My love affair with stationery began as a pre-teen when I opened the pages of my mother’s Emily Post etiquette book from the 1940′s. I marveled at the explicit guidelines for setting a table and running a household, but what I remember most is the section on social stationery. To be honest, I was mesmerized by the many types of stationery that every well-bred woman should own. Naturally, I created my wishlist of must-have stationery items with notations as to their purposes, lest I should forgot at some latter date, and dreamed of the day I would create my own social stationery wardrobe.
In an age of emails and text messages, the art of writing a letter has almost gone the way of extinction. Perhaps, because of its rareness, a handwritten letter or note is something to be cherished. There is something uniquely elegant in a person taking the time to give of oneself in such a personal way. A handwritten note takes planning and a sense of purpose in order to properly compose a legible, clearly understandable piece of communication. After all, there is no spell-check, no edit button, no cut and past feature. Once the ink hits the paper, the words achieve a certain permanence. The handwritten note is much like a handmade quilt — is meant to be held close to the heart.
Pieces That Should Be In Every Classic Woman’s Stationery Wardrobe
1. Letter Sheets: the most formal of all the papers it is used to reply to formal invitations and for letters of condolence. Due to its simplicity and elegance, the blank sheets may also be used for any other type of correspondence.
2. Monogrammed Notes: used to write thank-you notes, extend formal invitations, and to send short messages
3. Informal Notes engraved with a woman’s proper social name: used to extend informal invitations, to respond to informal invitations, to send short messages and to use as gift enclosures.
4. Once the basics have been acquired, the more casual pieces of social stationery can be added for informal correspondence between friends. These paper choices can be fun or refined, but should always reflect the writer’s personality.