Fashion Trends

Let’s Get Personal.

By: Jen Shoop

When I was six, my mom gave me a pink-and-white polka dotted duffel bag from Lillian Vernon with my name embroidered on it in thick white cursive.  I’ve been a monogramming fiend ever since; if there is an option for personalization, I’ll lunge for it.  (Also, how many of you also owned that Lillian Vernon bag?!)

I recently shared details on my Goyard-esque phone case with letters affixed to the back, and I’m not joking when I say that about 50% of my girlfriends now own this case…and, if link-clicking is a proxy, possibly 50% of my lovely Magpie tribe, as well.  Maybe we can now use it as a signal with one another, sort of like visual morse code: you see a Goyard case with letters on the back out in the wild, you exchange a knowing look — “Oh, you read Magpie, too?”

Below, a couple of other personalized favorites.

+For the most stunning monograms: The Loveliest Company.  (Shown above!!!) Just check out the many styles and colors of thread available!  Possibilities are infinite.  These are heirloom-quality monograms — the kind of thing you might find in great-great-aunt Irma’s silver cabinet or something.

+For the coolest hand-lettering: Paravel.  I am contemplating this as my diaper-bag-backpack situation, but I’m not sure it’s big enough on closer inspection.  Sigh.  If I do go with it, I like the robin’s egg blue or yellow hand lettering.  But also, I would love this as my duffel.  And this would make a great, chic gift.

+For the chicest font: Clare Vivier.  I’m very particular about fonts — I actually hate the standard font that comes with LL Bean bags; it feels at once dorky and standard-issue to me, but I live with it because it’s in its own way timeless.  Clare V., on the other hand, has REALLY great fonts — and I like that you can choose to place the monogram in like 5 different locations.

+For personalized sleepwear: Claridge + King sleepshirts or J. Crew’s Vintage Pajama Set.  Super traditional.  I loved the sleepshirt when I was breastfeeding; I’d had it since I was married, and I had it monogrammed and then personalized with our wedding date as well.  (If you’re a new mom or looking for a gift for a new mom, it could also be cute to personalize with the date of the baby’s birth!)  Also, I can’t speak to the quality because I’ve not yet ordered from them, but how cute are these PJ sets (also like the funky prints)?!

+For the most elegant personalized desktop: Smythson Journal + personalized tissue cover + initial notepads (very Goyard, n’est-ce pas?).  I bought my best friend a Smythson wafer notebook for wedding planning with her new initials on it when she first got engaged, and then another little notebook in white to keep notes when I was pregnant with mini.  They’re a lovely personal touch to commemorate new life stage that involve a lot of details.  (They have several on sale right now, including this phone/address book and this appropriately-titled “devil is in the details” notebook, both of which can be personalized!)

+For serious statement stationery: Hard to pick just one here — there are so many incredible letterpress studios, and I’m such a sucker for anything letterpress.  We had our wedding save the dates and invitation suites designed by Bella Figura, and they were lovely to work with, especially when we discovered, AFTER WE’D APPROVED THE PROOF, a typo in the address for the reception.  They graciously offered us a discount on the reprint and rushed them out despite the fact that it was entirely our doing.  Yikes.  I later had mini’s birth announcements from Dinglewood Design, which does a lovely job and is more reasonably priced than most letterpress outlets.  I would recommend both of those for stationery — personal and social both!  I have also been eyeing the personalized letterpress stationery from Sesame Letterpress and the fun designs from this Etsy boutique.  I might do a set with the vintage typewriter and THE FASHION MAGPIE emblazoned on the top…

+For baby stationery: I’ve ordered super-cute sets from here (don’t order in pale pink, though — the font is hard to read!) and here.

+For fashionable, personalized dog accessories: Shop Mimi Green.  I can’t get over the hand-stitching on this collar!

+For utility: Though I’m not a fan of the font, these LLBean bags STAND UP to the test of time.  They’re a must-have.  We have a bunch — one for Tilly, one for mini, one with our last name on it, one with my initials on it, and I use them constantly.  They come in particular handy for car travel, when I want to be able to access mini’s stuff without undoing a suitcase or unzipping a bag.  Also — if you’re more clever than I, you can come up with clever sayings or cute nicknames instead of a more straight-forward monogram.

+For Easter baskets: OMG and OMG.  (Most Instagrammable Easter ever?)

+For bedding: Restoration Hardware Italian Hotel Bedding.  We have this personalized with our monogram on our bed and it makes me feel like we’re staying at a luxurious hotel.  I have also been eyeing a set of Hill House Home pillowcases detailed with nicknames Mr. Magpie and I have for one another on them FOREVER.  For accent pillows, I absolutely love the quality of the monogram applique pieces from SouthernLinen — pillows like this are STUNNING.

+For parties: Personalized frosted glass cups + personalized napkins + gift tags.

+For baby: My sister gifted me a set of these thick and absorbent burp cloths monogrammed with mini’s initials and they are easily the most-used burp cloth of the lot.  I also love everything from here — the bloomers, the hairbows, the throw blankets…MEEP.

+For DIY: Use these letters to add some pizzazz to a big, affordable tote like this or this.  For a smaller bag (clutch or cosmetic bag?), you could use these gold ones from Kate Spade [<< Ed. note: these sold out, but I also tracked down these less expensive leather letter stickers!], or go high end on any bag with these beauties from Anya Hindmarch, which are leather!

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9 thoughts on “Let’s Get Personal.

  1. Love this post. I have been a fan of monogramming since birth — for my first official photo shoot (at 6 months old), I wore a navy velvet dress with a wide white square collar with a navy monogram! 🙂 I didn’t have that Lillian Vernon bag, but I remember looking at it in the catalog … I did have a pink-and-white-striped personalized beanbag chair from LV, though 🙂

    I’ve bookmarked this post for future reference, because there are so many good ideas within it! I love the look of that Paravel backpack, but agree that it looks a bit small to use as a diaper bag. I’ve decided that I’d really like a backpack purse and I’m deciding between the classic KARA zipper backpack in pebbled black leather, or Everlane’s Petra backpack, which is currently on a pretty decent sale. Can’t decide!!

    1. BOTH SO CHIC! Love. I’m still hunting for just the right style. I’m leaning a little bit toward a Gucci…is that too too?

    2. I don’t think so — for me it would depend on the style and print, but from what I can tell, Gucci really speaks to you and so I say go for it! I know you’d be able to pull it off with aplomb.


    My husband says that I don’t have to stick my initials (and for the baby, her initials) all over everything, but I beg to differ. I mean, I made the baby her own crest and my husband and I had one for our wedding (and it’s on all our joint stationery), so obviously I’m devoted to the cause. My dream gift would be one of those commercial monogram machines (don’t know what they’re called??) so I could go to town.

    Have you seen Cece DuPraz’s site? I’m getting off the internet before I order yet more monogrammed things.

  3. This post is so helpful on SO many levels–baby announcements, baby stationery… all the baby things, if I’m honest! As well as notebooks and pyjamas–I’ve bookmarked and will definitely be referring back to this post often!!!

    1. So glad to hear it!!! Monogrammed baby gear is the best — the first thing I had monogrammed with her initials finally made it all very real 🙂

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