JT's Personalized Loot Post on Monograms

Photograph by Genevieve Naylor/Corbis Close

Photograph by Genevieve Naylor/Corbis


Photograph by Genevieve Naylor/Corbis

Gentle reader (GR): Are you sure you want a monogram?

Some do. Kids who need to distinguish their backpacks from other kids' backpacks do. Grown-ups, too, who want to confer a touch of old-world elegance on their lives in the digital age.

The risk is in the operative word there -- old. "It's just not as common anymore," says Alex Yampolskiy, vice president of client relations at Michael Andrews, a bespoke tailor in New York. Clients "don't want to be perceived as someone older," he says.

Monograms can be seen as ostentatious. Clients "don't want to be offensive to their senior colleagues," Yampolskiy says. "They want to fly under the radar."

Amber Doyle, co-owner of Doyle + Mueser, a custom-suit company in the West Village, says around 50 percent of her customers get their shirts monogrammed. "It's more of a personal preference," she says. "They want to make it known that 'this was definitely made for me.' "

That it will do, if you have the suave self-assurance to carry it off, and are willing to risk a monogrammatic ALOL from the unimpressed.

James Tarmy reports on arts and culture for Bloomberg Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News.

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