A prominent symbol of nobility since Ancient Greece, monogramming was originally used on coins as the mark of a royal. Initialization eventually spread beyond society’s elite to stationary, luggage and, of course, shirts and suiting. In recent decades, the tradition of monogramming has become less a symbol of wealth and more a statement as individual.
For those just testing the waters of monogramming, here are some rules of thumb from Ivy Hall and Britney Vickery, Co-Founders of Initials, Inc., a national home party plan company offering a premier line of monogrammed handbags and accessories.
1. The traditional Victorian format of a monogram is first, last, middle — with the surname in the middle with special treatment. These days, however, initialization tends to be less rigid and initials can be in the order of first, middle, last.
2. Wedding monograms entwine a couple’s initials. Traditional wedding invitations follow a similar rule; the shared surname is in the middle and big, with the initials of the first names of the bride and groom to the left and right. A two-letter monogram merely entwines their two first initials.
3. Monograms were synonymous with aristocracy for a reason. Initials can give any piece an elegant touch. Though, now, the emphasis is more about personalization and identifying your personal style. Monogramming a day-tripper bag offers a specialized and fun expression of self.
4. Don’t limit your monogram to your initials. Elvis Presley used “TCB” for his monogram, standing for Taking Care of Business. Use your monogram to spell out your motto or use roman numerals for your lucky number.
5. For a Great Gatsby-inspired early-century touch, encircle the monogram with an octagon, diamond or oval for a vintage Art Deco feel.
6. Get fresh with fonts – Change your look by using non-traditional fonts to make your monogram or personalization more current and on trend.
Engrained in the belief that “there’s only one you,” Ivy and Britney favor monogramming as a way to denote something as uniquely yours and further emphasizes your personal style when used in creative places such as tote bags, coolers, jewelry and iPhone cases.