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Over the course of 127 years in the shirt business, you’re bound to pick up a few tricks and a few stories. Houston’s Hamilton Shirt Co. has been one of the best sources for custom shirts since the gilded age, and as of August 25th, they’re letting us in on some of those stories…in the form of some unusually clever monograms.

Exhibit A: this mark comes from a garbled customer order to have “my special brand” sewn into a crop of shirts, only he ended up with this inscription instead of the brand he had in mind. Fortunately he liked it well enough to adopt the phrase as an off-hand signature—and Hamilton liked it enough to revive it for their new fall line. You can also get Hamilton’s own special brand, an underlined H, but our personal favorite is a Mister Mort-inspired inscription reading simply “MINE.”

That should clear up any confusion.

Posh Denim, Prep Rockers and Monogram Lands in The Village


Top Banana: Monogram, Banana Republic's high-end branch line, will open its first stand-alone store on Bleecker Street next month. [DNRNews]

The Candy Man: Like so many celebrities, Willy Wonka has a fashion line. [LA Times]

Cut to Fit: A blogger's first foray into Hong-Kong bespoke sends him into revery. [Men's Flair]

The Source: A long hard look at the fabrics that separate the name brands from the knockoffs. [IHT]

Hats Off: The dizzying heights and heartbreaking lows of the newsboy cap. [Magnificent Bastard]

New York Noise: T charts the dress codes of your favorite local bands... and Vampire Weekend. Taste the backlash. [T Online]

Spice World: Unsatisfied with her successful campaign against feminine style and grace, Victoria Beckham attacks men's clothing. [DNRNews]

Initial Thoughts


"All mankind is running to monograms this year," wrote the New York Times Style section in June, 1902 (click for the fin-de-si‚àö¬Æcle puff piece.) Apparently, monograms were the pants or ties of the age. Since then, what originated with the crests of kings became a not-so-subtle talisman of status more than style, practical in white-collar and dry-cleaning Post-War days and was eventually almost extinguished by the rise of the logo. Granted, monograms have been mostly the provenance of oil-executives since the Patrick Bateman era, but that's no reason not to dapple in initialization…