The height all things chic must surely be the monogram, I have always lusted after monograms. Obviously the traditional Maison Goyard hand-lettered steamer trunk is the ultimate coup. The only Louis Vuitton I find that catch my eye are older pieces which have faded and worn with personalised bright stripes and letters of their owners – courtesy of their Mon Monogram which is also hand-painted, (somewhat amusingly!) over LV’s own monogram. Vuitton have in fact been celebrating their monogram for years; culminating in the recent collaborative project ‘The Icon and the Iconclasts’ which invites artists to interpret the famous motifs for themselves.

louis vuitton iconoclasts

goyard trunks

Of course, in the case of these trunk-makers, the self-branding came about from the purely practical requirement of their customers being able to recognise one’s luggage when travelling, as opposed to some kind of measure of chicness! But lets face it, those travelling on steamers and railways in those days were already heralding their status and chicness just by being there in the first place – monogrammed or not.

The irony of a monogram feeling so luxurious to me still now – when essentially the house monograms of the Maisons (Chanel’s C’s, Gucci’s G’s and LV’s LV’s of course) – are the most copied and faked of all time does not escape me, but it’s not their monograms that I aspire to, it’s mine. My very own initials. I share those of the Queen which I enjoy, they fit together so perfectly. I am in little love with my own initials, its true. Maybe EJR is the new LV? Maybe he was so in love with his own initials this is how it all started… (Actually his son George created it in his honour, meh).

vuitton trunks

louis vuitton monogram

vuitton monogram

When I was younger, my parents gave me a Samsonite vanity case with my own initials that I loved – a classic 80’s grey with mint green trim, Ooh La La! I somewhat ludicrously toted it about on various holidays, mostly in North Devon but occasionally it got to go on an aeroplane. It was filled with Kylie and MJ cassettes, Anastasia books and that yellow Sony Walkman. Vanity cases, again, such a chic notion, but as my make-up consists of an Eyeko mascara, Chanel eyeliner palette, Lucas Paw Paw, and a Laura Mercier eye base – a case it does not fill. I always fantasise about being the kind of woman who would travel with a vanity case, or a steamer trunk for that matter. Truth is, I am just not. I’m always hauling scripts and 73 Apple products plus their chargers plus adapters, so alas chic traveller – No. Hateful airline ‘you can only have one bag’ lopsided sweaty back-achey techno traveller – Yes.

Whilst the aim of a personalised Goyard steamer trunk, and or becoming the kind of woman who travels with a vanity case are life dreams conceivably impossible to achieve, I have found some very pleasing alternatives to the monogrammatic fantasy. Little ideas to make your personal life feel a little more chic, in the face of the real life adversity of actually having to do quite a lot of work.

rae feather bagsrae feather

Via Jean Queen Donna Ida’s fabulous Instagram I came across British brand Rae Feather , which ties together two of my very favourite chic things – French baskets and Monograms. Available in three sizes and strap lengths {and a clutch purse, which has been out of stock for months sadly} these baskets are an affordable way to commence this initialled life dream. Baskets are just brilliant and I’ve waxed lyrical about them before. You can chuck everything in and feel like you are tripping around the Riviera instead of carrying parsley, sweet potatoes and CoYo home from the supermarket. Whilst I do appreciate £120 for a basket which is available for around £20 in plain reality, please do appreciate that someone is taking the time to sit and paint, by hand, you on to it. It takes time, so appreciate the artisan. Plus I am comparing this as a solution to a £10,000 + steamer trunk so, you know…

Of course pyjamas are another traditionally popular piece to personalise. Ever since I saw Brigitte Bardot in A Very Private Affair I knew two things for absolute. A. I never want to be a film star. B. I want to wear proper pyjamas.

bardot pyjamas

silk pyjamas

I find pyjama buying as tricksy as bikini buying. The top and bottom halves of my body seem, according to pretty much all retailers, to belong to totally different women. Buying anything for your bust and bottom at the same time is surely one of the worst ideas in all retail history?

Whilst badly-sized swimwear has a much more widespread effect as it is mostly worn in a public space. Coloured Lycra creeping upwards, or sagging away from the body; the idea of badly-fitting pyjamas is almost more uncomfortable for me. They are a luxury item; to be enjoyed solo as one potters around one’s abode, making watching CSI Miami repeats or dusting the books feel glamorous. If you subscribe to wearing any pyjamas at all, you subscribe to letting in a little bit of chic, otherwise you’d just wear a hideously misshapen and weirdly grey t-shirt with a tea stain down it to bed – you know I’m right.

poplin pyjamas

Breakfast at Tiffanys Pyjamas

poplins monogram

Audrey’s slumber kit in Breakfast At Tiffanys is of course legendary. Sleeping eyes are always a must, and earplugs perpetually fall out anyway so why on earth should they not in fact be tasselled? The nightshirt championed here proffers an equally fancy bed wear option, although the practicality of actually sleeping as the fabric python suffocates me slowly through the night terrifies me into avoiding them.

I love Poplin’s offer of simple, yet classic luxury loungewear, and they employ Hand & Lock, a London embroidery institution since the 1700’s, to hand embroider their PJs with your initials. Now if the idea of this luxury excess in order to eat a bar of Green and Black in front of Orange is the New Black seems wild, then you can always wear them outside of course, to increase that price-per-wear value.

pyjamas fashion week

olivia von halle

Since about 2012, it has been touted by The Fashion Industry as 100% acceptable, nay chic, to wear your PJs in the day. Street style snappers at Fashion Weeks across the globe have captured the fash pack sporting the masculine silky separates worn with classic staples, as well as worn in full two-piece printed glory. I recommend Olivia von Halle’s beautiful prints for this, as well as faux fur fox Shrimps’ collaboration with Poplin. Both of which can, of course, be monogrammed…