We Islandistas’ become Maxxinistas’ to save money and stay in style.

Even though you might come here for the holidays, I would imagine packing gifts into your suitcase isn’t the way to go, so consider shopping once you get here. For one thing, Hawaii has the lowest sales tax in the nation (excluding those states that have no tax), and that can make a big difference, especially on high-end products.

Then combine that with T.J. Maxx’s everyday deep discounts – well, what more could you ask for, except maybe a free airline ticket over here? (See below). I attended a holiday gift buying preview presented by the company’s LA stylist, Alison Deyette, who outlined the hot gifts in fashion and décor.

  • Luggage. (And we want you to buy luggage, too, for your next trip to Hawaii!). Bright colors or a pattern will help alleviate any airport carousel frustration. Alison’s suggestion of taking a tape measure with you to the store, to help determine exact size, is important. When island hopping here, smaller planes are sticklers for luggage limitations. I thought my case was the correct size, but its wheels made it bigger than their size restriction, so I had to check it in. Every inch counts. She also suggests placing a plane ticket inside a luggage gift…Now that’s a great surprise to receive.
  • Surf and Stand Up Paddleboards. T.J. Maxx is carrying these here, and the manager stated they sell out as soon as they get them in due to the discounted price. But if that’s not for you, then the women’s selection of cover-ups and swim wear is expansive, all year long because it’s always beachwear season here. I was glad to see a selection of good quality women’s aloha wear that you could pick up to wear during your stay and summer back home.
  • Glamour wear is always in for the holidays. The Oahu store has the Runway section, which brings the shopper current offerings from high-end designers. The statement necklace is still in style, as are belts, which Alison says are the bases around which you pick the rest of your outfit. Embellished shoes and shirts are also continuing to be hot this year. And leather! Even here in Hawaii, garments with just a touch of it will allow you to stay cool while looking hot.
  • The holiday entertaining doesn’t have to be a big splurge. Christmas ornaments can act as take-home place cards. Hostess gifts can be for the bathroom, with candles or scent sticks, or for the home office, with a tablet stylus or glitzy case. Sparkly stemware can look like Christmas but also work for any time of the year, even if it’s red or green.

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