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The other day my co-worker, who might be one of the last true preppies from the 80s (She won’t let her children wear black and is usually wearing tennis clothes. Also she doesn’t wear socks.) asked me if I could create a monogram for her bath towels. People still do that, apparently. And they’re completely sincere! Today monograms are mostly found at weddings but back in the day they were commonplace. The Tuppence Ha’penny Vintage blog found a 1935 source that stated “everything is initialed these days.”

A crocheted blanket from 1968:

“Historically, a monogram was used as a royal signature. Romans and Greeks used them on coins to identify their rulers. Then, in the Middle Ages, artisans began to use them to sign their work. Victorian-period high-class persons adapted the monogram for personal use as a symbol of their place in society. Now, monograms can be seen on just about anything.

In the Victorian era, rules for monograms were quite simple and few. Female monograms had the first initial on the left, middle initial on the right, and last initial embroidered larger in the middle.

Rules are now flexible, but for the purist, there are a few standards. First of all, monograms with three initials are generally in the Victorian format of first initial, large last initial, middle initial. Married monograms usually consist of the bride’s first initial on the left, the groom’s first initial on the right, and the joint last name initial larger in the center. A married woman would use her first name initial on the left, maiden initial on the right, then new last initial larger in the center. But the choice is truly yours.”

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