Mark Your Territory: Monogramming for Father’s Day (Or for You)

Judging by the blog-world’s temperature, it seems that there has been a softening in the monogram mentality.  These days, it looks like most of the monogramming is happening on Yeti coolers and tumblers.  Given that everything is cyclical, especially in #menswear, I’m sure monogramming will be back in good graces soon.

I’m here to do my part.  I really like monograms, but only if they are done the right way.  Always go small, and always go traditional.  You wouldn’t want the style of a monogram to date whatever it is that’s monogrammed.  Most monograms are either just that, a monogram that is first initial-last initial (bigger)-middle initial.  Otherwise it is initials (first-middle-last), which isn’t actually a monogram, but that seems to be the common accepted nomenclature.

 Seriously, how great do these look?:

Now is as good a time as ever to start pushing the monogram buttons again.  For masculine monograms, Father’s Day is a great time to get moving on this.  Note: I am not touching monograms for the ladies.  They still monogram everything.  Someone needs to pull in the reigns.  It’s fair to say that when fishing shirts are adorned with a tramp-stamp-esque salad-plate sized twirly mid-back tonal monogram, the preverbal shark has been jumped.

Guys: there’s still hope.  As with everything in #menswear, let’s not take ourselves too seriously.  Let’s have fun.  Initials are a great standard for monograms and initials, but there are others ideas that work for us guys:

DAD or POP – Father’s Day
GDP or ROI – Financial guys
404 or 843 (Area Code) – Hometown love
EAT – For the chef
ACE or GIR – For the golfer
WSP for the music lover
OBX, SGI, or SSI for the vacationer
BMF, COL or CEO – For the boss

WTF, OMG, LOL or BAE – NEVER.  These might get you punched in the neck.

Here is a round up of excellent gifts that can be monogrammed, either for Father’s Day (get your order in quick…), for a groom or groomsman, or for any other event where a guy needs a thoughtful gift:

From top Left:

1. Engraved Brass Collar Stays from Owen and Fred:  Sure, most point collar dress shirts come with their own collar stays, but the plastic options do nothing more than the minimum.  Up the game with these brass bad boys, and you are good to go.  These offer more room than just a three letter monogram, so a date, a nickname, or a James Bond reference, per the Owen and Fred option.
2. Tiffany & Co. Oval Cufflinks:  The go-to of monogrammed gifts.  Tiffany & Co cufflinks immediately become an heirloom piece that will be passed down.  Think about that: if you give these to Dad, you may get them back…  Don’t be afraid to go with a decorative script monogram (they go an a French Cuff shirt), or a very simple block letter font.  Either way, elect for hand engraving.  It makes a difference.
3. Orvis Rose Gold Chronograph Watch:  I’ve seen this in person, and it is really nice.  Orvis allows engraving on the backside of the watch, and for this price point, it’s hard to argue.
4. Colonel Littleton No. 6 Key Ring:  A great quick hitter.  I like the loop of this key ring, as it makes it easy to hang.  The leather is great, as it dulls the ‘clink’ of keys in your pocket.
5. Irish Linen Handkerchief Set:  A Gentleman always carries a handkerchief.  Add a personalized monogram and you are at Sinatra level.
6. Straight English Pewter Mug with Antler Handle from Vagabond House:  I have friends that took these out in Highlands, NC after getting them as groomsmen gifts and used them as beer vessels all night.  A very strong viking-esque play that made for some outstanding images.  Get a couple of these monogrammed with your initials of ‘BMF’ (“Pulp Fiction” reference…) and you are ready to go.  Extra credit: To bring beer to the proper temperature for drinking (European style); chill the tankard for about 30 minutes before serving, pour room temperature beer into the mug, in less than 3 minutes, the beer is perfect for serving.
7. Tiffany & Co. Chrome Retractable Ballpoint Pen:  Actually a really good executive gift.  Spending more than $1 on a pen creates an amazing mentality: somehow you don’t lose it.
8. Waterford Elegance Short Engraved Decanter:  Decanters are a good gift, but the majority of them are simple glass.  Go way above and get your old man an engraved crystal decanter.  Waterford is the go-to for anything and all crystal, as seen my 90% of wedding registries you’ve ever perused.  Stick with a timeless traditional block letter font and this will last a lifetime.
9. Waterford Irish Lace Engraved DOF Crystal Glasses:  Most engraving on glasses is a bad idea.  Especially wine glasses.  The only acceptable engraved wine glasses should come from an actual winery, and are only to be used when rowdy friends come over.  Here’s how to engrave glasses the right way: one letter, and really small.  Get your dad’s last name’s initial engraved as small as possible.  This way it’s a special momento, and not a name tag.
10. Marble Shave Set from Mark & Graham:  What a great gift for dad, more than likely the dude that taught you how to shave.  Great price point.  This could also be a great gift for a guy who’s beard needs some work.  Ladies – take note.
11. Brooks Brothers Original Polo Button-Down Oxford Dress Shirt:  Brooks Brothers finally released their iconic must-iron oxford.  Oxford Cloth Button Down (one of my favorite blogs) did a great review.  These are a great gift for any man.  Get the style that fits him best (traditional/slim/extra slim, or whatever they call them now), and add a fifth button OR cuff monogram.  Given that Father’s day is in the summer, go with pink.  White or navy monogram.
12. Gransfors Wildlife Hatchet:  This is for the dad that has everything.  As soon as he opens this, he’ll realize that he’s been falling short of ‘everything’ until that very moment.  I saw these at Sid’s when they arrived, and love the idea.  Ask them nicely and they’ll get it monogrammed for you.
13. Williams Sonoma Monogrammed BBQ Tools Set:  The reason this is such a great gift is that guys wouldn’t buy a nice BBQ tool set like this for themselves.  And add a monogram?  It won’t help him grill any better, but he’ll look great trying…
14. Colonel Littleton No. 1 Grip:  I am lucky enough to have one of these bad boys (full review coming soon), and can say this is one of the nicest bags I own.  It isn’t a 3-4 day duffle bag, instead a perfect weekender, or the nicest gym bag on the market.  Col. Littleton knows leather, and this is as good as it gets.
15. Brooks Brothers Correspondence Cards:  Never forget that a hand-written note is, and will always be, the most thoughtful gesture.  Whether a thank you letter or a personal message, having personalized correspondence cards makes it that much more official.
16. Orvis Battenkill Shotgun Case:  If you have a handsome (and expensive) Silver Pigeon shotgun, the case should keep up.  Orvis’ Battenkill line is out of this world, and their shotgun case includes a leather patch for initials.  Not a bad price point, either.
18: Personalized Titleist Vokey Wedge:  Wedges fall just short of putters in the golf/religions discussion.  Cleveland vs. Titleist.  The debate is as old as time.  Well, Titleist is releasing a new program that will allow wedge customization, including special paint fill, engraving, and other good stuff like that.  That’s tour-level stuff, there.

What am I missing?  Any other good monogram ideas?



  1. 05/25/2016 / 12:22 AM

    Amen to this post! I have been a long time monogram lover, but hate how overdone and trendy they have become! A well-placed, classic monogram makes such a bold, yet elegant statement. I hate the fact that has been somewhat lost with the need to monogram EVERYTHING!

  2. Nem
    05/25/2016 / 8:39 AM

    Monogram a shirt cuff or hem, and your slide belt buckle. That’s it. Everything else is just a graduation gift or groomsman’s token and not recommended.

  3. 02/26/2017 / 11:44 AM

    Well done Mr D & A! And the photos certainly put paid to my imaginings of French people cycling with baguettes in a basket and garlic/onions around their necks. Continued prayers and love for the injuries. And my commiserations on the remainder of the raspberry-and-rhubarb cake; a pity indeed.

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