Monograms on Men’s Dress Shirts

When, where, and how to monogram a man’s dress shirt

Men opting to distinguish themselves through their dress shirts can do so with a monogram. This article gives men the ground rules for displaying their embroidered initials on a dress shirt. Remember these protocols if you don’t want to blunder this simple and elegant addition to the men’s dress shirt.

mens monogrammed dress shirt

Making a Dress Shirt Unique

Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Instead of buying a suit off the rack, a man should seriously consider a custom suit to enhance his image. If it is worth taking the time to buy a suit then it is worth buying a custom suit. Likewise, if a man wants to, say, build a storage building he can be proud of then it is worth planning right and building the best storage building he can.

Men understand this principle intuitively but sometimes lack small but significant bits of information which will make a good endeavor a great one. When it comes to men’s dress shirts, one of those little things is a monogram.

What is a Shirt Monogram?

A dress shirt monogram is a small embroidery of two or three letters usually corresponding to the individual’s initials. Monograms were originally used to identify to whom the shirt belonged because great groups of shirts were laundered together. Nowadays men monogram their shirts to give them some personal character.

A Man's Guide To Style

Where to put a Monogram

Men can put shirt monograms in one of several locations on the dress shirt but some work better for certain men than others. Shirt cuffs and collars are popular locations but can seem pretentious. After all, monograms serve no function today, so why put one in such a conspicuous place? Monograms on shirt cuffs and collars make the wearer look snobby or insecure and because that’s where most monograms are today, choose a more subtle location.

The left forearm is a good place because it does not show while a man wears a suit/sport jacket but anyone who catches him without his jacket will notice. Keep it off of the right forearm because you shake hands with that one and brandishing your monogram in someone’s face defeats the location’s subtlety. If the left forearm is still too noticeable for you, consider the shirt front a couple inches above the trouser line.

Here a monogram will be visible without a jacket on but not screaming for attention (as it would on the pocket), and if you wear a jacket, it is only visible when unbuttoned.

Shirt Monogram Styles
Men have a lot of options for styling their shirt monogram. The first and simplest choice is font. The vast majority of shirtmakers who monogram will give the option of block or script but you might find specialty fonts out there too. Be sure the font doesn’t call attention to itself if you do opt for one other than block or script. Next a man can choose the color of the embroidery.

This is a question of personal taste but the embroidery color should not stand out. Light blue embroidery on a white shirt; dark blue embroidery on a light blue shirt; red embroidery on a pink shirt; these options are simple, subtle and tasteful. Keep elaborate designs away. You just want your monogram, no lines or laurel branches or dollar signs or anything other than two or three letters.

mens shirt monogram detail

A simple, tasteful “AOC” monogram which does not stand out in size, font style or color.

 customized monograms

Some monogram styles a gentleman should ditch

Summarizing Dress Shirt Monogram Guidelines

Our shirts today are not going to be lost among unmonogrammed shirts so a monogram on a dress shirt is functionless. In form, however, it adds a touch of manly charm when done subtly. If a man wears a monogram in a conspicuous place like the shirt cuff he looks like he is putting on a show of fake classiness and rich pretension, characteristics unbefitting a well-dressed gentleman.

If you cannot live without a shirt monogram, put it on the front of the shirt where it will sit just above your trouser line or on your left forearm. Refer back to this guide when you get your first dress shirt monogram and you will have everything you need to know about how to do it well.