Elements of Classic Style and Culture in the American South
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.