Personalised presents: the beauty of the monogram

The Oxford Street lights have just turned on, so Christmas is, most certainly, coming. Inevitably, the temperatures have dropped, I can start wearing coats so oversized that they practically swallow me up, a distant hum of Michael Buble will soon fill my ears and the Christmas shopping season begins.

But, alas, where do we begin our purchasing marathon? What mysteries await our relatives and friends below the twinkling tannenbaum? I believe that I already know. The answer is in the full wisdom of the practice of the personalisation and, in particular, the monogram. Add a monogram to any item, whether that be a frying pan or fur coat and it immediately becomes an item your loved one would dread parting with, regardless of how compatible it is with their style or taste. Afterall, of all the frying pans in the world, this one, is foremost for them. No matter how far the present is from what your person of significance may have had in mind when they requested something, people are always delighted to receive anything with their initials embossed on it, for this adds a unique and catered dimension to them. Not only this,  but it implies that you were thinking specifically of that person at the time of purchase. In other words, a present that may send the hurried message of “quick, let’s get a trashy candle” to your mother is soon transformed and mutated into a contemplative “look at this candle, the scent does so suit mum’s aura and, well, would you look at that! Here are her initials, it is simply made for her”, all done with the simple additive of basic initials. People lose their sense of “before” and “after”: they cannot imagine the object without their identity so permanently attached to it.

Although not entirely risk free, some of the perceptive among us may see behind the facade of individualisation, monograms have become the conductor behind the sighs of relieved, confused and clueless husbands and the like.

So, why are other forms of customisation a viable seasonal choice? They are, certainly, however none can quite grasp the simplistic concept of a monogram, merely because of the effort level of most customised objects. Star signs are too broad a category to be truly personal and anything more complicated than a few letters, such as images or experiences becomes too much for people picking out a million and one gifts to handle.

The monogram makes economical sense for firms too. It becomes beneficial to firms as soon as it becomes apparent that these items cannot be resold, reducing the problem of lost revenues in resells for companies. This is especially true of the luxury industry. This is something that often hinders many hard luxury companies in two ways. Firstly, the firms could sell out of a certain item, and these items can go one to be sold for astronomical prices, meaning that companies have lost out on increased profit margins. Secondly, once someone grows bored of an item, they then sell it on at a lower price, with no benefit to the firm. Monograms prevent all of this. The luxury industry can cash in on the new desire for individuality in these homogenous and uniform times with reduced consequence.

Like the sound of monograms? Here are a few of my top picks that anyone in your social circle would be happy to find on the 25th:

High End:


Louis Vuitton Purse £695


Smythson Notepad



CHAOS phone case £185

For those on a budget:


£22 Not On The Highstreet copper Mugs


Cosmetics bag $19.99


Iron on patches £2, iron onto cheap t-shirt

Click on the images for the links!

Iz x

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