Sorting through some family photos, I noticed something I hadn’t before: Mom’s Oxford shirts had her monogram on the upper left side. I immediately called her and she filled me in.
Mom bought her shirts at Brooks Brothers in downtown San Francisco and they asked if she wanted her monogram and she said, why not? LMB – in large loopy script on all her white shirts and beige shirts. “I thought I was such hot shit with that monogram,” Mom informs me. Not only did she wear Oxford shirts (when none of her girlfriends did), but she sported her monogram to boot. “How did people put up with me,” she laughs.
When she divorced her first husband and married her second, Mom kept up the monogram shirts, but dropped the third initial. “I resented taking on a husband’s name,” she says.
It was the Victorians who first brought monograms into vogue, displaying their initials on everything from towels to jewelry to clothing. In the 20th century monograms were a tradition among the preppy set back east, but perhaps not as much out here in California.
Mom gave up the monogram Oxford shirts in the 70s when fashion took a dramatic turn, but she still was and always will be, Hot Shit.