When I was a little kid, I wanted nothing more than to wear pastel hair barrettes that had my name written across their small surfaces. My mom did not approve for reasons that, to my four-year-old self, seemed totally absurd (she was concerned about me naïvely trusting would-be kidnappers—point, Mom). And growing up in a prepster’s paradise (Washington, DC), having your monogram, initials, or name scrawled across anything and everything—bags, wallets, notebooks, jewelry, clothing, stationary, barrettes—was everything. So I admit that I may have a natural predilection for personalization. There is something so luxurious about objects that are exclusively your own, and labeled as such, whether or not said objects are actually that fancy. Whether embroidered onto throwback classic totes or stamped on bespoke stationary, monograms and initials are never a bad idea (writing your name in your camp clothing: no longer necessary). Here's my beginner's guide:
1. Bianca Pratt Gold Initial Necklace: Pratt’s delicate single letter on a gold chain is the sophisticate’s Carrie Bradshaw nameplate necklace . Whether you go with one letter, or full force with a three-necklace-stacked monogram, these subtle chains are a modest way to wear your name (or that of a child, pal, more-than-a-pal, etc) quiet and proud.
2. Sarah Chloe Petite Signet Ring: The signet ring comes from the pre-Internet days of letter-writing (senders would press the round, engraved surface into soft wax to notify the recipient of the sender’s identity), but today it serves as the perfect addition to my ring-covered fingers. Available in five styles (four variations of a single initial or the standard monogram script), I find this petite ring fits best on your pinky.
3. Terrapin Engraved A6 Correspondence Card: Speaking of mail, is there anything better than opening your mailbox and finding something other than a bill or snail-mail spam? No, no there isn’t. Though Terrapin may have made a name with their hilariously inappropriate cards, their unstuffy stationary is the perfect way to give thanks this holiday season (and get props for stayin' classy).
4. L.L. Bean Boat and Tote Bag: You can’t do a story about monograms without including the classic Maine bag. The tote of mothers, celebrities, and sailors everywhere, it's the most durable carryall out there. And if nothing else, it’s rumored that Anna Wintour herself buys them for her fam every summer. Sold.
5. Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Pajamas: It is the mark of true adulthood when one abandons his/her oversized shirts-and-sweatpants combo, or cartoon-doodled PJs, for more streamlined and mature sleepwear: the pajama set. A great gift to yourself or the object(s) of your affection. You can even wear the top half out to get your morning coffee, for that slept-in effect.
And if none of these things strike your fancy, your initials can be emblazoned on virtually anything J.Crew.