There really is something beautiful about a well-executed monogram, and whether embroidered with care onto a garment or pressed into luxuriously thick paper, we simply can’t get enough of them (the hus-b is actually quite convinced that he might end up monogrammed if he were to sit still long enough). From car coats to cotton cardigans, elegant handbags to simple market totes, engraved stationery to the humble household notepad, a monogram seems at home on all manner of personal items.
Monograms are also quite special in that they can mark significant events in one’s life. Upon welcoming a child, a new monogram is born, and when a wedding occurs, a joint monogram incorporating both the new husband and wife’s initials can be properly used. These milestones can be celebrated with the purchase of monogrammed stationery or new household linens, and while we’ve had just about enough of personalized nursery wall art, we believe a child’s monogram can be incorporated into their room in subtle, charming ways.
Behold, some of P&V’s favorite ways to incorporate those special initials into items both common and sublime:
Handbags. Is there a monogrammed item more iconic than the L.L. Bean Boat and Tote? Truly, there could be no more fitting place to begin a discussion of monograms than this venerable classic. Hewn from extra-sturdy cotton canvas and offered in an array of timeless colors, the Boat and Tote has been an L.L. Bean bestseller (and preppy must-have) for 65 years for good reason: it lasts forever and can be used for anything.
Another tried-and-true classic is the Longchamp Le Pliage tote, which now offers monogramming (yay!) as part of the brand’s bag customization service. On the decidedly more luxe end of the handbag spectrum, Louis Vuitton now offers bags personalized via painting and hot stamping (in response, we suspect, to the growing popularity stateside of Goyard handbags with their subtle, hand-painted monogram details).
Cocktail Napkins. When the hus-b and I were planning our wedding, we knew (or at least I knew) that monograms would be an important part of the occasion. We didn’t want to go overboard (a monogram spotlight projected onto the dance floor seemed, ahem, excessive), but with the growing trend toward more individualized affairs, monogramming offered an easy way to infuse our wedding with a personal touch. Not keen on basic single-color napkins, we were thrilled to discover that The Stationery Studio offers monogramming on their gorgeous selection of Caspari napkins. We ordered these taupe- and white-striped beauties customized with a matte gold monogram in the cursive “Antique” font.
Naturally, we over-ordered (“better to be safe” and all), but the post-wedding surplus has actually turned out to be profoundly useful. Whenever the hus-b and I entertain, we toss a stack of monogrammed napkins on the cocktail table or buffet (as shown above) and the spread looks instantly more polished. Truly, the easiest shortcut to seeming like a far more prepared hostess than you actually are!
Custom Desk Embosser. Our wedding also included monogrammed welcome booklets (to orient out-of-town guests) and ceremony programs, both of which we made ourselves (albeit with a massive amount of help from my family and one especially devoted/insane bridesmaid). The star of the assembly line? Our StampWorx2000 custom embosser, which transformed plain booklet and program covers into custom pieces for a fraction of the cost of pre-made versions of the same. Even lovelier, we still have the embosser to use on subsequent projects — gift enclosure cards, foil labels and (as shown above) cocktail napkins for when we eventually run out of the wedding surplus in 2026 — which is a pretty fabulous return on in investment if you ask us.
Bath Linens. Whether decorating a powder room or a master bathroom, monogrammed bath linens are a perfect way to personalize the space without making too big of a commitment (far easier to purchase new hand towels than rip out tile). We are positively infatuated with the extraordinary offerings from Leontine Linens (as shown above), but the hus-b’s head would probably explode if we proposed spending the little lady’s college fund on what essentially amounts to squares of terry cloth. The less-spendy-but-still-lovely options at Horchow are worth a peek, especially the “Guest House” collection which features a color coordinated border like the Leontine towels we so adore.
Nursery Accents. As mentioned above, name and monogram wall features in nurseries have gotten a little out of hand. Seriously. We are not, however, prepared to go entirely monogram-free in the little lady’s nursery, so understated accents are the name of the game. We absolutely adore the monogrammed night lights from The Pink Giraffe (as shown above), which feature several styles of embroidery on a dizzying array of linen shades. A more obvious but still subtle way to incorporate your little darling’s initials would be a throw pillow on your nursery glider, like this charming Serena & Lily “Kate” Boudoir Pillow. Somewhat surprisingly, Pottery Barn Kids offers a fantastic selection of personalized gifts including JJ Cole “Bundle Me” stroller blankets and Boppy covers.
Extra credit for the certifiably monogram insane. Proving that there is indeed an app for everything, you can use 3Initials to create monogrammed wallpaper for your iPhone. We are seriously coveting this old-timey pajama set from J. Crew complete with our married initials courtesy of the Crew’s “Monogram Shop”. If assembling the preppiest bar in the universe is your bag, look no further than Williams Sonoma’s wide selection of monogrammed glassware and barware and Kate’s Plates cheerful serving trays (as shown above).
Any monogrammed essentials we missed that you simply can’t live without? Drop us a line — we’d love to hear from you!