Pocket Square Logistics
For the longest time, I would see men wearing pocket squares, but I did not know how or when to pull it off for myself. So, I simply opted out. To be honest, I rarely wore a sport coat in those days. Today, I reach for one as often as possible with an eye to incorporate a pocket square into my ensemble. Why? Well, it can add a dash of personality or color, upgrade a look, or signal you mean business. And yes, people do notice.
In a past era of the refined and gentile man, the “handy” handkerchief stood ready for a sudden sneeze or similar mess; thereby, allowing a man to avoid an unseemly moment. As time progressed, the work horse handkerchief went into hiding in a back pocket or within the coat while the one for display sat untouched and pristine in the upper front coat pocket. Today, it declares you gave consideration to your presentation.
Use of a pocket square does not have to be that difficult. So let’s address the three main ways you can employ this key accent:
1. Standard – I recommend starting here. This version appears as if mountain peaks rise from your pocket. You pretty much can’t go wrong with this one. To fold your handkerchief in this manner, follow this diagram:
2. Straight line – This conveys a more serious and well thought out look. It says you have everything in its place in a way similar to a tie bar. For this version, fold the handkerchief until only a quarter inch line shows above the top of the pocket.
3. Free flowing / Your own version – This can take the form of a more eccentric puff or rumple. It can also be a unique creation of your own. Be careful with special creations as they have the potential to drag you into Tacky Land. At least once, give a basic rumple a try. To do this, pinch and hold your handkerchief in the center allowing the ends to dangle. Then, shove the ends down into the pocket leaving the pinched center showing. You can also puff it out from there. The basic rumple conveys a more free spirit.
Once again, find a way to incorporate a pocket square into your outfit. Try different patterns and colors, but don’t exactly match your tie with it. I suggest coordinating both tie and pocket square tying them together with a shared color. The easiest way to do this is to wear a multicolored tie with a solid colored pocket square (or the reverse). As long as we are talking about solid colors, I should mention solid white. It provides the best starter handkerchief as it works with any sport coat and tie combination. In particular, solid white elevates a black suit to new levels of dapper.
So the next time you celebrate that special something with friends at an excellent restaurant, upgrade your sport coat with a pocket square.
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