Are you looking for a special gift for that hard-to-get person in your life? If so, why not make it personal? No longer are monograms just for the preppie crowd. Now with the help of the November issue of In Style magazine you can find ways to personalize gifts with a big initial, monogram or photo. “Today” contributor Charla Krupp shares some tips on how to jazz up your gifts and get a head start on your holiday shopping.
Initials are on everything this year! A personalized gift tells someone that they’re special enough to go the extra mile. You know the gift is not handed down, recycled or bought on the way to the party. (We’ve all done it!) And, a personalized gift is one that will be kept for a long time…I still can’t throw out my personalized bookends from childhood.
BUT MONOGRAMS HAVE BEEN AROUND SINCE GRANDMA’S DAY...
The traditional three-letter monogram has always been a preppy staple, but the roots of the current “initial” mania date back to ’50s when girls going steady wore their boyfriend’s high school letter sweater. We have to thank that early feminist, Laverne, of TV’s “Laverne & Shirley,” who wore her own scripted L on her brewery jacket and everything else in her closet. Today, the hip shopper’s craving for customization plus the revival of country club chic has created an insatiable appetite for the big single initial which is much fresher and younger than the traditional monogram.
YOU CAN BUY ALMOST EVERYTHING WITH A GIANT INITIAL — FROM SOCKS TO THONG UNDIES!
We have gifts for everyone, starting with gifts for you. A fun fashiony leather jacket with your own initial on the back is from JAM by Jana Feifer, $495 at Pumps and Company in Arizona: 952-926-2252. Personalization is all about being a cheerleader for yourself. The attitude is: I love me, I love my name. Which brings us to a sweater from Acrobat, which has a Swarovski crystal C on it. It’s all about creating a brand me!
(Acrobat diamante initial crew neck sweater, $98 at Bloomingdales. Also comes in a cardigan, $138. Available in 16 different initials.)
So when your own initial is enough of a logo, attach it to every bag you own — your suitcase, gym bag, handbag — you get the idea. It’s much more in style than tying a piece of yarn around your suitcase to ID it on the luggage carousel! (You know who you are!) You can buy a single initial leather tag from Clever Carriage, $28 at Bloomingdales.
FOR YOUR GIRLFRIENDS, YOU HAVE GIFTS OF UNDIES AND SOCKS…
For a close friend, seamless cotton thongs (Little Miss Monogram by OnGossamer) are $19 each at Bloomingdale’s, (Call directly to their intimate apparel dept at: 800-232-1854.) It’s 89 percent pima cotton, 11 percent lycra and very comfy! Choose black or white thongs with three colors of initials (beige, pink and blue) in 17 different letters. Fans of this thong include Cameron Diaz and Britney Spears. And for just $7, cotton socks with initials by K. Bell are brand new at Bloomingdale’s in royal blue, red or black. (Bloomingdale’s)
It’s a big, cold world out there so if you want to spend more to warm up a good friend, who wouldn’t love her initial on a silk-and-cashmere scarf in pink, army green, black or gray from Acrobat, $100? It’s a perfect length. At Henri Bendel, 212-247-1100.
AND WHAT MAN WOULD WALK AROUND WITH BIG INITIALS ON HIS CLOTHES?
That’s why the monogram on this cashmere V-neck sweater from J.Crew is so subtle — very traditional, simple font. Call it the new letter sweater. It’s $255.50 — reasonable for 100 percent cashmere. It’s new for J. Crew and available only on their Web site: jcrew.com, after November 1. (Delivery in 12 days.) And, it comes in 11 yummy colors. Makes a special gift for that man in your life and let’s face it, it’s tough to find gifts for men that they will actually use.
HERE’S ANOTHER GOODIE: WHO COULDN’T USE CLEAN CAR MATS?
People spend so much time in their car. Personalized mats might make you laugh as soon as you open the door. Just know the make and year of the car before you order the mats. They come in seven colors (camel, white, black, navy, burgundy, hunter green or gray). By Racemark GG Bailey, $195 for set of two embroidered quality mats at Jennifer Kaufman, 310-854-1058. No more boring car mats!
IS THERE PERSONALIZATION FOR KIDS, TOO?
Kids feel really special when they have their name on something. There’s a good chance that the aspiring Jamie Oliver in your kitchen will be more enthusiastic about helping out if they had one of these cute cotton chef jackets. Double-breasted, buttoned, chef jacket with name embroidered — in red, blue, black or green lettering — from Williams-Sonoma, $49. Attention all grandmas: This is a great gift for your grandchild. Call 800-541-2233. Delivery in 5-7 days.
PUTTING YOUR OWN PERSONAL PHOTOS ON ACCESSORIES IS ANOTHER WAY TO PERSONALIZE.
It’s really cute on kids’ stuff — from a pillow to take to sleep-away camp to a tin box for school supplies. The pillow is from Sweet Pix; the box is CookieWorth Design.
Sweet Pix cotton photo pillows. $40 (12” x 16”) and $45 (16” X 16”). Available at mysweetpix.com or call 516-528-8998. Four week delivery. Boxes by CookieWorth Design $35, at Little Silver Box, www.littlesilverbox.com. Delivery: three to four weeks.
AND WHAT ABOUT PETS?
Personalization is even going to the dogs. The In Style pet wears an initialed turtleneck, $55 at select Saks Fifth Avenue stores (212-753-4000, starting October 30).
Charla Krupp of In Style magazine has been a beauty and fashion contributor to “Today” going on eight years in a segment that’s followed her from In Style magazine to Glamour (as beauty director) to eve.com (as editor-in-chief and vice president) and back to In Style. She’s an award-winning journalist known for her accessible, “real woman’s” approach to fashion and beauty. For more information you can call 888-689-1643 or visit the In Style Web site at: www.InStyle.com, or pick up the latest issue of In Style magazine on newsstands now.