Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday: The Monogram Guide

I love monograms.  There is something about seeing your initials embroidered that is so luxurious and unexpected. OH HEY! Those are my initials.  I really just wrote "unexpected" because I love design and cooking shows and that seems to be the word to use when you have no clue what your talking about.  I love the "unexpected pop of color" etc. . Honey life is unexpected!

More monograms, more custom looking and unique

So monograms are great, they are affordable unless you want your own custom one designed (this will happen for me one day).

According to "Vogue's Book of Etiquette" by Millicent Fenwick:
"In having anything monogrammed or marked with one's initials, there are three main considerations.  The first is just proportion, too small a monogram will be lost, too big a one will look overwhelming. A good eye is needed! The second factor is the number of letters, a monogram by definition is two or more letters intertwined.  The third consideration, and the most complicated, is the form of letters, or what printers would call the "type" (426)."

So size, number of letters (not so often a factor these days because most people have three initials), and the type or style you wish to have your monogram done.

So in case you didn't know: Pretend your name is Gwyneth Chloe Owen
This would be your monogram: As you can see, your First initial comes first, then your LAST NAME is larger in the middle, followed by your middle initial.
Once a woman is married, her maiden name then replaces the middle initial in the monogram.
The monograms used widely today were mainly used for women's linens and personal belongings.  Men's monograms are very simple and traditionally the same letter size.

One of my personal heros, Kevin Sharkey, (for whom I need to do a 'total homage to Kevin' blog post) is big on monograms as well.  Kevin Sharkey has such good taste he's like the cool girl in high school that had the Louis Vuitton backpack before Louis Vuitton had their major tidal wave of popularity.  I actually called his radio program on Martha Stewart Radio months and months ago and posed the question: "When can there be TOO many monograms in a room" His answer was never and I happen to agree.  It's an art form that has remained unscathed by bad taste.
Here are some photos from Kevin's blog of his personal monogrammed items:

Oh to have a drawer of linen monogrammed cocktail and dinner napkins... 

Kevin's monogrammed garment bags.
A moment of silence please.
Reason #29024802384 Why I love Kevin Sharkey.
In hermes orange as well. 
Jackie Kennedy's monogrammed horse blankets and tack trunk.  I remember when these went to auction and I remember wanting them.  C'est la vie! 

Circle monogram horse blanket.

Diamond monogram tack trunk.
And here is Martha with a monogrammed tea cozy.  Oh Martha!

Goyard Trunk:

You know you've made it when you can afford to have one of these bad boys monogrammed.

Goyard tote
There isn't any one particular monogram business I endorse.  I do have a "monogram guy" in Maryland that I can send things to which is nice.  Many working moms have little monogram businesses on Etsy that you can support.  Some mainstream businesses such as Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Ballard Designs (they offer FREE monograms), JCrew, LL Bean, and Tervis Tumblers offer monogramming.  

Monogrammed items are great and they are a wonderful gift to someone that you care about! 

My dogs Sophie and Winston were especially annoying while I was trying to write this post so they get a mention. 
xo Sarah