Monogrammed Dress Shirt

To Be or Not To Be and How to Be if Yes?

February 14, 2017

I have been asked to write about monograms on the men's shirts. Main question was - what is the proper positioning for it on the shirt? But before this, let’s examine the basics and understand exactly why one would want to do it, how it should look like, and the last, but not the least - where the initials should be placed?


First, let’s start with some history:  It is widely known that monograming traces back to Ancient Greek times, when coins were marked with monograms of the town’s first letters. Soon after monograms were adopted by artists to identify their works. Followed by nobility, who started using its family monograms to mark their personal belongings, which began to associate with ostentation.



Ironically, initial purpose of the monograms on the man's shirt was much more prosaic - one should have marked its clothes to identify it in the laundry. This is it.


Today there is no other reason for placing your initials on the shirt beside a touch of ownership and distinction. Custom-made shirts allow you to have it monogrammed, and that is why it is considered prestigious and prominent.


Want to go for it? Then follow these simple rules, but remember to stay elegant by being discreet.


Rule Nr. 1 - Place

Monogram must be laconic and modest. It is meant to be visible to the owner mostly, and definitely should not be seen when a man is wearing a jacket. The best place would be just below the left rib cage, discreet enough without the jacket and definitely covered with one on. More common option is placing initials on the left cuff, about 1,5 cm (about an inch) to the topstitching on the cuff. Why left? Because you shake hands with the right hand (reverse for left handed guys), and you don't want to flash that monogram - poor taste, tacky.



Rule Nr. 2 - Color

Letters should not stand out on the fabric of the shirt, make sure that color of the thread is as close to the shirt as possible.



Rule Nr. 3 - Text

Modern monogram is not restricted to the name of the owner; it can pretty much be anything. For example Elvis Presley had "TCB" monogrammed on his belongings, which stood for - Taking Care of Business.  Whatever you choose make sure it is two-three letters monogram, done in clean and average size font.



Today monograms went further than shirts and we see men wear them on their jackets and belts, cufflinks and small leather accessories.



- by Jana Belugina