Shirt Monogramming

Discussion in 'Andy's Fashion Forum' started by ronrex, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. ronrex

    ronrex Member

    Would you recommend having dress shirts monogramed. If so is this looked upon as being preppy or does it symbolize looking professional. Where did having shirts monogrammed originate from.

  2. hreljan

    hreljan Well-Known Member

    I personaly don't like visible monograms. I guess that the origin was in the times when shirts were laundered together, so you can tell yours apart from the others.

    I still think that they can be stylish if done well.
  3. Kav

    Kav Inactive user

    I pass, and heres my reasoning. Some people see monograms as ostentation and walk away with a negative impression. Now, take the small mount of money saved and translate it into a tie, shoe care kit etc that help build a positive impression. And never, ever forget Scarlett's reaction counting Bellle Watling's contribution in a cologne soaked handkerchief monogrammed R.B.
  4. Andy

    Andy Site Creator/Administrator


    Some info on monograms from The Encyclopedia of Men's Clothes:

    Monograms (your initials embroidered) on your shirts were originally so that you got YOUR shirts back from the laundry. They were also standard on custom-made shirts and the real reason for their popularity and aura.

    “Monogram” means “to mark with a design composed of one or more letters, typically the initials of a name”. The word comes from the Greek “mono”, + “gramma”; meaning “one letter”.

    In recent years monograms have been regarded as ostentatious, especially initials on a shirt cuff. If you really want a monogram, the more acceptable are those not easily seen, like on the pocket of a shirt or best -- centered five or six inches up from the waist on the left side between the pocket (or if no pocket, where it would have been) and waist.
  5. Howard

    Howard Well-Known Member

    I like monograms sometimes.It represents the feeling of being important and professional.
  6. NWilliams

    NWilliams New Member

    Do it, way too many people wear other peoples names/initials on their clothes..
  7. gtnc

    gtnc Well-Known Member

    I am not a fan of monograms myself, but my uncle knows a guy who has a Korean monogram on his shirt cuff. My uncle asked about if the guy had any Korean ancestry. The guy replied "I'm not Korean, but my dry cleaner is, the monogram translates to No f'n starch." I might consider that one :icon_smile_wink:
  8. eagle2250

    eagle2250 Connoisseur<br>Moderator

    Personally I would pass on the just sends the wrong message.
  9. countdemoney

    countdemoney Well-Known Member

    I would skip the shirt cuff as well. Those are normally aplied by machine and lack originality, IMO.

    I've done the method Andy suggested and liked it, but I'm still a fan of having the monogram on the forearm ala the Fred Astaire picture in Dressing the Man.

    I think the inside yoke placement is also nice if you pefer your monogram a bit more private.
  10. DEG

    DEG Well-Known Member

    They're fine. Try them out.

    This distinguished Forum is usually split on the monogram issue and the topic comes up bi-monthly, more or less. For the record, I have about half of my shirts monogrammed and always on the cuff (half are on the left cuff and half on the right). Generally, the monogram's color is close to the color of the shirt cuff. My monograms are smallish and in a nice script or in square letters. They look great and if anyone is put off by them, or thinks they are in bad taste, I have not heard about it except in discussions here. Film Noir Buff loathes monograms, for example.

    On the other hand, mine are often complimented when noticed, which is only part of the time anyway. I find that they attract more interest and appreciation when I am in big cities on business though, than when at my office here. Perhaps locals are used to seeing me wearing them.

    Regardless, I love the styles and methods of menswear of the 1930's and monograms were quite fashionable then among the era's well dressed gents. Thus, for me, in that monograms were good enough for Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, William Powell, et al, well, they should certainly be good enough for me. Frankly, I think they are pretty cool if toned down a bit. Also, women seem to love them, i.e. my wife always prefers that I wear a monogrammed shirt when we are going out! So, please give them a try and see how they work for you.

    Kind regards,
  11. acidicboy

    acidicboy Well-Known Member

    i have my dress shirts monogrammed and i don't really mind coz: a. its free anyway, and b. i just damn feel like it.
  12. Martinis at 8

    Martinis at 8 Well-Known Member

    No monograms. However, hidden nametags are okay.

  13. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Well-Known Member

    Personally I don't care for them and a lot of people consider them to be the height of gauche so I've never bothered.

    If you really like them, consider the fact that many people will form an impression of you that you probably don't want to give.
  14. son of brummell

    son of brummell Well-Known Member

    I vote no.

    I used to monogram my shirts, but I stopped doing it.

    My former bespoke salesman at Turnbull never had them. He felt that they were showy. None of his fellow salesmen had them.

    My MTM salesman at Brooks doesn't have them because "I know who am I, and I don't need a reminder."

    I knew a prominent criminal lawyer who recently passed away who used to have the monogram on his cuff. I would say that a monogram on the cuff is gauche.

    Whenever I see Mayor Bloomberg without his coat you see his monogram on his white shirt. I think that it reinforces his image that he's a rich guy, and you're not.

    I think that a hidden monogram is cool. I have also seen mongrams hidden under the label.

    Visible monograms call attention to yourself which is contrary to the idea of being well dressed. (Remember Beau Brummell's dictum that if someone turns his head to see your clothes then you are not well dressed.)
  15. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Well-Known Member

    I would say as an exception that a white monogram on a white shirt some place other than the cuff can be pretty cool.
  16. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

    I like them inside the collar instead of the maker's advertisement.
  17. Acct2000

    Acct2000 Connoisseur<br>Moderator

    I think that monograms are a bit too showy, myself.

    However, if you really want one, there are far worse fashion sins.
  18. Rolo

    Rolo Well-Known Member

    I'm of two minds on this issue . . .

    Sometimes it is pulled off and sometimes it isn't.

    A monogram on an ill-fitting, oxford cloth, button-down shirt screams "buy me a tie with golfers or ducks on it".

    Other's, however, are able to pull off a monogram with style. But, it has to be a part of a total package.

    If I have a shirt monogrammed, it is on the inside yoke or on the front left below the waist. In other words, they're there, but they don't show because I don't want to be in category one and I usually don't dress formally enough to pull off category 2.
  19. A Questionable Gentleman

    A Questionable Gentleman Well-Known Member

    What about on the left sleeve, outboard side, 'round-about the elbow or a little lower?
  20. dfloyd

    dfloyd Well-Known Member

    shirt monogram

    I wear only French cuff shirts with the left cuff monogramed in small block letters. I am now retired, but ran my own business for 25 years. I never heard an ill word about wearing French cuffs or having monograms. I probably wouuld have continued this practice if I had heard negative comments since I would never dress to pacify the opinion of others. I can say with surety that I have had many opening coversations with women who commented on the French cuffs and links or the mogram.

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