I am a Southerner, born and raised.
I fit in with most of the social norms and customs down here at the gnat line.
I drink iced sweet tea and simply call it ‘tea’. I talk with a deep southern twang (when I am around my family). I eat vegetables cooked in bacon or fatback because veggies are good for you.
But there is one custom for southern women that I don’t follow – monogramming everything.
I see it everywhere I go. All the women I am around, and most every child, are carrying something with their name or initials sewn right into it. It is almost seen as a right of passage in the South. You turn 13 and you get a purse with your initials on it.
I will admit, it is a pretty good way to ensure everyone knows that handbag is yours. I mean, I don’t typically put mine down and walk away from it. And most of the time, no one has the same cheap purse I have. But if I do happen to, it would be good to tell at a glance if the purse is mine instead of having to casually glance inside to see if the contents are mine. That would definitely be too much work…
But what if you no longer want to carry that purse? You are now faced with the decision to either toss it in the trash, donate it to someone without the same initials, by some stroke of luck find someone with the same initials, or get a seam ripper after it to cut away all of the small stitches. And many times, there are little holes in the material after the thread is cut away so it is unusable anyway.
I use many things, like purses, until they are dead. The purse I am currently carrying around has threads coming out of the straps because the protective rubber has worn off. It’s quite sad. But the purse is still holding together, so I will use it for a while longer until it gets replaced.
Since I tend to use things until death, you could argue that I can monogram it if I want since it will not be usable by anyone else after I am done. But what if? What if I decide I don’t like it? What if I am gifted a newer one? What if I want to resell it because it has a good resell value and I took great care of it? If I have monogrammed it, I am out of luck.
While most women monogram their purses, most children also have monogrammed clothing. This is not their doing, most likely. Southern Mom’s feel the need to put a child’s initials or names on everything. And most women own a jacket with their initials monogrammed into it.
But how are you supposed to resell the clothes (which I highly advise doing at consignment sales)? I have passed over many cute outfits at consignment sales because they had the wrong name/initials/letters on them.
Even if you plan to keep them as keepsakes, how many do you really need? And after your children get older, are they ever really going to want 50 different outfits from their childhood with their initials on them?
It is best to just skip the monograms and sell all but a select few (2 or 3) outfits.
There are always exceptions. I did get a backpack for Monkey from a consignment sale with his name already monogrammed into it. And he doesn’t have a common name. There is a monkey embroidered on it, too. It was too perfect. Oh, and it was $3.00.
Also, some daycares require you to put a child’s name on everything you send to daycare. Just try to do it in a way you can get it off later to resell it or pass it on to someone else. Or, if you will be using it for multiple children, put your last name on it, instead.
If you have twins or triplets, I totally understand putting a monogram on their backpacks, clothes, or bows to keep stuff (or children) separated. I would have to monogram the bottom of their feet with a sharpie just to keep identical twins apart.
While there are exceptions, the best bet is to stay away from monogramming everything. If you need a name on something, removable tags work great!
Do you monogram everything? How does that affect your ability to sell/donate it?