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Expensive pocket squares

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by BostonRussell, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. BostonRussell

    BostonRussell Well-Known Member

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    Purchasing an expensive pocket square (unless you absolutely adore the design and can't find it anywhere else) seems silly to me.

    That said I would have told you the same thing about suits a couple of years ago. SO basically my question is regarding what you get for your money. Is there some gain to superior construction that benefits an accessory that receives absolutely NO wear and tear? Noone touches it so quality silk shouldn't matter.

    For that matter what does the board think of going to straight up handkerchiefs? If well ironed wouldn't they function much the same? I've always romanticized the idea of being as old school and practical with my accessories as possible, plus it would be pretty amazing to whip out a linen handkerchief for a crying woman.
     
  2. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    There is something to be said for a fabric -- whether cotton, linen, wool or silk -- with some body. No matter how you fold it, you want to show the right amount. Flimsy squares tend to sink into the pocket and disappear, and or droop in an unattractive way. I have a few like this, and I find that I reach for them less frequently than the ones I know to be good.

    Also, a tight, neat hand rolled edge looks nice, and it will cost more.
     
  3. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    There is something to be said for a fabric -- whether cotton, linen, wool or silk -- with some body. No matter how you fold it, you want to show the right amount. Flimsy squares tend to sink into the pocket and disappear, and or droop in an unattractive way. I have a few like this, and I find that I reach for them less frequently than the ones I know to be good.

    Also, a tight, neat hand rolled edge looks nice, and it will cost more.


    I find that, irrespective of price, puffed silken squares want to creep out of the pocket. Folded cotton and linen squares tend to sink.

    I bought a few expensive squares when I first got into wearing them after reading Flusser's "Dressing." These days I would be disinclined to spend more than $25 on a square, maybe $30 as an absolute maximum. I am inclined to agree with the OP.
     
  4. JustinW

    JustinW Senior member

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    As far as I know, a "pocket square" is just bastardized American for a gentleman's handkerchief.

    Sometimes it's worth paying a little more for a nice fabric or a pattern you really like (for those in corporate uniform, this is often their only opportunity for free-style self expression). However, when you see the hankies with triple-digit price tags ..... try to remember that their real purpose is as a portable snot rag!
     
  5. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    i thought the same thing until i received a RL Purple Label linen square as a gift, its practically the only one i wear anymore.
     
  6. Nouveau Pauvre

    Nouveau Pauvre Senior member

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    It seems that there is a world of difference between a 5 dollar one and a thirty dollar one, but after that you are just paying for the brand name/design. And with Kent Wang's offering on the forum its seems there is no need to spend more then 30 bucks for a quality square.
     
  7. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I find that, irrespective of price, puffed silken squares want to creep out of the pocket. Folded cotton and linen squares tend to sink.

    I bought a few expensive squares when I first got into wearing them after reading Flusser's "Dressing." These days I would be disinclined to spend more than $25 on a square, maybe $30 as an absolute maximum. I am inclined to agree with the OP.


    I find that Irish linen never sinks. The French linen tends to. Cheap silk sinks. Good gum twill does not. That's how it happes with me, anyway.

    The best reason to buy a nice square in any case is the quality of the printing and the design. My favorites were all probably around $50.

    Then again, lately, I have mostly been wearing BB Irish linen that cost $15 for a three pack in the early '90s.
     
  8. dpw

    dpw Senior member

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    same thoughts on high quality irish linen, absolute fav of mine.
     
  9. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    I find that, irrespective of price, puffed silken squares want to creep out of the pocket. Folded cotton and linen squares tend to sink. I bought a few expensive squares when I first got into wearing them after reading Flusser's "Dressing." These days I would be disinclined to spend more than $25 on a square, maybe $30 as an absolute maximum. I am inclined to agree with the OP.
    I dont wear the cotton or linen ones as much myself anymore. Although a nice white linen pocket square can be very sharp, I find that the same issues dont arise that used to with silk pocket squares, namely that you will clash the texture of the silk with that of the tie. We live in a woven tie world now and the printed silk square is a terrific companion. I also get woven pocket squares which due to their stiffer construction work better in smaller square sizes. About the puff coming out. Although I dont know how much you mean, unless you have very shallow breast pockets, they dont come out that much if you double them over, with the points upward but hidden behind the "puffy center" of the silk. I think that the age when only a slight bit poking out was a sign of gentility has disappeared and the current way of dressing is to let more show anyway. Remember the current impetus for wearing tailored clothes is pageantry and not work uniforms.
     
  10. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    Links to white silk squares that can be purchased online, I think I need a few more...
     
  11. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It's with regard to sinking in and falling out that I think larger squares have the advantage. The extra volume tends to keep a square in place on way or another.
     
  12. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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    The disappearing pocket square, like the flaccid tie knot, is one of life's tragedies that seems to have skipped me.

    A pocket square, even an expensive one, is still a somewhat trivial sartorial cost, so why not be relatively extravagant?

    For silk squares, the quality of the prints (the silk, the number of dyes used, etc.) and the fineness of the sewing in the rolled edge seem to me not to top off until you get to the realm of the most pricey.

    [​IMG]

    For other fabrics, the differences are still meaningful:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As is mining the past:

    [​IMG]

    - B
     
  13. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    There is something to be said for a fabric -- whether cotton, linen, wool or silk -- with some body. No matter how you fold it, you want to show the right amount. Flimsy squares tend to sink into the pocket and disappear, and or droop in an unattractive way. I have a few like this, and I find that I reach for them less frequently than the ones I know to be good.

    Also, a tight, neat hand rolled edge looks nice, and it will cost more.


    +1
     
  14. TintinATL

    TintinATL Senior member

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    I was in Ralph Lauren today and saw pocket squares for $125. I did a double-take and went back to check... yup, one hundred and twenty five dollars. Had there been a sales assistant around I would have asked for an explanation of what made those ones so much better than the others at $75 (which I still find pretty steep).
     
  15. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Damn, I remember when $125 was an expensive tie. I can't imagine paying that for a square.

    I think the most I have ever paid was $60, but I can't remember.
     
  16. Siggy

    Siggy Senior member

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    These prices are getting f'ing ridiculous! $125 for a pocket square!!![​IMG]

    Why do people pay this? Boycott!!
     
  17. Golf_Nerd

    Golf_Nerd Senior member

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    These prices are getting f'ing ridiculous! $125 for a pocket square!!![​IMG]

    Why do people pay this? Boycott!!


    Boycott style? Boycott things you would love to buy? No way!
     
  18. Golf_Nerd

    Golf_Nerd Senior member

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    It's with regard to sinking in and falling out that I think larger squares have the advantage. The extra volume tends to keep a square in place on way or another.

    +1
     
  19. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The disappearing pocket square, like the flaccid tie knot, is one of life's tragedies that seems to have skipped me.

    A pocket square, even an expensive one, is still a somewhat trivial sartorial cost, so why not be relatively extravagant?

    For silk squares, the quality of the prints (the silk, the number of dyes used, etc.) and the fineness of the sewing in the rolled edge seem to me not to top off until you get to the realm of the most pricey.

    [​IMG]

    For other fabrics, the differences are still meaningful:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As is mining the past:

    [​IMG]

    - B

    I have the top three, but not the Grrranimals square. Good squares are hard enough to find without worrying about price. You really don't need many, so don't skimp.
     
  20. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Senior member

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    Canada
    I find that price is not a good indication of pocket square quality. Other than the hand-rolled edges, there really is no "construction" aspect of pocket squares. It really comes down to the size you want and finding a fabric that's appealing to you.

    Two things traits I thoroughly despise in pocket squares:

    1) Freakishly large proportions. 12" square is ideal. Lots of companies seem to make 16" square squares, which doubles the bulk, increases the cost, and little else. It's ridiculous.

    2) Wide borders. I've never understood why otherwise attractive pocket squares with beautiful patterns will have wide plain borders around the edge. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of the design if you were t he square with the edges exposed?

    After some experimenting with different squares at different prices, I'm convinced Kent Wang is one of the only people out there who "gets this"
     

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