07 September 2010

Shirt Monogram Law

From 1981's, Making The Man by Alan Flusser


"If your shirt has no pocket, the monogram should be placed 3-5 inches up from the waist..." AF

"...should give only a subtle identification of the wearer." AF

Some years ago the private company I was working for was bought by a large publicly owned company for $1.8 billion dollars. T-shirts were passed out the next day with the new company name. I was tempted to add, "My company was bought for $1.8 billion dollars and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."

There was a meeting between their sale guys and our sales guys. We met in their conference room. The four of us sitting across a table from the four of them. Everyone took off their jackets and a strained conversation started. I noticed that their four sales guys all had monograms, some cursive, on their shirt cuffs. To see if they had a sense of humor I said, "Do we have to get our shirt cuffs monogrammed now that you own us?"

Our guys laughed. They didn't. I've mentioned before where I had monogramming done and while I'm not a 'Never' kind of guy - - I'm telling you this - - never ever monogram a shirt cuff. I didn't need Alan Flusser to tell me that but maybe you do. TT

25 comments:

Hemanth said...

Just monogram on the inside of the shirt collar where the label usually is placed. Totally secret, but you know it's there.

Main Line Sportsman said...

I ahve always had the Momogram on the pocket...never saw a reason to put it anywhere else. I will admit I was unaware of the Flusser dictum....and I only have a few shirts with monograms anyway...all L.L. Bean. They do a nice job and their shirts are durable and well cut in my opinion and based on my experience.

ACL said...

I was fitted for a custom shirt this morning at Ascot Chang and I asked where the most obnoxious place to get your monogram and they told me a customer gets his on the point of his collar.

I get mine on my sleeve between the elbow and the shoulder — which is pretty obnoxious itself. I suppose it fits my personality. -MW

Andrew So said...

Although I have never had a bespoke shirt made, one aspect I vowed to include was a monogram on the back of the collar so that when flipped down, it would be hidden from view. Elegance, in my book, goes hand-in-hand with fastidious subtlety.

ADG said...

Even I...of the fuzzy-dice lawbreaking monogrammed tribe, would never monogram a cuff.

Oyster Guy said...

In general, I do not favor monograms at all on shirts. I can understand the occasional whimsy to do so per AF's rule but I wouldn't ever make a habit of it. I think it's a sign of real insecurity.

Perhaps a monogram in my world only really has a place on very personal objects that leave my hand and risk being misplaced: money clips, cigar cases, flasks, pens, briefcases, the interior of a hat or overcoat, umbrellas and the like.

Trailer Trad said...

Never monogram your dress shirts. Because, if you do, I won't be able to score them from the thrift store after you donate them.

Simon said...

I had a shirt monogrammed on the upper arm, but if I had to take my jacket off I was concious of it, so that was the end of the endeavour.

On a related note, I've always liked the following piece about the author Iain Banks:

"The author's shirt says a lot. Unlike most of the chestware gracing the annual British science fiction convention, it looks quite at home in the plush surroundings of the Radisson Edwardian hotel's poshest bar - which is surprisingly posh. It is by any standards a nice shirt: rich cotton, well tailored, expensive. And it is monogrammed. The initials are not a plain "IB" for Iain Banks, the mainstream novelist whose short, sharp, shock of a debut, The Wasp Factory, has led to more than a decade of success and critical acclaim. Nor are they a more flowery "IMB" for Iain M. Banks, the name under which he publishes his opulent, galaxy-spanning science fiction.

Instead, the letters on Banks's pocket are "FTT". I ask him who he stole the shirt from, and he laughs with perhaps a touch of embarrassment. "It stands for 'Fuck the Tories'. I used to have t-shirts made that said the same thing, but now...." Now he is a big success, or perhaps two big successes, and he can indulge himself a little. He does it in his fiction (writing large chunks of a recent science-fiction novel, Feersum Endjinn, in a transliterated and eccentric Scots dialect) and he does it in his life. But while there may be indulgence, there's still a point, a message."

Anonymous said...

I am really into vintage underwear shots from 80s and 90s - especially GQ, M and Esquire.
Do you have any?? I would be willing to trade for some hard core gay film or magazines.

tintin said...

Anon 15:34,
You should insure the law firm you work for in St Louis isn't spelled out on your IP address. Smooth move, Exlax.

Anonymous said...

Tinners, it's 'ensure' not 'insure', old fellow; quite a crucial difference in this case.

By the way, monogramming is really an American thing; no one I know does it. We do Cash name tapes at school and then grow out of it.

Fatfriend.

J.P. said...

At Anon: LOL

Tintin: I prefer having the small monogram above the waist as well.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Anon 15:34 really needs a monogram. This would be more of an imprint rather than embroidery. It would be on his forehead and would read: "Louisville Slugger"

tintin said...

fatfriend- We should use assure and Italians love monograms as do the French. But then only the UK counts, what.

brohammas said...

Hey Tintin, can I have an exception to your rule?
http://brohammas.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/details/

If I could I would have a tongue monogrammed into my cheek.

Trailer Trad said...

Re: Anon 15:34

Damn, Bro.

Anonymous said...

'Assure's not correct in this context, but otherwise spot on.

Fatfriend.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing more overstated than humorless stuffed shirts (literally). I wish you really had made that remark about getting t-shirts. I'll go the tiny monogram route on the chest, but I'll almost never wear a company t-shirt, having a phobia about advertising the logo of any maker's wares.

Years ago my uncle had real small monograms on the chest pockets of his dress shirts, tone-on-tone. Discreet, vintage, old-school. I was a teen when I noticed but I thought that was a cool mark of a mature and confident man.

-DB

Anonymous said...

i guess we have a bunch of bigoted homophobes here. i'll go somewhere else, away from the hate.

Giuseppe said...

or...

this ain't the place to discuss underwear ads or pornography, of any stripe.

ADG said...

Ok. It was me. I'm sorry for the anonymous posts.

But seriously, if anyone wants to trade....

Anonymous said...

For me the monogram was utilitarian; it identified the owner of the shirt when more than one person's laundry was washed together. Since at home the hanger bar by the ironing board was above eye level the best place for the monogram was the front left shirt tail (which was at eye level). No one outside the family would ever see it.

That also means I had all my white shirts monogrammed when I became a teen (and was thus the approximate shirt size of my father and older brothers). No monograms on our patterned shirts as the pattern itself identified the owner. Now that I'm the only man in the house, no monograms at all.

If a tree falls in the woods....

Anonymous said...

Or, if one is confident, one could ignore the above and monogram the cuff. Mind, it does tend to put one with the buyers of companies, not the bought..

tintin said...

Anon- It tends to put one with the fella in the Cadillac who says,
"You're gonna like the way you look; I guarantee it."

Dan West said...

look at

www.leiwstaylorshirts.com for a good list of monogram locations