The Social Stationery Wardrobe

A stationery wardrobe can consist of any number of different papers. It may seem to you that there is a special paper for every letter that you write. However, while there are many different types of paper from which to choose, you may start out with just two: one for writing notes and one for writing letters.

As with the clothes you wear, the stationery you use makes a statement about you. Therefore, you should always use a high-quality paper for your personal stationery. Papers made from 100-percent cotton fiber are the best.

Your stationery can be either engraved with a copper plate, printed in thermography, or flat printed. Engraving offers you the most elegant look, and, while engraving is initially more expensive than the other processes, its look is much more appealing. Most of the additional cost of engraving is in the initial process of cutting the die, which can be used over and over again.

Thermography, or raised printing, offers a look that is similar to, but not as fine as, engraving. White engraving your stationery will give you a finer look, you may wish to print some of you stationery in thermography.

Your name or monogram may appear on your stationery. As letters are written by only one person, only one person’s name or monogram properly appears on stationery.

Social Papers for Women

Letter Sheets

Letter Sheets are the most formal papers in a woman’s stationery wardrobe. They are ecru or white and have a fold along the left-hand side. (Formal wedding invitations are engraved on letter sheets.) The letter sheet folds again from top to bottom to fit inside an envelope that is approximately half its size.

Blank, unadorned letter sheets are used to reply to formal invitations and for letters of condolence. Because of their simplicity and elegance, letter sheets may be used for any type of correspondence.

Letter sheets may be adorned with an engraved or blind embossed coat of arms of monogram. They may also be engraved with an address for use as house stationery.

One writes on pages 1, 3, and 2 of a letter sheet, in that order. The back page of a letter sheet is never written on.

Monogrammed Notes

Monograms were created hundreds of years ago as a way for illiterate members of royalty to authorize documents and proclamations. Charlemagne was one of the early users of monograms. He was unable to write his name, so he drew his monogram in lieu of signing his name.

Women use monogrammed notes to write thank-you notes, to extend formal invitations, and to send short messages to friends and acquaintances. You should choose a monogram style that reflects your taste and personality. If you choose to have your notes engraved, you will need to purchase an engraving die. Your engraving die can be used again and again, so you should choose a lettering style that has lasting appeal.

Notes start on page 1 when the monogram is engraved at the top of the note. The note continues to page 3, then to page 2, if absolutely necessary. When the monogram is engraved in the center of the note, the note is written on page 3. You cannot use page 2 since the engraving on page 1 causes an indentation on page 2.

The correct initials for married women to use are those representing her first name, maiden name, and married name. When all of the letters in the monogram are the same size, the initials appear in order. Many monogram styles have a larger center initial. In these styles, the initial representing the woman’s married name appears in the middle, flanked by the initials of her given and maiden names.

Single women and married women who retain their maiden name use the initials representing their first, middle, and last names. They appear in order in monogram styles in which all of the letters are the same size. When using a monogram style in which the middle initial is larger, the initial of the surname appears in the middle, flanked by the initials of the given name.

Informals

Contrary to their name, informals are rather formal. They are small white or ecru foldover notes that are usually the smallest allowable mailing size. They are engraved in black ink and may have a blind embossed frame.

Informals are engraved with a woman’s proper social name, preceded by her title. “Mr. and Mrs.” is properly used on informals only when they are used to issue an informal invitation from both husband and wife.

Informals are used to issue informal invitations, to respond to informal invitations, to send very brief messages, and as gift enclosures. They are not properly used as calling cards or thank-you notes.

You usually write on page 3 of an informal but when sending brief messages or invitations, you may write on the front.

Message Cards

Message cards are single cards, large enough to mail, that are used for greetings, informal invitations, and replies to informal invitations. Message cards are ecru or white and are engraved in black ink.

A woman’s full social name preceded by her title, appears near the top center of the card, with the address (only the street address in a large city; street address, city, and state in a small town) in the top right-hand corner.
Half Sheets

Half sheets were originally called half sheets because they were half the size of formal letter sheets. Half sheets are single sheets of paper that fold in half to fit their envelopes. They may be embellished with a monogram, a name, an address, a name and address, or a coat of arms. Half sheets and monogrammed notes can be ordered to match.

Only the front of the half sheet is written on, never the back. When more space is needed, an unembellished second sheet is used.

Correspondence Cards

One of the most useful items in a stationery wardrobe is a correspondence card. More informal than a note, these cards are used for thank-yous, informal invitations, and short notes.

Correspondence cards are flat, heavy cards that are mailed in their corresponding envelopes. They can be plain or bordered, depending on one’s tastes.

A name, a monogram, or a coat of arms may appear at the top of the card. One writes only on the front of the card.

Monarch Sheets

Although not used very often by women, a monarch sheet can be used for long letters or personal business letters. A monarch sheet measures 7 ¼’’ x 10 ½’’ and folds twice to fit its envelope.

Only the front of the sheet is written on, never the back. If additional space is needed, blank second sheets are used.

Rhonda Sue Burke
9229 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90064

9229 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90064

Rhonda Sue Burke

Postcards

Postcards can be engraved with either the name of the name and address on one line at the top of the card. They are used for simple, nonconfidential correspondence. The maximum size that the Postal Service accepts for reduced rate postage is 4’’ x 6’’.

House Stationery

House stationery may properly be used by any resident of the house or by any guest staying at that address. Many people order house stationery for their country homes so that engraved stationery is always available for their guests. House stationery may show the name of the house or estate, or simply the address

4010 Raquet Street
Nacodoghes, Texas 75961

GREEN MEADOW FARM

Envelopes

The return address should always appear on the flap of an envelope used with social stationery. The use of the name with the address is proper, but it is more elegant to show just the address. When the address is in an apartment building, the name of the apartment number should appear with the address. (The nine-digit Zip Code, customarily used in business, may also be used on personal stationery.)

2319 Princess Ann Street
Greensboro, North Carolina 27408

Apartment 25 P
130 Ease End Avenue
New York, New York 10028

130 East End Avenue, Apt. 25 P
New York, New York 10028

Social Papers for Men

Monarch Sheets

Most men use monarch sheets (7 ¼’’ x 10 ½’’) for their personal letters and personal business letters. Monarch sheets fold twice to fit their envelopes. Although monarch sheets are available in a variety of colors, most men prefer ecru and white. Many different ink colors are also available, but most men choose black, grey, or navy blue.

Men put their name, address, or name and address at the top of the sheets. The stationery retains a more personal look when only the name is shown.

Only the front of the sheet is written on, never the back. If additional space is needed, blank second sheets are used.

Michael Scagluso
3930 Bissonnet
Houston, Texas 77005

Michael Scagluso

3930 Bissonnet
Houston, Texas 77005

Half Sheets

Men who usually do not write long letters may prefer half sheets to monarch sheets. Half sheets are smaller than monarch sheets and fold in half to fit their envelopes. They may be embellished with a coat of arms or a monogram, but most prefer to show just their names.

Like the monarch sheets, only the front of a half sheet is written on, never the back. Blank second sheets are used when more space is needed.

Correspondence Cards

Correspondence cards are used for thank-you notes and brief correspondence. Men should use them instead of foldover notes. Foldover notes are small notes that fold top to bottom and should only be used by women.

The cards are very practical, and many men find they use more correspondence cards than sheets. Usually, a name or monogram appears at the top, although you might want to put your name and address on one line across the top. Only the front of the card is written on.

MJS

Michael Scagluso

Michael Scagluso • 3930 Bissonnet • Houston, Texas 77005

Envelopes

Envelopes for social stationery are imprinted with the address on the back flap. The name can be shown but is usually omitted. If an address is in an apartment building, the name or the apartment number should be shown. (The nine-digit Zip Code, customarily used in business, may also be used on personal stationery.)

MICHAEL SCAGLUSO
3930 BISSONNET
HOUSTON, TEXAS 77005

3930 BISSONNET, APT. 324
HOUSTON, TEXAS 77005

3930 BISSONNET • 324
HOUSTON, TEXAS 77005

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