It’s that time of year again! To launch our Gift Guides 2010 series, we thought we’d start small, with the type of accessories that almost everyone needs but people sometimes forget when looking for fashionable presents: Tech Toys. We have cute cases for every gadget in your collection, plus a couple other things that might come in handy (or just look really cool). Whether you’re giving this stuff to your friends, your family or yourself, everyone is sure to find something they like where fashion meets function in the most literal sense.
I’m betting that most of us are used to using tiny earbuds for our iPods and various other noise-emitting devices, but retro earphones are starting to gain in popularity. There’s good reason for the trend – if you’re traveling or trying to listen in some other noisy, crowded area, you can’t beat over-ear headphones for complete sound submersion unless you want to get into the pricy world of noise-canceling earbuds. A colorful, relatively inexpensive set of the Zumreed Border Headphones looks like an accessory but acts like a subway rider’s best friend. If green isn’t your thing, Zumreed makes a variety of colors and styles. Buy through Amazon for $44.59.
I’m waiting until the second generation of the iPad comes out to add one to my tech arsenal, but if you already have one or know someone who does that needs a fun case that will actually protect their tablet while in use, check out the DANNIJO Reid iPad Case. This case functions similarly to the iPhone cases with which we’re all familiar and provides a hard shell in case the iPad slips off your lap or out of your butterfingers. It’s a bit pricy, but compared to the DANNIJO jewelry over which I lust almost daily, the case is kind of a steal. Buy through ShopBop for $150.
You might think that neoprene laptop cases are a dime a dozen, but the upside of their ubiquity is that designers have more or less decided to price theirs similarly to non-designer manufacturers. When I bought my Built NYC case a few years ago, it cost basically as much as the Marc by Marc Jacobs Jumble Neoprene Laptop Case. Only it’s black instead of bright, cheery blue. For the same price, this totally functional accessory would be a definite upgrade. And if you prefer, the case also comes in a version that would fit an iPad or Kindle. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $50.
Speaking of the Kindle, if you prefer a case tailor-made for your Amazon device and loved the Kate Spade book clutches we featured in September, you’re in luck: the Kate Spade Great Expectations Kindle Cover is the best of both worlds. The case also comes in several other titles. Buy through Amazon for $85.
Ok, ok, so The Complete New Yorker is not a strictly fashion-related gift, but if there’s anything more stylish than being well-read and erudite, I don’t know what it is. The collection includes all the issues of the New Yorker from February 1925 to April 2008, all packaged onto a convenient hard drive with room for updates. Buy through the New Yorker Store for $179.
You didn’t think we’d forget to include an iPhone case, did you? The iPhone is probably where tech accessories went from lots of black rubber and nylon to a chic style expression, and Apple’s marquee mobile product still provides the best and most varied opportunity to express your personal style through gadgets and their trappings. The Case-Mate Tough iPhone 4 Case is just one of many fun, colorful cases out there for your perusal, but the tones and pattern of those one in particular tickled my fancy. It’s also available for iPhone 3G. Buy through Nordstrom for $38.