Recession Specials: Gifts for Women From $10 to $500

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but fashion expert Jeannie Mai says you don't have to hock one this holiday season to afford great gifts for the women on your shopping list.

"What I love about fashion today is that the trend has been moving toward cheap, chic designers," says Mai, host of the Style Network's How Do I Look? makeover show. "We're still in (an economic downturn), so people are losing their taste for $1,200 handbags."

Mai thinks it's easier to pick gifts for women than for men because males tend to want a very specific make or model of something, whereas she thinks females really do believe it's the thought that counts.

"If a man wants a piece of electronics, he's probably spent all of this time researching it and wants a very specific model," she says. "Girls can be picky, too -- but even if someone gets me something that I never wear, I still appreciate the fact that a man went to the women's department to pick it out. I find that in itself adorable."

Here's a look at some great presents that Mai recommends in various price points for all of the women on your gift-giving list this holiday:

Gifts for $25 or less

Mai gives the nod at this price point to so-called "fashion" eyeglasses -- non-prescription glasses that you wear for style, not to correct your vision.

"Eyewear is the one accessory that's faster than lipstick to throw on, yet easy to maintain," says the expert, who's nicknamed these products "flasses" (short for "fake eyeglasses"). Available online, at vintage stores or at trendy shops that carry eyewear accessories, these products start at as little as $10 a pair.

But Mai says they offer "instant sophistication and mysterious sex appeal."

$25-$50 presents

Steve Madden shoe clips cost just $25 or so each, but can customize virtually any pair of women's shoes.

Mai says these jewelry-like accessories "fit all heels, throw a completely different edge into your everyday shoes and are stackable to create a subtle or striking effect. (They're the) best accessory item I've found for all women -- hands down."

You can find shoe clips on the Web or in many stores.

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