The concept of a stationery wardrobe is very old fashioned. Back when writing was the primary means of communication and an essential for proper ettiquette, having a cohesive, personalized collection of stationery for different occasions and uses was critical. The traditional wardrobe included flat cards, folded cards, calling cards, and various sized letterhead sheets. I have created my own interpretation of how to build a well rounded, functional, and expressive stationery wardrobe for modern correspondence.
What is a wardrobe? We use that word a lot, but what does it mean? A wadrobe generally means a collection of clothes or costumes that make up a person’s style identity. Well the same applies to stationery. Just like how you will have various outfits for different occasions in your closet, so too, should you have a range of stationery for different occasions. The unifying element just needs to be your own personal style and how you want to be perceived in each situation. For example, I have a pretty, flowy floral dress I wear to dinner parties where I want to look a little dressy, but still trendy and feel really pretty. After the party, I want to send a thank you note that captures the same style - so I reach for my floral flat cards with my name written in a pretty flowing cursive font. Fun right?!
So let’s break down the different occasions to plan for and styles to get you started.
Goal: When you want to look serious, professional, or proper.
Example Occasions: Condolences, job interviews (where formality is key)
Folded cards are often perceived as being more formal than flat cards. The design you select can make a huge difference here and a very professional design can be used as both a folded and flat card in formal situations.
Typically classic style monograms and names printed in serif, old-school fonts work great here.
Goal: When you want to show some of your personal style, but still want to seem professional.
Example Occasions: Job interviews where personality is important, event thank you notes
Flat cards and folded cards both work great here depending on the design. You will want to choose something not too playful, but that still infuses your personality. The graphics and fonts of the cards will make the biggest impact here.
Goal: Proudly display your style and deepen your personal connection with the recipient.
Example Occasions: Gift thank yous, thanking a friend for being awesome, happy birthday letter
Flat cards are my go-to for everyday use. They allow you to write a quick note and have some fun with it! This is the largest part of my wardrobe. I usually have 2-4 different designs on hand to pick from based on the part of my personality that I want to come across to the recipient. For example, when sending a note to Emma’s teachers, I choose something a little more reserved. For sending a note to my best friend, I go for the hot pink, punchy florals and bold fonts.
MAKE IT EASY TO USE
I keep a drawer of my desk reserved for storing the different styles and my stamps so that it is easy and quick to write a note and get it out. Making it easy and fun to send notes means you won’t procrastinate on it the next time you need to send out a note!