When you buy a custom-made dress shirt you get to design it just the way you like, including whether or not to have it monogrammed. While it is a personal preference, we advocate for monogram dress shirts. Monograms are a sharp design feature that enhance the shirt and display a client’s personality.


Originated by the Greeks and Romans, the monogram became a source of identification.

First, a monetary system used clay coins stamped with letters representing a particular region. The straight and rounded letters of the Roman alphabet evolved into stylized letters that flowed more quickly for scribes to record. Over time, the monogram became a familiar sight on anything owned by royalty. Letters were sealed with wax stamped with an initial. Household items made of precious metals bore them as well. In Europe, family crests with elaborately embroidered initials and symbols were proudly displayed. In later centuries, monograms on garments made it easy to distinguish which article of clothing belonged to whom after it was laundered.

What to know about monogram dress shirts

series of examples of styles of monogram dress shirts

Traditional vs. modern monograms

Traditional monograms consist of three letters with a large initial of the last name in the center flanked by smaller first name and middle name initials. It is definitely more formal and easily lends itself to a eye-catching designs. If you want a subtle more modern look using three letters, change the order to first, middle and last name initials with all three letters equal in size. That goes for two letters too.

Monogram Thread color

A custom-made shirt allows you to decide the color thread in which to stitch your monogram. Choose one that is a shade darker than the shirt fabric or highlight a color in a patterned shirt. For example: navy stitching on a blue shirt or shades of beige or brown on an ecru shirt. White shirts can handle just about any color although white on white and shades of grey look pretty classy.

Monogram Placement

Placing a monogram on the left cuff is by far the most common location. Others include above the pocket; the top middle of the left breast pocket; the back center of the collar; or the right cuff. Less conspicuous locations are the forearm or a few inches below where the left breast pocket would normally be found. For those who worry about losing their shirts at commercial laundry facilities, follow past customs by placing a monogram on the bottom underside of the shirt’s front.

Hand stitched monogram dress shirts are a lost art. Embroidery machines with computer-generated fonts can whip out any style you want in a few minutes. The trick is to choose a style that’s easy to read—the fancier the design the harder it is to read. Remember, the stitching is usually only ¼” tall. We’ll help you choose a dress shirt style with the type of monogram that works for you.




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