Friday, 13 August 2010

How to wear pocket squares

Right now formalwear is having a resurgence of popularity. For far too long ‘smart casual’ has been the order of the day and a lot of men have grown tired of this dull way of dressing. Attention to detail and the finer things in life have become de rigueur of menswear.

Following on from the popular Mad Men style are the pocket squares, a basic essential of any well heeled businessman of the mid 20th century. But wearing them can be a landmine of potential faux pas. Here is a quick brief on how to wear pocket squares following the rules of both etiquette and style.

Formal occasions such as weddings, interviews, and black tie events require you to wear a suit or at least a jacket and tie. Part of this attire is a nicely folded pocket square in the breast pocket of your jacket.
Choosing a suitable pocket square can be a landmine. But it need not be. The tie and pocket square should not match perfectly, this looks cheap. To be a bit safer (and more suave), buy the tie and pocket square separately, but ensure that they complement each other.

The pocket square should echo the colours of your tie or bow tie (unless your tie is a plain colour then match away).
For example, if you have a black tie with purple paisley details a purple pocket square would look very dapper.
Pocket squares and pocket handkerchief are terms used interchangeably, but how do they differ?

A pocket handkerchief is made from linen woven cloth or white cotton cloth. These are perfect for giving a clean and fine finishing effect when placed in a breast pocket.
Pocket squares on the other hand are those made from a wider range of fabrics like silk or cotton. Silk fabrics, silk blends, cashmere or wool are most commonly used for squares as they are softer.

For a final flourish why not learn a smart way to fold your pocket square? There are several websites and youTube videos to choose from with various styles.
Go forth my good man. Straighten up and fly right!

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