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13 best gifts for sisters that she will love (and you’ll want to borrow)

From boozy buys to extra special gifts for the sis who already has everything...

Emma Henderson
Friday 23 September 2022 11:15 BST
We’ve included everything from cult perfume to stationary we’ve loved for weeks, if not months
We’ve included everything from cult perfume to stationary we’ve loved for weeks, if not months (iStock/The Independent)
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Sis, sissy, skin and blister, la soeur – whatever you call your sibling, she’s your day one and is always worthy of an excellent gift - whether it’s her birthday, Christmas, her wedding day, a big milestone celebration or just, well, because.

But with such a special person in your life to buy for, where to start? Finding the best present for your sister can sometimes be pretty tricky, namely as she knows she can borrow anything from you or your other siblings anyway...

In essence, her wardrobe doubles if she has another sister, as practically anything you own is also up for grabs for her to "borrow", aka: using and claiming as her own. So she really does have everything.

Luckily for you, we’re the experts when it comes to gifting. From a little present that serves as a pick-me-up when she most needs it, to the something she’ll keep forever from her wedding day, or the beauty product that will soon become her signature and she’ll never be without, we’ve got you covered.

How we tested

We’ve included products we’ve been buying ourselves and other people for a long time, as well as products we are repeatedly emptying and rebuying, from brands we love – as well as new ones we’ve come across recently. Everything has been tested for at least four weeks, while some have been loved by us for months and months.

The best sister gifts for 2022 are:

  • Best hair accessories – Ganni seersucker scrunchie: £20,
  • Best wedding gift – Addison Ross large scalloped ottoman tray: £180,
  • Best body moisturiser – Bamford geranium body cream: £43,
  • Best storage accessory – The Glass Studio Betty’s friend glass tumbler: £43.20,
  • Best 40th birfthday gift – Tom Ford soleil blanc eau de parfum, 50ml: £265,
  • Best gift for sister-in-laws – Mutha Hood sister hood tee: £23,
  • Best 18th birthday present – Longchamp Le Pilage club, size large travel bag: £110,
  • Best for stationery lovers – Katie Leamon flatlay notebook in green and pink grid: £21.95,
  • Best engagement present –  Hattingley Valley 2019 rose champagne, 12%: £38,
  • Best gift for the sister who has everything – Atkar at Home tandoori box: £70,
  • Best candle – St Eval sea salt candle, small: £11.29,
  • Best 30th birthday present – Antler Stamford medium suitcase in khaki: £229,
  • Best handbag – Whistles Payton ruched top handle bag: £139,

Ganni seersucker scrunchie

Ganni seersucker scrunchie
  • Best: Hair accessories

We’re as obsessed with Ganni as the next fashion lover, which has seen its almost cult following grow rapidly thanks to social media and the hashtag #GanniGirls that its fans use. But you don’t always have to buy something expensive from the brands you love. Our top tip is to buy something cheap at the expensive brands you love, to still get that designer feeling. It may sound OTT to buy a hair accessory from a designer brand, but it’s well-made and we’ve been wearing it non-stop since we first got it. It looks huge, but it’s actually a really good size to wrap your bun up twice. It has a little "Ganni" label on the edge too, so you can signal your coolness to fellow fans.

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Addison Ross large scalloped ottoman tray

Addison Ross large scalloped ottoman tray.jpg
  • Best: Wedding gift

Finding the perfect wedding gift is hard, especially as the days of buying a toaster or a set of salad servers were easy, and more importantly, they were wanted by the couple. Now most people already have the essentials, you need to think that bit harder. If your sister fancies herself an interior designer, we think she’ll love these gorgeous scalloped edged glossy trays from Addison Ross. As practical as they are for serving up drinks, or taking plates of food outside for alfresco dining, they’re also perfect for displaying on coffee tables, and keeping your trinkets such as candles and coasters tidy - as well as showing off your cool coffee table books.

Made from wood, it’s coated in lacquer for that high gloss sheen look, which has been hand polished, and also features a useful non-slip layer of velvet on the bottom to keep it in place, wherever she decides to display it. They’re also available in a range of colours too, so whatever her decor is, there’s one that will suit it.

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Bamford geranium body cream

Bamford geranium body cream.jpg
  • Best: Body moisturiser

As part of the Daylesford empire owned by Lady Bamford, this is her namesake beauty brand, and it’s every bit luxurious, yet understated, as you’d expect. From the simple yet chic sage-green packaging, to the scents, we love the elevated earthy feel to the brand - plus it’s Soil Association approved.

Scents include geranium, lavender and peppermint, which aren’t overly intoxicating, nor lacking. Your sister will love using it on her legs after a shower, as its thick formula quickly smooths and moisturises skin once it’s smothered on. Any moisturising-loving sister will no doubt adore this one, and hopefully will stop stealing your expensive beauty products now too. It’s not the most affordable moisturiser, but as a gift, it’s a really lovely treat that she likely won’t think to buy herself.

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The Glass Studio Betty’s friend glass tumbler

The Glass Studio Betty’s friend glass tumbler.jpg
  • Best: Storage accessory

This hand blown glass tumbler is billed as as a drinking cup for the kitchen, but we love its colours, pattern and shape so much that we think it deserves to be proudly displayed on a dresser. It makes a lovely gift for the sister that has lots of make-up brushes, so this can be turned into a super chic brush holder. Obviously due to its delicate nature, and as everything is hand made by The Glass Studio in the UK, if you did use it to drink out of, or just want to wash it, don’t put it in the dishwasher. This also means that each design will vary, too.

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Tom Ford soleil blanc eau de parfum, 50ml

Tom Ford soleil blanc eau de parfum, 50ml.jpg
  • Best: 40th birthday gift

Tom Ford has created arguably some of  the best scents in the past decade. We’re huge fans of the brand’s orchid soleil perfume, which, since its launch, has garnered almost cult-like status - unsurprisingly meaning that the brand has created many more iterations of it.

The soleil blanc is a deliciously amber floral scent with notes of musk, along with a hint of cardamom and ylang ylang which keeps it feeling fresh. To us, it’s the perfect evening perfume for holidays that will endure long past your summer tan. Tom Ford is a pricy perfume, but it’s not likely going to be your everyday scent, so will last longer than your daily go-to spritz.

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Mutha Hood sister hood tee

Mutha Hood sister hood tee.jpg
  • Best: Gift for sister in law

You may have come across this brand on Instagram, or out in the wild, as it’s best known for its "Strong Girls Club", which is often emblazoned on jumpers, tees, badges and even wands. Founded by a woman and mum named Gemma, it’s about empowering women and girls through positive, strong and powerful words, and we love it.

For little sisters, you’ll find a fabulous curated selection of inspiring books from the Little People, Big Dreams books series - including the story of Amelia Earheart; as well as jigsaws, muslins and even bedding adorned with beautiful drawings of inspiring women.

We love this simple white and red tee, featuring "solidarite feminine" in large print across the back, and a small logo on the front left hand chest. Mutha Hood calls it the "support the sisterhood" T-shirt and we think it would make a great gift for your sister in law. The fits are true to size, and nicely long, so you can tuck them into your jeans. Made from 100 per cent organic cotton, and printed in the UK, Mutha Hood is also part of the Fair Wear Foundation which has a positive impact on garment workers’ lives.

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Longchamp Le Pilage club, size large travel bag

  • Best: 18th birthday present

Once your sister turns 18, she’ll no doubt feel mega grown up, and will want to start travelling on her own. Longchamp bags are a classic and will endure for years to come. Not to mention they pack up easily, so don’t take up lots of room. They’re also endlessly useful. If your sister is going away for a long weekend soon, and won’t need much, you can save her spending cash on pricey luggage fees by taking a bag like this one that can fit under the seat in front. The Le Pilage bag in size large is the perfect size and is squashable, too. It’s also a great overnight bag if you’re not flying as you can fit clothes, a pair of shoes, make-up bag, and a toiletries bag in nicely.

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Katie Leamon flatlay notebook in green and pink grid

Katie Leamon flatlay notebook in green and pink grid.jpg
  • Best: For stationery lovers

There’s nothing more annoying than when you’re making notes in a stiff notebook that you can’t write in properly, and it sits awkwardly and hinders your writing. Enter Katie Lemon’s oh-so cleverly designed flatlay notebook. The spine, no matter which page you’re on, sits flatly and enables you to be able to write easily, at any angle. It sounds simple, but it’s often the small things that make the biggest difference. The cover designs are also cute and inspiring, meaning she’ll want any excuse to whip out her new notebook. Everyone needs a good notebook, and there’s few better then Katie Leamon’s flatlay book. There are a few designs currently reduced to £10 at the moment, too.

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Hattingley Valley 2019 rose sparkling wine, 12%

Hattington Valley 2019 rose champagne, 12%.jpg
  • Best: Engagement present

Based in Hampshire, this vineyard began life in 2008 when the Robinson family planted vines on their farm. Now, it’s headed up by lead winemaker, Emma Rice, and this is her favourite tipple to make.

Made up of pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes, it’s a super delicate wine in both colour and taste that’s deliciously refreshing whatever the season. It’s full of red berry flavours on the palate, including a touch of strawberry, red currant and apple, too. So if your sis has something to celebrate, whether it’s a birthday, new job or engagement, this sparkling rose is the perfect bottle to pop for that special occasion.

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Atkar at Home tandoori box

Atkar at Home tandoori box.jpg
  • Best: Gift for the sister who has everything

Not every gift needs to be a keepsake. We all know someone who has everything, so in times like these, our answer is to go edible. And make it good. Enter Atkar at Home, which offers up traditional Indian home cooking by a Michelin star chef, delivered to your home for you to simply put in the oven and reheat. And boy, does it deliver.

We tried the tandoori box deal, which includes a mammoth 3–4kg of marinated meats and eight naans, all ready to cook in the oven or – even better – on the BBQ. It’s a feast  of the senses as Atkar does something truly special with spices. Each dish is delicious and has a satisfying depth of flavour and is distinctly different from the next. How it looks, it is nothing short of a feast for the eyes, too. 

It was even a feast in terms of the generosity that was delivered, the box is intended to feed six but it could have easily fed eight – and we’re big eaters. Last, but certainly not least, the fluffy, flavoursome naans alone would be worth ordering the box for.

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St Eval sea salt candle, small

St Eval sea salt candle, small.jpg
  • Best: Candle

One of our favourite candle makers at the moment is from the north Cornish company, St Eval, taking its name after the small town it’s located in. Made on a farm, sustainability is at the heart of the company - and it’s a B-Corp company, too. It’s plastic free, is close to being carbon neutral, and constantly reduces its current carbon footprint as the farm produces its own energy using wind, solar, and biomass.

Our favourite is the sea salt scent, which we’ve got and have bought numerous as presents since, so we’re sure your sis will love it, too. Plus, it’ll look lovely wherever she chooses to display it. It reminds us of long summer days at the beach, and who doesn’t want to be reminded of that, especially as shorter and darker nights begin to set in.

You can buy candles in tins, or in little ceramic pots, which we love, and can be reused as storage pots for cotton buds or something else similarly sized. Table candle sticks also come in recyclable cardboard packaging, too.

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Antler Stamford medium suitcase in khaki

Antler Stamford medium suitcase in khaki.jpg
  • Best: 30th birthday present

If your sis is planning a getaway for her birthday, she will love wheeling a fresh suitcase through the airport. Antler has been a British stalwart in the luggage game for many years, renowned for its high quality suitcases. It’s now closing in on the style ranks with its new Stamford range that features an on-trend minimalist design that many of its competitors also adopt.

First, the technicalities. This is the brand’s quietest suitcase yet thanks to its 360-degree rotating wheels that have a muted tread, designed by no other than Japanese powerhouse Mitsubishi. We can confirm it lives up to this claim - we noticed a significant difference in noise when we upgraded to this model from our 10-year-old Antler case. It glides effortlessly with next-to-no noise on smooth surfaces.

The hardshell is lightweight, yet sturdy to take any bashes when being handled, and we loved the ultra-cool matte finish of our khaki green case. There are plenty of clever compartments inside of varying sizes, alongside adjustable internal straps to protect your belongings and a removable packing divider. We appreciated the extender zips too, making this medium sized case the perfect size for a week-long trip.

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Whistles Payton ruched top handle bag

Whistles handbag.jpg
  • Best: Handbag

Everyone loves a good handbag, and this one has fast become one of our favourites recently, so we’re sure your sister will adore it too.

Little bags are well and truly back, and we love this simple suede design bag, which complete with its leather ruched handle makes it contemporary, but with a classic feel to it. It features a magnetic popper fastening at the front, so it’s easy to open – no fumbling or fussy zips or ties here, thank you. Inside, it’s spacious enough for the essentials: phone (yes it does fit a large phone, just!), cardholder, keys and other little bits and bobs.

Unfortunately the Whistle bag is out of stock at the moment, but make sure to check back with us for any updates.

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The verdict: Gifts for sisters

We know its a subjective list, and the art of buying the perfect gift is a hard one, but we always keep in mind that a great gift is something the giftee loves, but won’t usually buy for themselves. Our favourite is the Ganni scrunchie - well-priced, but with a designer edge, it’s bound to add pizazz to any outfit.

For a thoughtful, yet affordable gift, we love the Mutha Hood T-shirt. For the bag lover, she will adore the Whistles goes-with-everything handbag, while the Addison Ross tray is a beautiful homeware piece perfect for a wedding gift.

Look to our round-up of the best gifts for spoiling your BFF for bespoke presents, jewellery and more

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