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There’s one piece of men’s clothing accessory that has always fascinated me. The well dressed man should be clad in a well fitted suit, appropriate, nice leather shoe, smart tie, a solid, slim fit dress shirt, a time piece and still you’d be lacking something. A pocket square.
The pocket square is a small, square piece of fabric resembling a handkerchief that is placed in the top most pocket of a jacket.
According to one source, it was King Richard II who invented this small but important piece of clothing accessory. The idea for it being a “square” came from Marie Antoinette, wife of King Louis XVI of France. She suggested that her husband give a decree to have all pocket pieces be 16” by 16” and thus we end up with a “pocket square.” It has outlasted many a fad to be an ever present piece of accessory for the modern gentleman.
An abundance of styles exist for how to wear a pocket square. Some choose the be flamboyant and ostentatious.
None more so than Le Sapeurs (Society of Elegantly Dressed Men of the Congo)
But one need not flaunt in order to look dandy.
Do it like the boss
Well, there really isn’t any. Le Sapeurs tend to wear three different colours in each attire. That’s pretty daring, if you ask me. As far as rules go, your pocket square works better when it does not match your tie. It should complement your shirt or tie and contrast with your jacket.
Now…it’s seeming like a necessity.
I have a particular liking for pocket squares by Sir Paul Smith. He’s a London based designer who does really good work with a signature style.
What you need to know:
1. Pocket squares come in different fabrics. Consequently the look may vary and the type of fold you desire may not always work with the fabric you have.
2. They are cheap enough for you to own quite a few.
3. You can make your own. I certainly did. The average size is 20cm x 20cm.
4. Learn how to fold your pocket square.
It’s the little details in your attire that allow for uniqueness. They show that you’re attentive to the small but important things. The pocket square gives you the latitude to be stylish and colourful.
*All pictures taken from Pinterest, unless otherwise stated.