The pocket square
Once the trademark of a gentleman, used mainly as a reusable handkerchief, and occasionally as an elaborated gift to sweep ladies off their feet as a sign of courtesy and politeness, the pocket square has once again found its way into the wardrobe of men.
Although for different purposes, men of all ages have been sporting them proudly in the chest pockets of their blazers, suit jackets and even shirts. A rakish accessory without a doubt, it’s a perfect complement to an outfit by adding a pinch of color and pattern, while evoking the lost aura of gentlemanliness: that perfectly folded, pointy or puffing out piece of fabric lets people know you mean business.
It’s that extra bit of attention to detail that elevates your ensemble to a new level, retaining other people’s looks on yourself and leaving an impression. I often stress the importance of accessorizing as a way to take it up a notch, and the pocket square is a prime example, allowing you to diversify your look based on the type of fabric, color and pattern. By mixing these three elements, you’ll be able to attribute a more classic, dandyish, playful or dapperly connotation to your outfit. The traditional silk pocket square may sometimes appear too formal for your everyday wear due to its sheen, besides not being the most affordable option. Similarly to what happens with the bow tie, you might want to look for alternative fabrics, namely cotton or chambray, which will enable you to pull off the look with a more casual and relaxed feel.
On this note, a great option is to take handkerchiefs or bandanas and use them as pocket squares. Usually made of cotton and coming in an array of colors and patterns, they’ll keep you looking your best without depleting your bank account (check out Tie Rack’s packs of 3, great value).
This is my collection at the moment…need to invest in a few more options in red and pink tones.
Left to right: 1 - purple silk pocket square by Gentleman 2 - vintage white pocket square 3 - light blue cotton pocket square by Gentleman 4 - silk pocket square by Épice 5-10 - cotton pocket squares by Tie Rack.