temperatures.

Onto happier thoughts, it’s only a few weeks to go until Christmas. We’re determined to stick to the seasonal directive of ‘eat, drink and be merry’ and pleasingly, big brands and retailers are falling over themselves to present new launches, services, collections and promotions to help you get in the spirit.

Whether you’re shopping for a certain someone, or just fancy a spot of self-treating, this Shopping Shortlist offers a sleigh load of inspiration.

Get the skinny on the best shopping for December below

Playtime as Agent Provocateur launches sex toys

 (Agent Provocateur)
(Agent Provocateur)

For a brand that oozes pure sex appeal, we’re as surprised as anyone that Agent Provocateur doesn’t have a clutch of adult toys under its lacy sleeve. All that is put right this month; the luxury lingerie has teamed up with Lovehoney to launch a new range of adult toys in time for singletons and couples to enjoy a red-hot Christmas. This being AP, they are of course, the chicest looking adult toys you’ll see and are named after popular dances to help you get into the groove. Prices range from £80 - £120.

Shop now

Glisten up with SKIMS

 (SKIMS)
(SKIMS)

Kim K's lingerie and loungewear brand SKIMS is back with a new must-have collection that's perfect for dark winter nights. Named Glissenette, the sexy silhouettes will add a sheen of luxe to your underwear drawer thanks to the gently shimmering fabric and velvet trims. The range of underwear, bralettes, and bodies come in an array of inclusive shades to fit the spectrum of nude skintones. It's love at first sight.

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Win £1000 gift voucher at Secret Escapes

 (Secret Escapes)
(Secret Escapes)

Leaving your Christmas shopping until the last minute could be a smart move if you pick up last minute gifts at Secret Escapes. The company offers vouchers with values ranging from £50 - £50,000 either as a sleek card or as an e-voucher for 11th hour gifting emergencies. This year, anyone who purchases a £50+ voucher could be in with a chance of winning a grand to spend on a luxury getaway. Just buy to enter.

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Five Guys shaking things up this Christmas

 (Five Guys)
(Five Guys)

Guilt-free gorging is the order of the day, and no one does it better (or tastier) than Five Guys. Our favourite burger restaurant is putting its festive shake, the Christmas Cracker, back on the menu. Made up of three flavours - equal parts biscuit, salted caramel and malted milk - it tastes like Crimbo in a cup.

Get it in-store now or order on Deliveroo

Hot scoops at the Häagen-Dazs Wafflerie

 (Haagen-Daz)
(Haagen-Daz)

Luxury ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs has added two new flavours to its menu, Rum Salted Caramel & Biscuit and Irish Whiskey & Chocolate Waffle. Either will add a deliciously sinful spin to your festive feasts.

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Stay merry with Krispy Kreme Kryispymas

 (Krispy Kreme)
(Krispy Kreme)

Where there’s a seasonal holiday, Krispy Kreme is ready with themed versions of its addictive doughnuts to celebrate. This Yuletide, the confectioner has released a sugary squad with names like The Doughman (a frosted snowman complete with a red scarf), Tree Yo’self, decorated to look like a festive evergreen, and the So Good Pud, which gives a top view of a Christmas pudding. There are others too, get the full set by ordering the Christmas Dozen on Click & Collect, £14.95, or try icing your own with a kit, also £14.95.

You can also send six in the post with the Say Merry Christmas Half Dozen (£13.45), a tasty treat for loved ones who live further afield.

Order yours now

Pandora brings Christmas sparkle

 (Pandora)
(Pandora)

It may not snow this year, but that doesn’t mean this Christmas can’t come with a little frosting. Jewellery brand Pandora has teamed up with Clearpay to host 4 Days of Christmas at its flagship Marble Arch boutique.

The store will be transformed into a mini Christmas market and offer shoppers the chance to add festive extras to their purchases; think gift wrapping, calligraphed gift tags, and personalised chocolate and cookies. There will also be workshops from wreath making to DIYing Christmas crackers - each £10 session will include all the materials needed to create your masterpiece along with festive refreshments and a £10 gift card to spend in store, effectively making it free.

Book now

Save yourself the Bother

 (Bother)
(Bother)

With so many things to check off your festive to-do list, getting last minute essentials can easily slip the mind. Let Bother pull up the slack: the company has put together a selection of seasonal hampers, from Christmas Essentials, to festive booze, baking bits and the Boxing Day bundle, handy for the day after when you’re too stuffed to move. Get everything you need delivered all in one box - it really couldn’t be simpler.

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Hey Girls period pants go further this December

In an effort to fight period poverty, menstruation brand Hey Girls is upping its Buy One Give One charity initiative this month. It will instead pledge two pairs of moisture-wicking period pants for every pack sold online, giving you a chance to help those in need and curb period product litter across the planet at the same time. As well as period pants, Hey Girls also sells reusable pads, cups, plastic-free tampons and pads. Now that’s what we call a bloody good deal.

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Get more from the new Three+ app

 (Three)
(Three)

It’s not enough that a mobile phone network offers calls, texts and online browsing these days, which is why Three UK has just launched Three+.

The all-new app rewards members with exclusive offers from a host of big brands, from £3 adult tickets for the latest movies at Picturehouse and Cineworld, to pre-sale tickets for the biggest festivals next summer. It’s free for Three customers, so there’s never been more reason to sign up.

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Denim for all: N°21 x 7 For All Mankind collaboration

 (7 For All Mankind)
(7 For All Mankind)

Some of our favourite fashion pieces are borne from a collab, and this December sees another added to our wishlist. Cult denim label 7 For All Mankind has joined up with Italian label No21 to create a collection with a conscious edge. There’s denim, there’s a chic tonal palette and there’s exaggerated layering. Love!

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Planet-saving undies are here with Cou Cou

 (Cou Cou)
(Cou Cou)

Women’s underwear are some of the most disposed garments on earth, but now you can get pants that will break down in your compost, saving them from landfill. Luxury with an eco-conscious edge, Cou Cou offers elevated essentials, from thongs to high rise briefs and cami tops, all laced with pretty French lace. Once you’re done wearing them, simply remove the trims and add to your compost bin.

Shop now

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