Holiday Central

Problem solved: What to buy her this holiday

Problem solved: What to buy her this holiday

Shoppers are ready to spend this holiday — but the question is, on what?

With the National Retail Federation projecting a 3.6 percent increase in holiday sales, several popular brands and categories are well-positioned to benefit from the anticipated boost.

After years of playing second fiddle to Nike, Adidas' casual aesthetic is gaining steam among American shoppers, making it an on-trend gift this season.

Household goods should be another hit as consumers continue to invest in their homes — and spend more time in their own kitchens.

And as always, fresh takes on beauty and apparel items are sure to be left under many Christmas trees.

For more inspiration, CNBC has compiled a list of gift ideas at every budget.

We have included links to buy the products we are highlighting. In some cases, if you purchase an item from our link, we will collect a small percentage of the sale. This has no impact on editorial decisions about what we are recommending. Proceeds from these sales will be donated to the Council for Economic Education, which supports economic and financial education.

High-tech fashion

Source: Michael Kors

Smart technology gets a high-fashion makeover with this rose gold watch from Michael Kors. Already known for its traditional timepieces, Kors launched its high-tech take on the item in September.

Compatible with the iPhone and Android, the watch comes with custom faces and interchangeable straps. The design house also launched a line of activity trackers that start at $95.

On-trend lingerie

Price: $20

Source: Victoria's Secret

Whether they're worn under a traditional top or being shown off through a sheer blouse, bralettes are playing a larger role in young women's wardrobes.

Retailers including American Eagle and Victoria's Secret (whose Long Line Bralette is seen here) have called out the popularity of the item, which provides a lower-cost, more comfortable take on the traditional bra.

Athleisure 2.0

Source: Adidas

The next wave of athleisure has hit the U.S., and Adidas has been one of the biggest beneficiaries.

As consumers spend more of their budgets on athletic-inspired apparel that isn't actually meant for the gym, the brand's Stan Smith sneaker has become one of its most popular styles.

The shoe helped boost the Adidas brand's revenue 25 percent (excluding currency fluctuations) in the second quarter.

Uniquely beautiful

Price: $36

Source: Yves Saint Laurent

Beauty is always a popular gift for the holidays, but it's even more on-trend this Christmas.

Just take a look at Ulta's latest results. As consumers shift more of their spending toward cosmetics, the retailer's same-store sales jumped 14 percent in the fiscal second quarter. Companies including J.C. Penney are likewise beefing up their beauty assortment to try to capitalize on the trend.

To make the category feel more personal, YSL recently launched complimentary engraving on all of its beauty products, including this lipstain.

Making the kitchen her own

Price: Start at $35

Source: Bryan Holmes

As food deflation makes it cheaper to cook at home, these customizable cutting boards will add a personal touch to her kitchen.

Available in a variety of cityscapes from Etsy's PegasusParchments store, shoppers can include a significant date on their orders, making them a perfect gift for newlyweds celebrating their first Christmas together.

Turn her into the artist

Source: CanvasPop

Home decor has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of higher residential real estate values, which encourage consumers to invest in their houses.

Make her living space even more unique by sending her favorite photo to CanvasPop, which can turn an image snapped on a smartphone into a piece of art.

Power suiting

Price: Varies

Source: MM.LaFleur

For the powerwoman in your life, help her dress the part. MM.LaFleur caters to professional women who want to invest in quality pieces for their business wardrobes.

The company is best known for its signature Bento Box, which includes a handful of garments and accessories chosen to fit her body and personal style. It's crafted from the results of a personal style quiz available on its website.

Though apparel pieces can run as high as $325, she only pays for what she wants to keep. And best of all, it's not a subscription service — so you're not putting her on the hook for recurring payments.

If you're not so sure about her style or sizing, the company recommends giving a gift card that she can put toward a Bento Box.

Luxury jewels

Price: $3,200 to $3,300 (varies by size)

Source: David Yurman

Jewelry is another perennial favorite for the stumped gift buyer. David Yurman's 18-karat yellow gold bracelet with gold beads and pave diamonds is perfect for big spenders who want to give a more subtle, yet beautiful, take on luxury.

If you're on a tighter budget, consider heading to Tradesy, a second-hand fashion site for luxury brands. David Yurman has been one of the site's most popular brands so far this holiday season.

Chic but cheap

Price: $16

Source: Francesca's

If you can't swing the four-digit price tag, Francesca's boutiques carry these stylish earrings for a fraction of the cost. Though it has stores nationwide, Francesca's small shops pride themselves on unique merchandise produced in limited quantities — so you'd better act fast.

Style on a budget

Price: $69

Source: Kohl's

Thanks to its fashion tie-ups, Kohl's is another place budget-conscious shoppers can turn to for style at a lower price.

The department store expanded its partnership with designer Vera Wang ahead of the holidays, including this black floral clutch.

Wear-now craze

Price: $495

Source: Tommy Hilfiger

Designers including Tommy Hilfiger democratized New York Fashion Week this season by making some of its runway styles immediately available for purchase.

That includes this peacoat, which was part of Hilfiger's collaboration with model and brand ambassador Gigi Hadid.