Friday, October 30, 2009

In Support of the Pocket Square

The arrival of a package from Will at A Suitable Wardrobe containing the pictured fall pocket handkerchief spurred me to express my support for this much ignored accessory.  After a survey of his readers last summer, Simon at Permanent Style revealed that seventy-four percent of the men polled did not regularly wear a pocket handkerchief.  Keep in mind that the men who were surveyed are the regular readers of a blog on men's style.

Have you ever wondered why each of your tailored jackets has an empty, lonely chest pocket?  The purpose of that pocket is to display a harmonizing square of fabric.  Alan Flusser, in Dressing the Man, wrote that "[w]ithout some form of pocket rigging, an outside breast pocket appears superfluous, and the outfit incomplete."

There are a number of issues to consider in the selection and display of a pocket square.  These include the mixture of textures, the type of fold, whether to wear one without a tie, and with what other article of clothing the handkerchief should coordinate.  I suspect that many men shy away from the display of a pocket square because of insecurity over these issues and a concern about committing a faux pas and looking silly.  In future posts I intend to discuss these issues with the hope of allaying concerns and emboldening more men to elevate their attire through the display of a pocket handkerchief.

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