Starting Member
Would you recommend having dress shirts monogramed. If so is this looked upon as being preppy or does it symbolize looking professional. Where did having shirts monogrammed originate from.



Honors Member
United States
New Hampshire
I personaly don't like visible monograms. I guess that the origin was in the times when shirts were laundered together, so you can tell yours apart from the others.

I still think that they can be stylish if done well.


Inactive user
I pass, and heres my reasoning. Some people see monograms as ostentation and walk away with a negative impression. Now, take the small mount of money saved and translate it into a tie, shoe care kit etc that help build a positive impression. And never, ever forget Scarlett's reaction counting Bellle Watling's contribution in a cologne soaked handkerchief monogrammed R.B.


Site Creator/ Administrator
Staff member
United States
Palm Desert

Some info on monograms from The Encyclopedia of Men's Clothes:

Monograms (your initials embroidered) on your shirts were originally so that you got YOUR shirts back from the laundry. They were also standard on custom-made shirts and the real reason for their popularity and aura.

“Monogram” means “to mark with a design composed of one or more letters, typically the initials of a name”. The word comes from the Greek “mono”, + “gramma”; meaning “one letter”.

In recent years monograms have been regarded as ostentatious, especially initials on a shirt cuff. If you really want a monogram, the more acceptable are those not easily seen, like on the pocket of a shirt or best -- centered five or six inches up from the waist on the left side between the pocket (or if no pocket, where it would have been) and waist.


United States
New York
I like monograms sometimes.It represents the feeling of being important and professional.


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
United States
I am not a fan of monograms myself, but my uncle knows a guy who has a Korean monogram on his shirt cuff. My uncle asked about if the guy had any Korean ancestry. The guy replied "I'm not Korean, but my dry cleaner is, the monogram translates to No f'n starch." I might consider that one :icon_smile_wink:


New Member
I would skip the shirt cuff as well. Those are normally aplied by machine and lack originality, IMO.

I've done the method Andy suggested and liked it, but I'm still a fan of having the monogram on the forearm ala the Fred Astaire picture in Dressing the Man.

I think the inside yoke placement is also nice if you pefer your monogram a bit more private.


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
United States
They're fine. Try them out.

This distinguished Forum is usually split on the monogram issue and the topic comes up bi-monthly, more or less. For the record, I have about half of my shirts monogrammed and always on the cuff (half are on the left cuff and half on the right). Generally, the monogram's color is close to the color of the shirt cuff. My monograms are smallish and in a nice script or in square letters. They look great and if anyone is put off by them, or thinks they are in bad taste, I have not heard about it except in discussions here. Film Noir Buff loathes monograms, for example.

On the other hand, mine are often complimented when noticed, which is only part of the time anyway. I find that they attract more interest and appreciation when I am in big cities on business though, than when at my office here. Perhaps locals are used to seeing me wearing them.

Regardless, I love the styles and methods of menswear of the 1930's and monograms were quite fashionable then among the era's well dressed gents. Thus, for me, in that monograms were good enough for Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, William Powell, et al, well, they should certainly be good enough for me. Frankly, I think they are pretty cool if toned down a bit. Also, women seem to love them, i.e. my wife always prefers that I wear a monogrammed shirt when we are going out! So, please give them a try and see how they work for you.

Kind regards,