Dapper Details: The Pocket Square

By Alex Noble Thursday 2nd Nov, 2017

This item of clothing, if you can even call it that, causes a bit of a dilemma for people who like to dress functionally because, in actual fact, it’s a functionally useless piece of cloth, which fits a functionally useless pocket. (Apart from a peg for a closed pair of sunglasses).

However, from reading my other posts (and if you haven’t been then what have you been doing with your life?) you’ll realise I’m not a Nikes with my suit kind of commuter; style and clothing functionality are often at opposite ends of the spectrum, and I’d choose the former, every time.

One quick note; can I please distinguish the difference between a pocket square and a handkerchief; one is for show, and one to blow. So if you’re a functional dresser, stick to the hanky up your sleeve…

If I was to describe contemporary men as an animal when it comes to fashion, they’d be chameleons. Why? Well, within modern society, a large proportion of men like to blend in and dress the same. Why not venture out and make a statement – it doesn’t have to be bright yellow trainers, or a fedora (although both can look rather great) but accessories like a pocket square are a great way to add some pizazz to your formal wear.

In my opinion, it should be a sartorial staple, so why not make it so?

But remember, although the pocket square can provide a real touch of class to an outfit, don’t fall a few details short…

It’s Not Tinder

No matter how prone you are to swiping right in search of that perfect match, pocket squares are different – do not try and pair it with your tie. You should be donning it to add an element of creativity and vibrancy, not simply trying to blend it in with your tie (Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon). However, if you’re wearing a navy tie, a splash of navy in the pocket square wouldn’t hurt anyone, least of all you.

Material Maketh Man

This isn’t simply a shot in the dark my boy; you should have thought long and hard about your pocket square, the season, and the event you are attending.

Simplified:

Spring & Summer = Linen

Autumn & Winter = Wool

Formal attire & Special Events = Silk

Never = Polyester – tacky 

The Fold

Now, with the old pocket square, many see it as a pinch and ruffle job, which in fairness can sometimes be just what the doctor ordered. However, there are in fact a number of ways to pocket a square, and it’s these key details that mean you can use the same one on numerous occasions.

One final word; don’t read this and think you always have to don a pocket square. In some outfits they’re simply overkill; but it can be a lovely addition to individualise a look or add a little sumin’ extra!