What’s in a name? Monogramming becomes mainstream

Nikia Jefferson
Tribune Content Agency

When it comes to fashion nowadays, personalization is everything. Individuality is becoming more important to those looking to express their personal style, whether it’s in the form of a bag charm, a cluster of brooches or hand-painted sneakers.

Monogramming is another form of personalization on the growing list of options, and it’s not just about one’s initials anymore. Shoppers are getting more creative and adding their favorite acronyms, hashtags and social media handles to the items they love.

Monograms are no longer reserved for bathrobes and pajamas. Now, consumers are looking to rock them on everything from T-shirts to handbags. And mainstream brands are taking note. Not only are they offering monogramming for shoppers looking to add a personal touch to their purchase, but some are also doing it for free. And if that wasn’t enough, names like Coach and Shinola provide complimentary monogram services in-store. This gives you an opportunity to see important details like colors and fonts before they are permanently printed on the goods. It also allows you to go beyond the limits presented to you online.

Want to get more than the standard amount of letters on your Coach bag or hangtag? Looking to emboss a Shinola wallet that isn’t included as a customizable option on the site? The sales associates will give you options and suggestions that would otherwise be unavailable online. Trust me. I’ve walked away from both shops surprised by what I was able to achieve in-store.

Retailers like J.Crew and its sister store, Madewell, currently have online monogram shops that allow you to browse all of the items that can be personalized. This includes leather bags, belts and pouches, as well as sweaters, jeans and even bikini bottoms. Surprisingly, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The monogramming mega site, Mark and Graham, takes customization to otherworldly levels. You can have your initials monogrammed on apparel (not just for you, but your entire family, including pets), jewelry, clutches, cosmetic bags and everything in between. And it’s part of the Williams-Sonoma family, which means you can only expect great things.

If jewelry is more your speed, check out the initial pendants offered by Jennifer Zeuner, Helen Ficalora and Alex Woo. If those don’t fit your budget, no worries. Etsy has a ton of sellers with similar wares at more affordable prices.

The list of brands with customizable items in their arsenal continues to grow and includes monogram newbies, such as Michael Kors and Henri Bendel (monogrammed pill box, anyone?) as well as longtime favorites like Longchamp. For its iconic Le Pliage bag, Longchamp lets customers select the color, size, strap length, lining color and more! The number of possible combinations is practically infinite and guarantees individuality. But it’s the monogram that allows you to lay claim to your creation.

So go ahead and join the monogram craze. And, no, I’m not talking Louis Vuitton or Gucci. ‘Tis better to rock your own initials than someone else’s, right?