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Personalized items can be some of the best gifts you can give. They’re thoughtful and unique and are specially designed with the gift recipient in mind — which makes them feel incredibly loved and important. A pretty foolproof gift idea if you ask us. Well, that is if you do it right.
Personalization can also skew a bit kitschy or cheap or straight-up cheugy. We’ve all seen those script-styled wine glasses and wooden cutting boards. Personalized name necklaces are abundant on Etsy, but unfortunately, most will tarnish after a few months of wear (speaking from experience). And please stay away from those faceless Canva art prints (peak chueginess).
There’s a much more elevated, sophisticated way to gift personalized items. Chic monograms on high-quality material goods. Coffee table books with a personal, unique touch. And 14k gold name necklaces that’ll stay gold. Just to name a few.
Below, we’ve compiled a handful of customizable and personalized items spanning across a variety of product categories that’d make for the best, most thoughtful gifts.
The best personalized gift we’ve gifted
New York Times Birthday Book
You can read all about why the New York Times Birthday Book is the best gift ever here. But to sum it up: This truly unique, deeply personal coffee table book includes every front cover from New York Times on the recipient’s birthday, starting with the year they were born.
Lots of (high-quality) personalized jewelry
Aurate Gold Block Name Necklace
If she doesn’t already have a personalized, Carrie-Bradshaw-esque, solid gold necklace with her name on it, it’s your duty to get her one. And not some cheapo one from Etsy that’s going to tarnish in a month. Go for 14k or 18k gold, so she never has to take it off.
Miansai Signet Ring 14k Gold/3 Letter
A simple but meaningful charm for her finger.
A beautiful desktop photo calendar
Artifact Uprising Brass Easel & Calendar
A design-forward desk calendar filled with all her favorite photos? A perfect holiday gift.
A monogrammed travel mug
If she somehow doesn’t already own a giant travel water bottle, it’s your moment to shine. Both RTIC and Yeti offer customizations to their durable, stainless steel, handle-equipped tumblers that keep beverages hot or cold for hours on end. Choose from monograms, art, zodiac signs and more.
Elevated hair accessories
Custom Monogram Velvet Bow
A simple monogram will turn even the most mundane accessories into deeply thoughtful, unique items she’ll cherish. One of the more affordable personalized options on our list, this bow made from high-quality velvet makes for an easy, super chic gift.
Emi Jay Custom Big Effing Claw Clip
If she prefers more of a statement piece, though, there’s this sizable hair clip from Emi Jay that’s rhinestoned by hand with 100% Swarovski crystals.
Prose Hair Brush
Because she’s not going to spend $72 on a hairbrush for herself, and a luxury, wooden hairbrush makes for a phenomenal gift that no one ever really thinks of. This one from Prose is handcrafted from sustainable European beechwood. It can also be hand-engraved with any three initials for an ultra-special touch.
Personal gifts for the chef
Papier Joy Recipe Journal
She’ll jot her favorite recipes down in this very cute, very handy hardback journal.
Hedley & Bennett Essential Apron
A Hedley & Bennett Apron is a non-negotiable kitchen essential, is available in like a million different colorways and can be nicely embroidered with text (up to 10 letters or numbers) or with a three letter monogram.
Friendship bracelets you don’t have to make yourself
Little Words Project offers an array of fun and colorful and more sophisticated-looking friendship-style bracelets — a very on-trend accessory popularized by Taylor Swift and her fans.
And all the personalized travel bags and accessories
Mark & Graham Small Travel Jewelry Case
A travel jewelry case is a life-saver, and this square zippered number with gorgeous monogramming from Mark & Graham is one she’ll carry with her forever. The functional case is thoughtfully designed to fit rings, necklaces and earrings neatly and safely thanks to a soft cushioned inside and multiple compartments. The textured vegan leather can be customized with eighteen different colors and three font personalization options.
Paravel Mini Clip-on Pouch
Sure a tiny bag attached to your bag might seem silly, but as someone who owns a mini clip-on pouch, it’s a life saver when traveling and keeping the essentials — AirPods, keys, cards and Chapstick — readily accessible.
Away The Large: Aluminum Edition
No more getting confused at baggage claim. Away makes it easy to spot your luggage with the ability to stylishly monogram your suitcase on the top left, center left of back center of your bag.
Paravel Toiletry Bag
Keep it classic with this clean-looking monogrammed toiletry bag.
We've put in the work researching, reviewing and rounding up all the shirts, jackets, shoes and accessories you'll need this season, whether it's for yourself or for gifting purposes. Sign up here for weekly style inspo direct to your inbox.