Part 2 in a series of blog posts by guest editor Mr. Ewy, in which he shares with us some of his favorite things.
When you look at pictures of your grandfather straight pimpin’ when he was younger, or when you watch Don Draper charm the ladies, or when you read old copies of Esquire, the one thing you can always be certain of is that if they were in a sport coat, they had a pocket square. It is said that you can tell a well dressed gentleman by looking at his left half, because you can see the tie, shirt, sportcoat and pocket adornment all at once. Even without a tie, pocket squares complete your look and separate the novices from the true gentleman. Men sometimes are afraid of pocket squares, but really, it is easy to wear one and to make one look effortless.
The easiest rule with pocket squares is that they should complement your tie or shirt and not match it exactly. You don’t want to look like you bought a set at Men’s Warehouse and shame on you if you did. If you want a crisp Don Draper look, go for a cotton pocket square. They fold easier and will keep a crisper line. Called the “presidential fold”, you just fold the square an appropriate number of times to fit into your pocket. I like to show about 1/8” to 1/4” of square.
For the more daring, go for a silk pocket square. Forgot all of those overly showy folds: the flower, the “three tips up” (easy there Gordon Gekko), double fold, etc. Just do a casual fold, also known as a “puff fold”. Set your square down, make an “OK” symbol with one hand, pull it through the circle with your other, fold it back on itself and voila, instant dandy.
Accessories are where a man can have fun, and pocket squares are a great way to add some color, pattern or whimsy to your outfit. I sometimes just buy fabric swatches that I like, fold ‘em and no one knows it isn’t a real pocket square. Speaking of, look for squares that have hand rolled edges or finishings. You can tell because the stitches will be pleasantly un-even, unlike if they were sewn using a machine. You really don’t need to buy a super expensive square, but if you have one, it is fun to show the edge when you wear it so you can speak the secret language of the well-heeled. Others in the game will spot it immediately.
A WORD OF CAUTION:
I was in a panic to buy a white pocket square to wear at a black tie event (the struggle is real, people) and bought the one below out of desperation. In addition to being polyester, you can see that it is a machine finished edge, and not a good one at that.