In the South, monograms are everywhere and part of a long fashion personalization history. If you're a Southern gal, you probably have an essential wardrobe item with a monogram that makes it uniquely yours, such as clothing or an accessory.
Many Southerners monogram their purses, keychains, shoes, sweatshirts, handkerchiefs, and anything you can think of.
Where Did It Come From?
For those not born and raised in the South, you might be curious and wondering where the tradition of personalized monograms came from. A monogram is the art of placing letters, or initials, to represent and identify who you are. There are many ways to create a monogram, and we see it most commonly in the Victorian era inspired format, which puts the order of initials as follows: first initial, last initial letters much larger than the middle initial, which is smaller. This places prominence on the last name, which emphasizes family, something we, as Southerners, hold near and dear to us.
In the 6th century, Ancient Roman Rulers used their initials during their rules to mark the authenticity of coins. During the 8th century, Charlemagne is credited mainly for the widespread use of monograms on goods as a way for him to represent his power and authority in an area that he had conquered.
In Christianity, monograms became deeply rooted with the Chi Rho, or the monogram of Jesus Christ. The first two Greek letters in Christ are called the Chi and the Rho, and combined, they create a symbol that represents Jesus Christ.
Modern Day Monograms
Today, everywhere we look, we'll no doubt spot a monogram, especially in high fashion. Designers like Louis Vuitton with its famous "LV," printed on purses and luggage, handbags, wallets, and everything in between. Other renowned design houses have monograms that are instantly recognizable, like the YSL of Yves Saint Laurent, the mirrored C's of Chanel, Vera Wang's iconic VW, and many, many more. By using monograms, fashion houses can brand and distinguish themselves and their products from their competitors.
In the last few years, married monograms, with the woman's initial first, the couple's last name initial in the middle, and the male's first initial last, have become a hot trend for weddings and homes.
In the South, monogramming items has been a long-standing tradition in fashion to personalize garments to allow them to stand apart from the rest while representing their family or things they are deeply passionate about. As we live in a time overrun with fast fashion and immediate satisfaction, sometimes it feels like there's nothing special about clothing anymore.
Personalizing through monograms allows people and customers to own unique garments in a sea of mass-produced garments. Thanks to today's technology in sewing and crafts, the range of customization options through monograms is constantly growing, leaving us with endless one-of-a-kind outfit possibilities.
Whether you prefer the more classic monogrammed his and her bathroom towels or stylized shirts and bedsheets, the monogram as Southern fashion personalization is alive, and we can't imagine the trend fading away anytime soon.