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Regifting is gauche if you don't know the showbiz rules

Regifting is hardly a new trend. Legend has it that Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons refused monogrammed gifts for one important reason: she couldn’t recycle them. And with all the swag in circulation these days, retreading wares is more popular than ever. A recent survey found that 52% of people have regifted or would do so in the future.

Is it acceptable? According to the Emily Post Institute, you can regift only if the item is brand new and you are certain that the recipient will enjoy it. Meaning, you don’t re-bestow a bottle of Wild Turkey on a teetotaler.

But in a city that operates like a gossipy hamlet, you should also be mindful of the fragile gift ecosystem. “I know an actress who has a closet full of gifts that are labeled with who gave each one to her,” says Diane Lerner of Star Treatment, a high-end personal shopping outfit. “She regifts very carefully.”

Another smart tip is to repackage the gift thoughtfully.

“I hate when you get a gift with no label in a generic box with no bow,” says one studio exec. “I don’t mind getting a recycled gift, but you should put a little effort into making it look like you didn’t pull it from the trunk of your car.”

One last rule? Never regift at public events, like holiday parties, baby showers, birthdays and bar mitzvahs — especially in Hollywood. After all, you never know who might be on hand when the guest of honor opens the presents.