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55 Best Gifts for Teens 2021 — Gifts Ideas for Teens – Reader's Digest

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Gifts For TeensGifts For Teensrd.com, via retailers (4)
Teenagers are notoriously hard to shop for. Sure, you might be a master of buying gifts for toddlers, gifts for tween girls, and gifts for tween boys, but gifts for teens pose a totally different challenge. Teenagers are connoisseurs of the cool, and as an adult it’s easy to feel out of touch.
If you’re hunting for the perfect gifts for kids in their teens, you’re in luck. We searched high and low—and consulted picky teenagers—to uncover the most-wanted presents for birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, and everything in between. The budget starts at ten bucks and climbs (you didn’t think Converse platform sneakers would come cheap, did you?).
This guide to the best gifts for teens includes a mix of the new, the edgy, the yummy, the original, and the totally comforting. Whether you’re shopping for gifts for boys, gifts for girls, or unisex Christmas toys, you’ll find something for every teen here.
Giant Moon Over The Ocean Yeti Rambler Tumbler DecalGiant Moon Over The Ocean Yeti Rambler Tumbler Decalvia walmart.com
Best for: Environmentally conscious teens
If your teens tote a giant Yeti tumbler wherever they go (a great way to cut down on waste from plastic water bottles), they’ll appreciate this vinyl decal. It’s the perfect gift for coffee lovers. They can stick one on their cup when the mood strikes. It’s a Skin makes skins for other products, too, including Hydro Flasks, smartphones, laptops, and more.
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Converse Canvas Platform Chuck Taylor All Star SneakersConverse Canvas Platform Chuck Taylor All Star Sneakersvia converse.com
Best for: Traditionalists who love a trendy twist
The classic Chuck Taylor gets some height, which gives jeans an edgier look. This hot seller will give your kid street cred and school style. These kicks are a great gift for a girlfriend too.
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Dylan's Candy Bar Bash CakeDylan's Candy Bar Bash Cakevia dylanscandybar.com
Best for: Chocoholics
Childhood piñatas have nothing on this chocolate treat. It holds eight ounces of mini milk-chocolate-covered pretzels and comes with a little mallet to break up the treasure. It’s also a fun best friend gift.
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Kodak Luma 150 Ultra Mini Pocket Pico ProjectorKodak Luma 150 Ultra Mini Pocket Pico Projectorvia amazon.com
Best for: Screen junkies
Give your Netflix bingers something to really stare at with this mini projector, which connects to an Apple or Android phone. It features a built-in, rechargeable battery and speaker. Bonus: It’s compatible with most devices and gaming consoles. Looking for gifts for a brother instead? This is just the thing to have him calling you the best sibling ever.
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Beats By Dr. Dre Solo Pro Wireless Noise Cancelling HeadphonesBeats By Dr. Dre Solo Pro Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphonesvia bestbuy.com
Best for: The teen who keeps asking for privacy
Teens retreat when they can, and these tune out the world. This tech gift comes in three colors and offers the option of listening without noise cancelling.
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Domino's Pizza Gift CardDomino's Pizza Gift Cardvia amazon.com
Best for: The teen who’s always hungry
Sometimes the smartest gifts for teens are those that let teens gift themselves. If you have big eaters on your hands, give them a card that’ll let them order their faves whenever they want. It’s fairly inexpensive—the perfect secret Santa gift idea.
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Rowan Female Symbol StudsRowan Female Symbol Studsvia heyrowan.com
Best for: The feminist
Go for an understated sort of girl power with these earrings. Rowan’s hypoallergenic posts may be small, but they make a big statement. They make great gifts for sister-in-laws who are proud of their femininity.
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Jbl Waterproof Portable Bluetooth SpeakerJbl Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speakervia amazon.com
Best for: Shower singers
This portable, clip-on speaker is one of the best gifts for teens who like to belt it out in the shower. It also amps up music playlists on road trips, at parties, or at the pool or beach. It’s the sort of white elephant gift anyone would love, and so will your teen.
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Squishmallow Plush Anya The Caticorn MermaidSquishmallow Plush Anya The Caticorn Mermaidvia amazon.com
Best for: The teen who refuses to give up stuffed animals
Teenagers are still softies, and they need a good cuddle from time to time. If you know a teen who’s still into stuffed animals, this is an adorable pick. It doubles as a fantastic cat lover gift!
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Lovful Tie Dye SocksLovful Tie Dye Socksvia amazon.com
Best for: Young hippies
The teen years are for tie-dye. These socks—sold in a pack of five—go with sneakers or boots. They’re fun gifts for a sister too.
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Hp Sprocket Select Portable Instant Photo PrinterHp Sprocket Select Portable Instant Photo Printervia amazon.com
Best for: Photographers
On the hunt for gifts for teens who photograph every moment of their lives? This compact printer spews out 2.3-by-3.4-inch pictures on sticky-backed paper—right from an Apple or Android device. This small gift will have a huge following.
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Pura Vida Bitty Opal ChokerPura Vida Bitty Opal Chokervia puravidabracelets.com
Best for: Socially conscious fashionistas
This dainty brass necklace features rose gold plating and a small opal. When it comes to gifts that give back, this is a top option. Founded in Costa Rica, Pura Vida provides jobs for artisans worldwide and protects the environment. Plus, products are packaged in biodegradable bags.
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Brunette The Label Best Friend Crew Neck SweatshirtBrunette The Label Best Friend Crew Neck Sweatshirtvia brunettethelabel.com
Best for: Casual dressers
The drop-shoulder sweatshirt in the French vanilla shade is universally flattering. The company’s mission—to uplift others—is one your teen will get behind.
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Bluma Project Alys BraceletBluma Project Alys Braceletvia blumaproject.com
Best for: The accessory lover with a conscience
Hand-beaded by artisans in Guatemala, this bracelet extends to fit from teen to adult years (making it a great gift for Grandma as well). Based in Brooklyn, the Bluma Project honors age-old crafting traditions.
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Shein Soft Solid Flannel Lounge SetShein Soft Solid Flannel Lounge Setvia shein.com
Best for: Trendsetters
Gifts for teens don’t have to cost a ton to be trendy. Shein has the latest trends for less, so you can stick to a strict budget. This thick crop tank with pants is a clean retreat after a stressful day.
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Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Semi Permanent Hair DyeLime Crime Unicorn Hair Semi Permanent Hair Dyevia amazon.com
Best for: The young and the restless—and experimental
Teens want to express themselves, and this temporary hair dye will help them express their identity without committing to a permanent change. This bleach-free, vegan, and cruelty-free dye is available in 19 shades. In the market for a gifts for your wife as well? This hair dye is a surprising and fun pick.
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Meloway Your Way MascaraMeloway Your Way Mascaravia urbanoutfitters.com
Best for: Makeup mavens
This volumizing vegan mascara is made with all-the-rage argan oil and comes in young colors: Cherry Cola (deep burgundy) and Mint Crème (bright mint green). It’s teen tested and approved.
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Sterling Forever When Stars Align Constellation NecklaceSterling Forever When Stars Align Constellation Necklacevia sterlingforever.com
Best for: Astrology followers
Astrology gifts are always a win. The adjustable (16- to 18-inch) zodiac necklace is available in gold- or silver-plated brass, each with cubic zirconia stones representing your teen’s zodiac sign. An added bonus: It comes with a lifetime guarantee.
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Aviator Nation Stripe SweatpantsAviator Nation Stripe Sweatpantsvia nordstrom.com
Best for: Retro fans
They may look vintage, but these sweats come from a new, 1970s-inspired, California-made brand with a cool vibe and flagship stores in places like Malibu and San Francisco. They’re not overly bold, but the stripes make a statement.
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Bobbi Brown Extra Lip TintBobbi Brown Extra Lip Tintvia sephora.com
Best for: Beauty addicts
This just-bitten pink stain was formulated to look good on every skin tone. It’s lightweight and sheer—just enough and never too much. It’s a luxe stocking stuffer for women of all ages.
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milk bar compost cookiesmilk bar compost cookiesvia walmart.com
Best for: The teen with a sweet tooth
Meet the cult classic Milk Bar cookie that helped make the New York City bakery famous. If your teen can’t get to a Milk Bar bakery (they’re in a handful of major cities), bring this case of eight packs to your teen.
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Alex And Ani Rose Gold Paw Prints Of Love Gemstone Charm Bangle BraceletAlex And Ani Rose Gold Paw Prints Of Love Gemstone Charm Bangle Braceletvia walmart.com
Best for: Dog and cat owners
Iconic brand Alex and Ani have created a bangle that looks both carefree and stylish. If you’re shopping gifts for dog lovers, this one can’t be beat.
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Axe Phoenix Holiday Gift SetAxe Phoenix Holiday Gift Setvia walmart.com
Best for: Boys with a certain eau de teenager
Say what you will about Axe body spray, but it does a good job covering teen boys’ smells, especially after a sweaty sports game. The four-piece set includes body wash, shampoo, and two body sprays.
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Oreo Limited Edition Nba Dynasty Sandwich CookiesOreo Limited Edition Nba Dynasty Sandwich Cookiesvia walmart.com
Best for: Basketball fans
Celebrate hoop legends with these cookies, stamped with the logo of one of six teams. (Designs vary per pack.) It’s a cute stocking stuffer for teens who live for the game.
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Native Youth Plus Panda Party PantsNative Youth Plus Panda Party Pantsvia asos.com
Best for: Plus-sized fashionistas
With a fashion-forward cut and playful print, these pants are perfect for teens who want to dress up without looking stodgy. And they’re a serious find for plus-sized girls. Native Youth, a sustainable fashion company based in Manchester, England, is totally on the pulse with these high-waisted, wide-legged pants.
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Lululemon Cool Racerback Short Tank TopLululemon Cool Racerback Short Tank Topvia lululemon.com
Best for: Yogis
Sold in 18 different colors so you can find the one that best fits your teen’s aesthetic, this racerback tank is a great gift for the yoga enthusiast or athlete in your house. Buy multiples and give one as a gift for Mom.
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vineyard vines whale logo long sleeve harbor performance teevineyard vines whale logo long sleeve harbor performance teevia vineyardvines.com
Best for: The outdoorsman
This long-sleeved shirt isn’t just comfy—though it is comfy, thanks to prewashing that makes it feel worn in. It’s also a UPF 30+ sun blocker. It’s a great gift for teens who hike, bike, or otherwise spend time outdoors.
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Kitchenaid Cordless Hand MixerKitchenaid Cordless Hand Mixervia bedbathandbeyond.com
Best for: Bakers in the making
This small but strong model can easily whip fresh cream to top hot cocoa, beat meringue for snowy Baked Alaska (a festive dessert kids love), and handle most any cake batter. The product’s claim to fame: It can make 200 cookies on a 10-hour charge. You might be tempted to give this as a hostess gift, but grab the youthful Blue Velvet shade for your favorite teen baker in training.
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Drybar The Baby Brush Crush Mini Heated Straightening BrushDrybar The Baby Brush Crush Mini Heated Straightening Brushvia target.com
Best for: Teens with bangs and short hair
This sunny yellow tool is a straightening iron and paddle brush in one. It helps reduce frizz and makes hair look smoother and shinier.
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Oakley Gascan Cobalt Frame Polarized SunglassesOakley Gascan Cobalt Frame Polarized Sunglassesvia walmart.com
Best for: Young Tom Cruise types
Who is the cool kid without a pair of killer shades? These offer a black frame with black lenses. They make good gifts for husbands too.
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Lapac Green Leaf Laptop Sleeve BagLapac Green Leaf Laptop Sleeve Bagvia amazon.com
Best for: Students who commute with their laptops
Neoprene (used to make surfers’ wet suits) is the very best for protecting expensive laptops. While this sleeve comes in more than 20 designs, we love this soothing leaf pattern. (The honeycomb design is another favorite.)
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The Mindfulness Journal For TeensThe Mindfulness Journal For Teensvia amazon.com
Best for: Teens with anxiety
With breathing exercises, writing prompts, and simple meditations, this journal helps teens manage stress and stay in the moment. Know a teen who needs to relax and reduce anxiety? This is the gift for her or him.
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Vans Unisex Slip On Core ClassicsVans Unisex Slip On Core Classicsvia amazon.com
Best for: The sk8er boi and girl
The skater shoe is an icon now. This classic style comes in a variety of colors, so you can choose whichever best fits your teen.
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Adidas Ultraboost 4.0 Dna ShoesAdidas Ultraboost 4.0 Dna Shoesvia adidas.com
Best for: Runners
Remember how it felt to lace up and fly down the street? This is the best new footwear for that goal. Adidas makes a version of the shoe for men and women, making this a suitable gift for a boyfriend, girlfriend, and of course, the teen in your life.
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Hollister Oversized HoodieHollister Oversized Hoodievia hollisterco.com
Best for: Guys who live in sweats
The hoodie from teen-favorite brand Hollister is a super-soft option for days when sweats reign. It comes in a range of colors.
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A La Mode Ice Cream Kid At Heart BundleA La Mode Ice Cream Kid At Heart Bundlevia goldbelly.com
Best for: Nut-free kids who dig ice cream
The ice cream paradise on Manhattan’s Upper East Side may be out of reach for most teens, but thankfully, there’s online ordering. The flavors are divine, and teens with nut allergies will rejoice: The ice cream is nut free. We like the Kid at Heart bundle, which includes pints, cups, and bars. Side note: This is also a stellar gift for father-in-laws or anyone else whose idea of a perfect present is food.
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Spotify Gift CardSpotify Gift Cardvia amazon.com
Best for: Wannabe rock stars
Spotify is like having access to the biggest record store in the world. Give your music-loving teen access to a year’s worth of Spotify Premium (read: no ads) with this gift card.
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Tulip One Step Tie Dye KitTulip One Step Tie Dye Kitvia michaels.com
Best for: Crafty teens
If your teen has been feeling particularly groovy (or crafty) this year, a tie-dye kit is a great stocking stuffer idea. This one includes purple, fuchsia, turquoise, lime, and yellow dyes—though other colors are available—that are permanent and color-fast, so they won’t fade in the wash. It comes with protective gloves, 40 rubber bands, and an instruction guide.
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National Audubon Society Gift MembershipNational Audubon Society Gift Membershipvia act.audubon.org
Best for: Nature lovers
A walk outdoors, long or short, stops life’s constant clock, lifts the spirit, and clears the mind. This gift holds the promise of exploring peaceful trails solo or with family. Twenty-three state programs, 41 centers, more than 450 local chapters, and tons of hikes and events offer your teen a chance to see turtles, foxes, muskrats, bunnies, frogs, ocean life, and, naturally, birds.
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Popcornopolis Gourmet Popcorn Snacks Variety PackPopcornopolis Gourmet Popcorn Snacks Variety Packvia amazon.com
Best for: Board gamers
Set up the Monopoly board and bring on the gourmet popcorn. This is a snack fit for fans of classic board games. The snack pack Includes 12 kinds of popcorn, including flavors like cheddar cheese, caramel, and kettle corn.
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Noodle And Boo Lavender Essential Gift SetNoodle And Boo Lavender Essential Gift Setvia target.com
Best for: Beauty queens
It’s no secret that teen girls have long loved using baby products to pamper their skin and leave it smelling fresh. This brand is a fave with celebs and will gently moisturize with a soft scent.
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Havaianas Disney Slim villains flip flopsHavaianas Disney Slim villains flip flopsvia havaianas.com
Best for: Beach-bound Disney fans
Anyone who has ever worn this brand knows its flip-flops are springy, comfortable, and flattering to the feet. This bold pair, featuring a princess and her nemesis, is one of the best Disney gifts around.
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Xqxa Laptop BackpackXqxa Laptop Backpackvia amazon.com
Best for: Hikers who love tech
Teens are always tethered to technology, which is why this multitasking backpack is such a great gift. It’s suitable for school—it has a laptop compartment and built-in USB port and headphone jack—but works well for hiking and travel too.
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Jars By Dani Fudge Brownie JarsJars By Dani Fudge Brownie Jarsvia goldbelly.com
Best for: Teens who like to treat themselves
Jars by Dani ships its Instagram-famous hand-layered cake jars nationwide. The brownie jars are filled with chocolate mousse, fudge brownie, whipped cream, chocolate chips, and sprinkles. Each jar serves one to two people and weighs about eight ounces. If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of gift-giver, consider these brownie jars your inspiration. They make great DIY Christmas gifts from the home baker.
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Ugg Fluff Yeah Genuine Shearling Slingback SandalUgg Fluff Yeah Genuine Shearling Slingback Sandalvia nordstrom.com
Best for: Creature comfort seekers
Uggs still rule, but these cushy slippers offer a modern update on the classic boot. They come in a rainbow of colors, including Ribbon Red, Charcoal, Chestnut, and Violet Night Marble. These will walk away fast, so snag ’em now.
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Subway Gift Card PackSubway Gift Card Packvia walmart.com
Best for: Kids with an appetite.
Hungry teens like Subway—the toasted bread, the custom veggie toppings, the grilled chicken, the special dressings… You’re on a roll when you give a teen this multipack.
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Unhide Marshmallow BlanketUnhide Marshmallow Blanketvia unhide.us
Best for: Comfort seekers
This super-soft, queen-size blanket is the deluxe new cuddle for chilly nights. Not only is it an eco-friendly gift—it’s made from 90 percent recycled materials—but each purchase of the faux fur Marshmallow helps the Humane Society with its mission to stop animal cruelty. Your teen probably won’t ask, but we’ll answer anyway: It’s machine washable.
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Birkenstock Mens Zermatt Shearling Clog SlippersBirkenstock Mens Zermatt Shearling Clog Slippersvia macys.com
Best for: Guys who crave coziness
Don’t be surprised to see your teen guy slipping out to the store or Starbucks in these—they’re just that comfortable and warm. All footwear should feel this good.
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Strap Its Bra With Metallic Shimmer StrapsStrap Its Bra With Metallic Shimmer Strapsvia strap-its.com
Best for: Bra-shinistas
If her bra straps are going to show (and let’s be honest: they will), they should be stylish. This perfect holiday accessory comes in a variety of styles and gives you the choice between two one-size-fits-all bras: regular or plus-sized. There’s an option with interchangeable straps if your teen likes to experiment.
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Smeg Dolce And Gabbana BlenderSmeg Dolce And Gabbana Blendervia williams-sonoma.com
Best for: The future chef
If you’ve got cash to spend and a teen with expensive taste, this is a strikingly beautiful kitchen appliance for a budding chef. It features a Sicilian design from the famous fashion designer. Can’t reason spending that much on a teenager? This is makes for a thoughtful gift for dads and moms who whip up a healthy shake every morning.
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Diptyque Eau Des Sens Hair MistDiptyque Eau Des Sens Hair Mistvia nordstrom.com
Best for: Beauty seekers
The holidays are the time to splurge on luxurious gifts for teens—the sort of items they wouldn’t (or couldn’t) buy for themselves. Since practically forever, teen girls have wanted their hair to smell delicious. This secret weapon, made by a legendary French brand, does the trick.
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The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Puffer JacketThe North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Puffer Jacketvia urbanoutfitters.com
Best for: Chilly teens looking to bundle up
The North Face brought back the classic 1996-version Nuptse jacket. It’s ultra warm, with a packable hood, water-repellent nylon, and down fill in a boxy silhouette. In the mood for more shopping? Browse these last-minute Christmas gifts.
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Farm Rio Striped Scarf Crocheted ShortsFarm Rio Striped Scarf Crocheted Shortsvia saksfifthavenue.com
Best for: Playful teens who think outside the box
Granny square crocheted ponchos from the ’70s are back. These crocheted shorts are a fun twist on the trend, with bold colors, a drawstring waist, and tassel pulls. They’re a great statement piece for sleep or summer wear.
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Smoko Pearl Boba Tea Limited Edition Plush SlidesSmoko Pearl Boba Tea Limited Edition Plush Slidesvia smokonow.com
Best for: The slumber party host
Ditch the gag gifts they’ll never use. Instead, focus on gifts for teens that earn laughs while filling a need—like these adorable and practical slippers. A pampering little luxury, these slippers are a big hit with teens. They run small, so half sizes should round up to the next size.
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Return To Tiffany Blue Double Heart Tag PendantReturn To Tiffany Blue Double Heart Tag Pendantvia tiffany.com
Best for: The jewelry collector
Nothing surprises quite like a Tiffany box. Any teen would love this pendant with two heart tags, one of which is the iconic Tiffany blue. The necklace is sterling silver, and the chain is 17.5 inches long.
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