‘Queer Eye’ Star Tan France on His Go-To Holiday Gifts, from Fashion to Tech – Hollywood Reporter

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The Emmy-winning style expert reveals how to do gift cards right, one of the best presents he’s received, what he’s getting his fellow Fab Five members and more.
By Danielle Directo-Meston
E-Commerce Writer
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As Queer Eye’s resident style expert, it’s no wonder that Tan France becomes a fashion consultant during the holidays.
“I get asked about gifts every year,” the 39-year-old Was Him designer tells The Hollywood Reporter. That’s why he’s teaming again with Klarna, the global retail platform that allows shoppers to split their purchases into interest-free payments, receive price drop alerts, find top-rated gifts, track pricing history for products and more.

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Partnering with the company “made sense. I love what they do and what they offer, and it’s easy to navigate the platform,” he says. To simplify gift shopping, Tan curated his top picks for every type of recipient into a holiday gift list, which ranges from a $30 beauty stocking stuffer to a luxe Balenciaga bag.

A post shared by T A N . F R A N C E (@tanfrance)

Naturally, we had to pick France’s brain for more expert-approved ideas for even the most hard-to-shop-for recipients. The stylish Emmy-winning Fab Five member (and bonafide Lego icon) caught up with THR to answer our burning gifting questions, from whether gift cards can be done right to the best present he’s received recently.
Thoughts on gift cards: Yay or nay?
You know, if it’s fashion-based, [a gift card] is truly what I recommend. Many will disagree and many will say it’s impersonal. Let’s say for example your favorite store was J. Crew. Even if I was a good friend or family member, I don’t exactly always like what you like from there. But if I know you really like one store in particular, I would get it as a gift card. I know you well enough to get that, but I want you to have the freedom to choose what you get. Or you might end up returning. I want you to love the thing you get. I think it’s the most respectful way to do gift cards.
I know many people ask for experiences instead of tangible gifts. Do you prefer to do that during the holidays?
Here’s the thing: in my opinion, even my husband —who I’ve been with for 14 and half years — I don’t know exactly what he’s going to like. I think experiences are great in certain situations. When it comes to the holiday, I like a gift. I want something to unwrap, and that’s what everyone expects.

It’s other experiences — a birthday, Valentine’s, an anniversary — I do not care for gifts on those points. I don’t need my husband to buy me anything. Take me somewhere — let’s go get brunch at my favorite restaurant, or go to a theme park. But when it comes to the holidays, it’s not necessarily because I’m really into Christmas — I love a stocking — it’s a really jolly holiday, and there’s something about opening a gift.
What does your holiday season look like this year?
I consider from Thanksgiving to New Years the holidays. For Thanksgiving, I cooked everything for everyone! I’ve been doing that for 13 years for everyone, so we’ll have a feast. There’s usually 7 or 8, or 12 or 13 of us. Then we do basically the same thing on New Years, but I just change up the baked items.
We heard your holiday decor goes up well before December.
I’m very much Muslim, but every year we change up the colors on the Christmas tree slightly. Last year was red and gold, the year before was turquoise.

A post shared by T A N . F R A N C E (@tanfrance)

You recently became a parent! Are you and your husband celebrating the holidays differently now that you have your son?
Not yet because he’s so young. He’ll be one and a half, so he won’t really know. We do read to him every night. When people as what they can get for him, we always say a book. He loves a good book.
What’s his favorite book right now?
This is so obvious, but it’s Goodnight Moon. He scratches at it; he loves “catching” at the mice!

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown; $15 at Amazon
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We love everything you curated for your Klarna gift guide. What are you hoping to unwrap this year?
Actually, on my Klarna gift guide there’s one thing that’s actually on there for me. I included it on purpose. I always buy myself a gift — I like things! Mine is this Balenciaga bag. If it wasn’t that, it would be a different bag, like a little Jacquemus bag. I’ve got really fidgety hands so I already need to hold things!
How about tech gifts? Do you have a foolproof go-to?
My family is very tech-y, but I can barely figure out how to use my laptop. My failsafe is one of those little consoles, the Nintendo Switch. I have no idea what it is or how it works, I just know that the kids are obsessed with them.
Nintendo Switch Joy-Con OLED White
Nintendo Switch OLED Console with White Joy-Con; $350, GameStop
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Let’s talk festive fashion! What are your style recommendations? Are sequins and sparkles overdone for the holidays?
This may possibly surprise you, but I really enjoy the tradition of sparkles. I do! I say lean in, during the holidays you don’t want to be that curmudgeon who says, “I’m going to wear a T-shirt and jeans.” Everyone knows what it is: it’s campy, it’s playful, it’s meant to be a lark. Wear that velvet, wear that lurex. Wear those sparkles. Glam it up!
Is that the approach you take with fashion?
I rarely am, [except] when I’m on TV or I’m on a carpet. I’m actually quite simple in my regular life. I’m a regular Christmas sweater wearer.

Speaking of fashion, we love your luxury gift picks. For those without the budget to gift Gucci, do you have recommendations for fashion stocking stuffers or accessories?
As far as fashion accessories, I always like a jewelry moment for a friend. You don’t need to go big on a bag or shoes. If you can and you know them well, but you want to keep it simple and delicate and unexpected for a friend, I think jewelry is a lovely to give. It can be costume [jewelry], something not expensive and unique. For instance, this ring [I’m wearing] is $15, I found it on a street vendor in New York. 
What’s been the best gift that you’ve been given recently?
Easy, Antoni Porowski gave me arguably the most thoughtful gift. It was a necklace for when my son was born. He had engraved in it his initials and the day he was born, and I wear it so often and almost every public appearance.
Related: The Best Personalized Gifts for Everyone On Your List
Keep reading below for France’s holiday gift guide for Klarna.
“My Queer Eye co-host JVN loves a food delivery service and orders more exciting baked goods than any other friend, and they’re usually exactly what I want too! I know he would love this [Goldbelly gift card] more than any other gift I could give him.”
Goldbelly E-Gift Card
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“My husband Rob has amazing hair but getting it to look so good takes work and a lot of heat, which could mean damage. One of my personal favorites is this heat styling spray from Oribe that I know he would also love.”
MORE BUYING OPTIONS: Oribe | Amazon | Bloomingdale’s | Nordstrom | Sephora
Orbie Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray
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“My brother-in-law practically lives to camp and has managed to come up with some great camping food recipes over the years. I think he’d appreciate this portable gas grill so he can get to cooking a little quicker than he’s previously been able to with building a fire.”
MORE BUYING OPTIONS: Ace Hardware | Amazon | Home Depot | REI | Walmart | Wayfair
Weber Q1200 Gas Grill
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“This is the perfect gift for my best friend. She loves a great pair of shades but hasn’t treated herself to new ones in a short while, so I would love to give her something stylish that can be worn with any look.”
MORE BUYING OPTIONS: Sunglass Hut | Gucci
Gucci Sunglasses
Sunglass Hut
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Benefit’s three-piece Big Brow Love set is “perfect for anyone who loves beauty and makeup. My sister has always wanted thicker brows and buys multiple items to achieve that fuller look. I just know that she’ll love a single set that makes getting glammed up that much easier.”
MORE BUYING OPTIONS: Benefit | Revolve | Walmart
Benefit Cosmetics Big Brow Love Pencil and Gel Set
Benefit Cosmetics
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“My nanny loves to travel, and I know just how important it is to feel chic when on the road, so I think she’ll really love this high-quality luggage that will last her years.”
Tumi International Carry-On Silver
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“Shopping for family can be hard. My brother loves the boots I wear that give a little height, without being uncomfortable. These boots are exactly my style and I think anyone who loves men’s fashion will definitely appreciate receiving these chic boots as a gift.”
Ferragamo Ankle Boots
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“My friend Beanie is getting married next spring and her dress is stunning. I know she doesn’t have a bag for the big day yet, as I’ve been a part of every detail of her look, and I think this bold bag will be the perfect accessory for her.”
Vanina Les Gouttelettes Bag
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“My Queer Eye co-host Ant is in the best shape and works out more than I would ever care to. So, for those rainy days in New York, I want to spare him the trip to the gym with an at-home workout.”
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Freebeat Lit Bike
“You think I don’t buy myself holiday gifts? I love a little handbag and have created quite the gorgeous collection. This one [from Balenciaga] will sit beautifully next to my others.”
Balenciaga Hourglass Small Handbag Box
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