shopping hack

The Easiest One-of-a-Kind Gifts Are Monogrammed

The world’s best name tag is a customized sticky note.

Everyone loves a monogram. It’s special; it’s personal; it’s luxurious. For the thoughtful gift-giver, it’s that extra touch that elevates an item from “fine” to “spectacular.” For the picky consumer, it’s an inexpensive way to make an item feel tailor-made to your sensibility.

Of course, it helps to think creatively. When it comes to monogramming, don’t limit yourself to your name or initials. How about a nickname? Or an aspirational nickname? (“Crazy Legs,” “Hot Wheels,” “Spicy Boi,” etc.) You could monogram an item for your best friend with an inside joke. You could monogram a spouse’s pajamas with ILY. The world is your oyster. Here are some ideas.

The chilly months are approaching. Have you stocked up on layerable turtlenecks? Don’t neglect to personalize the neck of the turtle with your initials — or better yet, a friendly greeting. I like the idea of a turtleneck subtly embroidered with HI. Just a little Easter egg for people who are staring at your neck a bit too closely. Or you could Frenchify the turtle by embroidering it with MOI.

For the elegant millennial in your life, why not have an acronym monogrammed onto a set of linen tea towels? Imagine the following with, I dunno, LOL or IDK embroidered on it.

I purchased a version of this travel duffel from Orvis nine years ago, and it still looks pretty good after almost a decade of careless handling. The monogram is engraved on a brass plate, which is a nice touch.

For your spouse, a crisp and classic plaid robe with a saucy monogram will elicit either a giggle or a slap … or, best-case scenario, both!

You can also use monogramming as an opportunity for light subversion. As a Jewish person, I am well aware that persecuted Jews have been compelled to wear identifying emblems throughout history. A simple monogram is one way to snatch back a ghoulish practice, flip it, and reverse it.

How about a set of monogrammed sticky notes? This item makes an especially good gift for a co-worker, because it can go in any number of directions: witty and inappropriate (DADDY); snarky (#GIRLBOSS), or just plain sweet (whatever their name is). You can also give it to your clingiest friend as a joke. (“Now you can stick to anything!”)

If you’re the kind of person who lives life on an Orson Welles scale (big, brash, bananas), why don’t you just monogram your entire goddamn home? I ordered these giant letters from Woodland Manufacturing. They’re constructed from sturdy Styrofoam and can be customized in an array of colors, sizes, fonts, and materials. “You look like you just got fired from Sesame Street,” said my husband when he saw me lugging them up our stairs. I wish!

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The Easiest One-of-a-Kind Gifts Are Monogrammed