Monogrammed Shirts

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Monogrammed shirts used to be the hallmark of Rolls Royce drivers, horse-breeders, and other old-money aristocrats. Today, remarkably, they're at home in many more settings including workplaces and social clubs. It's not uncommon to find even younger fashionistas such as recent high school and college grads sporting monogrammed shirts they've received as gifts.

One has several choices when choosing monogrammed shirts. Traditionally, monograms are worn on shirt sleeve cuffs, where they're readily visible, or shirt tails, where's they're easy for laundromats to spot (and yes, you should have these shirts dry cleaned). European tradition has monogrammed initials where American designers place their breast pockets. Either is acceptable.

Monogrammed Shirts: Choosing Your Lettering

By far, the most popular choice for monogrammed garments is three-lettered insignias. Some individuals happily go without a middle name (both legally and by choice), in which case the two-letter monogram is acceptable. Only if your name is Prince, Madonna, or some such mononym should you rely on a single letter. Depending on which of your names brings you the most pride, you may choose to place your first, middle, or surname initial most prominently in the design.

Talk to your tailor about the myriad options for lettering styles, as he or she will be able to direct you toward a more conventional or modern choice--whichever seems more appropriate for your age. If you don't have a tailor of your own, it's still possible to find designers who will stitch monograms as part of their custom menu of options. Finer men's clothing retailers can walk you through the entire process of choosing a color, a design, and a font for your monogrammed shirts, thereby taking the mystery out of an otherwise flummoxing process.


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