Thursday, May 15, 2008

Monograms - yes or no


In a post a few weeks ago, the topic came up and one reader left this comment:

Why do we need monograms? It's our own house; we KNOW that the sheets are ours, the towels are ours... It's not like this is summer camp, and some other kid's linens could get mixed up with ours.

Monograms... yes or no?

Discuss.

56 comments:

Mrs. Blandings said...

Classic and charming and one more opportunity to add detail - the style, the color, the size - I'm a big yes!

Anonymous said...

No. I'm always embarrassed by the neediness of it. Like something Donald Trump would do.

decorno said...

I wish donald would embroider his linens with a little drawing of his floppy comb-over. It could be his signature.

i suwannee said...

most def yes.

modernemama said...

No, they are only for the insecure and absent-minded.

diana @ please sir said...

I'm going to say they aren't a big deal...some are quite beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but I've always loved them...no matter how much I think I evolved style-wise, I'm still preppy at heart.

Kim said...

They can look cool in unexpected places.

But so totally lame in the obvious ones like hand towels. I never understood that. You want me to wipe my hands all over your name? Just wierd.

birdy said...

Yes. But then I actually still own a copy of "The Preppy Handbook" from the 80's . . .

birdy said...

Oh, and I agree . . . hate them on hand towels. But I love them centered on pillowcases.

kate (pm) said...

Monograms don't bother me. In fact, I like how monograms can look. Like most things, it's a matter of restraint, too. They don't need to be on everything. That said, I don't mind when people have their full name on something... a name plate necklace (or name plate anything), a bag... etc.. Those don't need to on everything either.

Jules said...

Yes.

Jean said...

Maybe. On the corner of your handkerchief or on your linen napkins. Otherwise? Ew. No.

pve design said...

Love giving things a name, his, hers, mine, yours, and monograms are a swell way to tell things apart.
My Great Grandfather apparently died in the fields, and the only way my Great Grandmother was able to identify him was the "monogram family crest" on the shorts, hanging on the line. Back then people rarely "showed" monograms, and I quite like the idea of them being hidden. Subtle and understated.
Subtle monograms, yes. White on White.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

I honestly love monograms, though I'm sure they were invented in order to keep one's laundry separate from someone else's. Stylish idea that has outlived its time, but they can be very, very stylish. I love Leontine Linens's monogramming (http//www.leontinelinens.com). Monogram overload is any house lived in by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor ... Ws EVERYWHERE, from her shoes to the toilet-seat cover ... so insane you have to admire it.

Anonymous said...

Jules--Really? You? I'm surprised.

Not that I didn't think you were a classy dame ;-)

Julia said...

Love them!

katiedid said...

Yes! They are a classic, but I agree with most that restraint is a good idea.

But I am not crazy about the whole name, just initials. I love finding vintage linens that happen to have my intial on them.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Kim; depends where they are. If unexpected, OK. Otherwise, yuck. Especially yuck on businessmen's shirts, either pocket or cuff; don't they know who they are?? (and businessmen are not about to be killed in a war; I think they have dogtags for that now). I often ask someone in a monogrammed shirt why he needs the monogram; does he look down during the day to remind himself who he is? Noone has a good answer.

Meg said...

They're classic. Clearly their current use is much different than any practical reasons for their creation, but they can be attractive.

But... while I can appreciate the way other people use them and see aesthetic value, they are not for me. At all.

BTW- your house on McGilvra is for sale.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

sorry ... http://www.leontinelinens.com

The Nerdy Fashionista said...

i don't like them... in most applications i feel like it makes you look kind of self-important.

Anonymous said...

If they were a design, like some geometric thing, or even a Chinese word or something, I'd like them. But your own initials? Ew.

Anonymous said...

Or "Lemmon 714."

icouldkillher said...

I think dumb and ostentatious. For kids it's cute -- monograms on their towels or backpack or whatever - but seriously...why do we need monograms? And I happen to have very cool goy initials with my married name (two words for last name - that's right bitches...jealous???)

Anonymous said...

It's Elaine, the star of the Elaine-and-Haley Show!!!

I love that this is the only decorating blog where the commenters call each other "bitches"!

Anonymous said...

No, they are tacky. I can remember my name without putting it on my pillow or towels.

Anonymous said...

I hate this mindless veneration of all things "classic." Just because something has been done for years (e.g. slavery, whale-bone corsets, lack of electricity) doesn't mean we're stuck with it.

Monograms scream "We've arrived!"

franki durbin said...

you do it only so you can prove your 'style-challenged' friends are indeed taking lovely accessories from your home. ;)

I'll admit i do enjoy them on pillow cases. I am in fact considering having our pillowcases monogrammed simply so that my husband and i can distinguish our pillows from one another's. I like mine down and soft, he prefers the more stuffed variety. They are always getting mixed up since the cases match. Just a subtle F on mine and a J on his. Tasteful, subtle - and undeniably useful.

and, birdy, I cling to my copy of the preppy handbook as well! :)

mrlfvl said...

I agree with Aethete's on the Leontine Linens - they are AMAZING. I do love the occasional beautiful and "different" monogram, but it is so easy to cross the line to way too much. I grew up surrounded by monograms and so I love the ones my mother still has, but recently, they have just gotten a bit too "cute" - kind of like Lilly Pulitzer overkill. For me - it is all about small doses. I do love vintage hankies with embroidered initials - each one is different and they are quite pretty and subtle.

Decorno said...

"slavery, whale-bone corsets, lack of electricity..."

Maybe a candidate for best comment ever.

Habitually Chic said...

I too am a preppy at heart and still have my copy of the Preppy Handbook but I only like monograms on certain things. Yes to pillowcases and Boat and Tote Bags but no to towels and men's shirts.

The Monogram Shop in the Hamptons does brisk business so apparently a lot of people do like monogram things.

Susannah said...

Yes but only on pajamas because you never know when you might wander outside in the middle of the night and forget who you are. And luggage.

Anonymous said...

Yes - on beach towels... so you know which is yours.

Better if you monogram it with a trashy neighborhood in your area... like "Northgate" or "Renton" or "Tenderloin."
Or maybe just a nickname like "Dirty Pirate Hooker."

Jules said...

Anon--Charming even when lying through your teeth, I see. ;-)

Confession: I don't have anything monogrammed and can't imagine I ever will. I'm just not vehemently opposed to the idea like, say, plaques and pillows with words like "Inspire," "Breathe," or "Always Kiss Me Goodnight."

p.s. I sold my beast of a brown sectional and now have a "sofa" and chair. I'm now on the hunt for a rug and various other pieces.

Anonymous said...

haw!!! "Dirty Pirate Hooker" in fancy, super-scrolly letters!

Jules: How about a pillow case that says: "Back Off"?

Anonymous said...

Susannah! Ease off the Ambien, sistuh!

;-)

your secret fan

Stephanie said...

Yes, because they're cute and classic.

marlazz said...

YES!

decorno said...

Do you think Land's End would actually fill your order for beach towels embroidered with "DIRTY PIRATE HOOKER"?

I think I might try ordering this, actually.

Anonymous said...

What about

"Herpetic Loser"

?

Anonymous said...

Let's face it: It's a class thing. You're trying to say you have money, or you come from money.

perchance said...

Being one of the Chosen People, I monogram everything J-E-W. I shit you not.

Anonymous said...

Monogram plays a large role in my life(retail boutique, Monogram Goods)--so, of course I am a BIG FAN! Worth debate: why are certain folks SO opposed to the notion of personalization? Wouldn't you rather wear (or decorate) with your own name or initials, rather than that of Ralph or Diane or Tory? For those of you in a creative field, I believe that designing an icon or your own personal monogram is the ultimate in expression--think outside of the box. We stitch a naughty, upright devil in bright red with a man's initials vertically in black thread on a waffle weave bath robe: there's nothing preppy about this type of application!

Anonymous said...

perchance:

I'm in love with you.

CSS said...

I love monograms, but witty ones. Dirty pirate hooker is awesome! I just got a white towel for my husband and monogrammed it Big Daddy in blue - He didn't comment on it at all, so maybe I thought that was cuter than it really is...

Kwana said...

I say it's a yes all the way! And you can monogram what ever you want. Your Initials are just as fab but maybe not quite as fab as DPH-Dirty Pirate Hooker- depending on the setting. I love them both!
Comparing monograms to slavery is a stretch to me. Screams of issues and I'm not even going there, can't it just be cute?

Anonymous said...

Would Land's End embroider

"IDIOT"

?

Gretchen said...

Yes, especially on vintage linens & napkins. I don't care if they are even vaguely my initials as long as the monogram is done in a beautiful or intriguing way. And I love to do first names of famous couples on my bath towels, like Diego and Frida or Dante and Beatrice. Except Diego probably couldn't even fit in my shower....

Anonymous said...

Oprah and Gayle

Anonymous said...

anonymous 2:11 said it best.

monograms show a distinct lack of imagination. just so L.L.Beany.

Anonymous said...

ooh: How about:

"UNWASHED"

?

Mary T. said...

I bought a friend a guest towel that said on it "Don't Touch." I thought that was the most hysterical thing ever. (I didn't come up with it, it was in a store.)

Anonymous said...

Nice one, Mary T.!

beachbungalow8 said...

love and will always love. especially when they're mixed with the unexpected.

eM said...

I thought this said "MAMMOGRAMS"
time to get the ol' eyes checked
:/