A Crash Course In Monogramming Etiquette

In a world of mass-produced items—where not everyone has the luxury of owning one-of-a-kind pieces—monograms are an easy, stylish way to personalize your look. They continue to evoke a distinctly East Coast prepster vibe, but they’re so universally embraced now that whether you’re from Connecticut or California, a monogrammed piece is completely on-trend.

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  • But before you jump on the bandwagon, there are a few rules of etiquette to observe. We turned to Britney Vickery and Ivy Hall, sisters and co-founders of Initials, Inc, for a crash course in styles and traditions, as well as rounded up some key pieces--including chic clutches, towels, and slippers--that are primed for your monogram.

    Image of Olivia Palermo, courtesy of Getty Images; Image of Katharine Hepburn, courtesy of Everett Collection. 

  • Sarah Chloe

    Lana Petite Signet Ring ($498)

    “The traditional format is built with the first, last, and middle initial of the individual’s name. Your surname initial would appear slightly larger in the center.”

  • Fendi

    2jours Bag ($2260, 310.276.8888) in Black Cherry

    “The format is the same as traditional, but a three-initial monogram can appear with all three letters the same size.”

  • C. Wonder

    Monogram Geo Plate ($38)

    “There are no formal guides for proper etiquette with one-letter monograms. Either the initial of the first or last name is selected. This monogram offers flexibility, as it can be larger than a traditional one!” 

  • Clare Vivier

    Clare Vivier for Shutters on the Beach Canvas Tote with Mini Signature Clutch ($220) Yellow/Royal Blue

    “The beauty of a two-letter monogram is that it’s more of an art form. When capturing an individual’s first and last name, or a couple with two different surnames, the initials appear interlocked equally.”

  • "When combining a monogram for two lovebirds, unity is conveyed in this manner. The bride’s first name initial is placed on the left, the groom’s first name initial on the right, and the couple’s surname initial appears slightly larger in the center.”

  • Monogrammed Classic Canvas Slip Ons ($59) in Natural

    “In many circles, proper etiquette states that monograms for infants and younger children appear as first, last, and middle name initials, while teenagers adopt a more casual style of first, middle, and last name initials with all letters the same size. It’s safer to tag children’s clothing with their monograms instead of a first name, preventing the child being duped by strangers who pretend to know them using their name.”

  • “A woman’s monogram typically follows the format of first, middle, and last initials. A married woman’s monogram traditionally reads first initial, maiden name initial, and married surname initial. If the married woman has a hyphenated last name, the first initial of the last surname would be used as it would match her spouse’s monogram and is proper etiquette.”

  • Boy by Band of Outsiders

    Monogram Raglan Sweater ($485)

    “Monograms are a fun way to express the unique style of the individual. Be bold and break away from traditional monogram forms using a word that expresses a personality trait or describes the purpose of the product. The key is to have fun with monograms and reflect your own unique personal style. As with any art form, conventions and the methods are always evolving.”

  • Louis Vuitton

    Mon Monogram Passport Cover ($465, 866.VUITTON)

  • MiH The Marrakesh High Rise Kick Flare Jeans
    Photo credit: Jakub Studios

    The Marrakesh High Rise Kick Flare Jeans ($198)

    *Click here to enter for a chance to win a pair of MiH personalized jeans.

  • Goyard

    Wallet (Price Upon Request)

  • Rebecca Minkoff S/S 13

    Mini M.A.C. Monogram Bag ($230)

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