By Sally Shin, CNBC.com
Hot Gifts for Her
The Halloween costumes are packed away and stores are piping in the carols, it is a signal: Get ready for the busiest shopping season of the year.
Consumers plan to spend an average of $704.18 on gifts this year, down 2.1 percent from a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation's 2011 Holiday Consumer survey.
To make those dollars count, shoppers want to know they're buying the right gift.
"In 2009, it was all about personal, practical gifts, and last year consumers wanted to treat their loved ones to something special," said Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director at BIGresearch. "This year, it's a little bit of both."
According to the research, exactly half of the respondents picked accessories and apparel as their choice of gift for the holiday. Others chose electronics, jewelry, or personal-care items.
To make your shopping easier, here's a guide that offers up ideas that should suit you if you want to give something trendy or something practical, or a little of both.
See the full slideshow: Trendiest Gifts for Her
J. Crew Edit PurseTimeless Style
J. Crew Edie Purse Price: $238
J. Crew's Edie purse is a bag for women of all ages. Boxy bags are very popular, and this bag's vintage look was inspired by Grace Kelly's chic style. It has all the right touches to make it a necessity for women of any age, whether in her 20s or her 60s.
The poppy red is a festive color that suits the winter season, but the leopard print makes a statement of sophisticated style.
Celine Clutch PouchBoardroom Beauty
Celine Clutch Pouch Price: $395
The 21st century women wants to look like the Renaissance man, and fashion is just one part of it. So why not give her a gift that fits her stature, but still has a feminine touch.
While the Celine Luggage tote was the "it" bag last season, these colorful but simple pouches have been seen making a statement in the workplace.
Yves Saint Laurent Y-Mail iPad SleeveGussied Up Gadgets
Yves Saint Laurent Y-Mail iPad Sleeve
Although electronics sales are expected to see growth of barely 1 percent this holiday season, accessories will be very popular, according to retail consultants Customer Growth Partners.
Since iPads are the iPods of a decade ago, why not dress up the tech gadgets that she already owns?
Nearly every designer has jumped on the iPad cover bandwagon. Designers from Chanel to Diane von Furstenberg to Tod's have all rolled out slick covers for your handy gadget.
The Yves Saint Laurent is one that is subtle and classic, but still stylish.
Eddie Ballet Flat by Tory Burch Step Out In Style
Eddie Ballet Flat by Tory Burch Price: $149 to $178, depending on materials.
Tory Burch came out with iconic logo-flats couple years ago. The shoes were an instant success, blending style, color, and comfort. This season, the company is out with a new touch, revealing a more sophisticated look with colors to compliment what is in style this season. Whether you pick maroon flats in suede or mustard yellow in patent leather, there is a color for any woman.
Want to see more goodies? Check out the full list of Trendiest Gifts for Her.
More from CNBC:
Luxurious Gifts for the Holidays
10 Money-Saving Apps for the Holidays
Hot Holiday Toys
By Sally Shin, CNBC.com