Monograms became passé for a time—not unlike the logo fatigue we are currently experiencing—but its recent resurgence (fueled by the “personal branding” movement) counts even luxury fashion houses among its champion.

J. Crew, who has offered discreet monogramming for some of its bags and clothes, has ramped up its efforts to monetize this renewed interest in customization. The Signet Bag is part of its big push into the space.

J. Crew Regent Blazer in “Warm Camel” size 00P | Forever 21 Crossover Top (similar here and here) | Gap Boyfriend Shorts size 24P | J. Crew Signet Bag in Italian Leather | Michael Kors Runway Watch | Gap Lace-up Ballet Flats size 6.5

The “Signet” camera bag is fairly utilitarian and plain, which encourages personal touches and accessories. J. Crew sells matching coin purses, customizable bag tags, and additional key fobs.


The all-leather Signet retails for $128, which is reasonable for J. Crew. At 6″ tall and 8.5″ wide, it’s the right size for a casual bag; there is sufficient room for essentials, but not enough room to weigh down the wearer. (An example of what I carry in this bag: phone, sunglasses with soft carrying case, glasses, lip balm, a travel charger, and a small wallet.)

The east-west top zipper opens to the main cavity: there is one zippered pocket and one slip pocket on either side of the wall. And, on one exterior face of the bag is a leather key fob, and on the other a full-sized pocket with a magnetic button closure. 


The soft pebbled leather is only slightly structured and isn’t protected from scratches, but I personally prefer this material to stiffer smooth leather.

The all-leather version is currently available in seven colors (Black, Cobalt Sea, Roasted Chestnut, Deep Pewter, Festival Red, Cypress Olive, and Dark Wine) and the mixed media version with calf hair is sold in three colorways (Leopard, Bright Ruby, and Black/White Spots).


While
this bag isn’t exactly unique, it’s a solid choice
for those looking to fill a camera
bag-sized void in their closet
. That it is somewhat
customizable is a bonus.