I’ll never forget a birthday gift from my grandmother when I was about ten years old. She kept giving me hints, which I think were meant to caution me that it wasn’t a trendy new outfit or the latest gadget. No, it was better. After much anticipation, I unwrapped a new set of beautiful custom luggage made out of classic black and white ticking. The cherry on top was that the fabric was embroidered with my very own initials. My first monogram –love at first sight!
Monograms date back to 350 BC, used by the Greeks to identify various cities’ coins. Little did they know it would evolve into a prominent form of “preppy-chic.”
My enthusiasm for monograms clearly started at an early age, but working for Kelley Proxmire only increased my passion for them. If we caught wind of a monogram-loving client, we immediately put pen to paper and started sketching. Displayed on pillows, headboards, duvet covers, hand towels, and more, they often times were the favorite part of a finished room, tailored specifically to each client.
Now for a bit of monogram etiquette. A traditional 3-letter monogram involves the first letter of the surname set larger, in the center, with the first given name as the first initial, and maiden or middle name as the last initial. Anne Bailey Clark would have the monogram ACB, with the C slightly larger. If the monogram style displayed the letters in the the same size, the order would remain as ABC. For newly engaged or married couples, you may combine the first names and new combined last name. Brian and Emily Wood would have a monogram of BWE, with the W set slightly larger. Bed and bath linens are usually monogrammed with the woman’s initials and barware with the man’s.
The Aussies would think I’m off my rocker if they saw the several sets of monogrammed linen napkins that I brought with me from the States. I love them. They put a bit of class and personalization in an otherwise dull table setting. Despite my new last name causing me to have the unfortunate monogram of E-W-W, I embrace it with pride and just consider myself lucky that I can keep a “W,” which is in my opinion one of the best letters.
Luckily, I think Oz has come to embrace his special tradition, taking form in a few new local stores. At Mon Purse, located in the trendy suburb of Paddington, one can get a custom leather bag embossed with 1-3 letters or a full name. I bought a black work tote here a few months before getting married. I opted for a simple gold “W,” and it is divine. Jasmine & Will sells luxurious monogrammed pajamas and The Horse, best known for their watches, offers personalization for their leather goods.
Leontine Linens is a favorite monogram resource from the States due to their beautifully creative, unique style and endless colors. Mark & Graham excels in a variety of personalized goods ranging from weekender bags to cosmetic cases. L.L. Bean still reigns as the best fabricator of a classic canvas bag. They are available with or without a zipper and in a variety of colors, sizes, and monogram possibilities. The fact that they are incredibly durable is simply a bonus.
From the States:
In conclusion, fear not the monogram; put a little prep in your step. You can display a set of monogrammed barware in a sleek, modern apartment. You can pair the latest designer sheath with a subtle monogram on your clutch. It’s all about the mix– modern with traditional, fashionable with classic. The monogram represents that special added detail that sets apart your treasured possessions from the rest. Once you “monogram,” you won’t go back.