Continuing along with the Mad Men theme that was central to last week’s post, this week’s entry is all about another classic accessory that was all the rage during the 60s, and is thankfully back to stay: the pocket square. Though this sartorial detail may seem like exactly that, nothing more than a detail, the pocket square is a subtle accessory that speaks far louder in terms of style than its small size would have you believe.
Seeing as the pocket square is an accessory that is simply intended to add an extra level of fashion-savvy to any outfit, as mentioned in GQ, therefore “it should simply complement your shirt and tie, not match them.” Thus, the key to choosing the right pocket square is simply experimenting in a manner that enables it to stick out, while still acting as the accent piece it is intended to be. Thus, when pairing a pocket square with something like a solid-coloured dress shirt, an adventurous move would be to use a pocket square with a pattern that features that same initial solid hue as the base tone. In this manner, you create a graphic interplay between solids and patterns all while sticking within the comfort zone of the shirt’s colour palette.
Or, you could also do the complete opposite and use your pocket square to completely break up the already-established colour palette, and add some sartorial intrigue into the outfit. Again, the best way to accomplish this look is by using patterned pocket squares seeing as the patterns add another dimension to your look by enabling a graphic interplay between solid colours and captivating prints. I would suggest following this tip in a situation where your entire outfit is nothing more than neutral colours that require an elegant accessory to break up the monotony. Thankfully, prints exist for a reason!
Furthermore, the great thing about pocket squares is that they are as stylish as they are versatile according to the seasons. Unsurprisingly enough, this retro trend is appropriate for both the summer and the winter seasons. With that said, during the warmer estival months, it is recommended to purchase a pocket square made in a light, summery fabric like linen, while the winter months demand a warmer and thicker material like wool. Thus, the pocket square is an all-season accessory that can make you look dashing year-round.
All in all, without a doubt one of the best qualities of the pocket square is how effective it is at adding a certain sartorial know-how to any outfit. In a rapid moment, a pocket square can transform a drab grey suit into a well-executed exercise in colour-matching and playfulness with prints. As mentioned on The Art of Manliness, “the addition of a pocket square adds some finishing panache to a good suit.” Even a white pocket square has the ability to add life to any outfit when it is folded in a neat manner, and allowed to peak ever so slightly above the breast pocket. That peek of colour (and patterns) never fails to attract the right kind of attention!
So, on a final note, if you are keen on trying out this classic look, please check out this great guide by GQ Australia on the best ways to fold pocket squares!