Pocket Squares: A Discussion Thread, Questions, Opinions, Suggestions.....

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by GusW, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. JS1357

    JS1357 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    See below......

    From the blog Bows 'n Ties


    Is it a ‘pocket square’, or a ‘handkerchief’? Are they the same thing?

    ......the answer to that depends on whether or not you’re living in the present day, or 600 years ago. A pocket square, and a handkerchief are, essentially, the same thing; a square piece of cloth worn on a man’s person. However, a handkerchief has a much more practical role, being used as a rag for personal hygiene. The story goes that Richard II of England invented the handkerchief, or at least popularized its use, when he described its royal need; ‘as a little piece of cloth, for the lord king to wipe and clean his nose’. Seeing Richard the king do it meant that it must be good idea, and, not to be left behind, the nobility and the upper classes followed suit. But, a good idea is a good idea. By the middle of the 17th century, men from all walks of life were making use of the handkerchief. Then, as now, it was considered unsightly to display a soiled handkerchief, so it stayed in the trouser pocket. Likely the pocket square would never have evolved into the accessory that it is, if men’s fashion hadn’t evolved first. So, as two piece suits became popular in the 19th century, men began placing their clean handkerchiefs in their breast pockets; allowing them to peek out, and add a bit of dash to their look. Of course, inevitably they would need to be used, and then they went right back into the pants pocket. Eventually, the look of a pocket square as an accessory to a suit became so common, that it became just that; an accessory and nothing more. This attitude toward the pocket square was even further reinforced with the adoption of specific and elaborate folding techniques; obviously not meant to be undone once they had been placed in the breast pocket. By the 1920’s, many men would even carry a separate handkerchief in their pants pocket for practical use. The pocket square had hit its heyday. But, with the invention of antibiotics, and after World War II, the classic linen handkerchief was looked on as un-hygienic. And, with the Kleenex company’s invention of disposable handkerchiefs, the cloth equivalent fell out of use; leaving pocket squares as nothing but a fashion accessory.



    The only design difference I have noticed in my experience that most pocket squares have hand-rolled and hand-stiched edges, where as a hankerchief is sewn by machine. This may seem like a minor detail, but hand-rolled edges look far more elegant.
     


  2. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    19,164
    Likes Received:
    3,274
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    A young Karl Lagerfeld (with YSL) sporting a pocket square

    [​IMG]
     


  3. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    19,164
    Likes Received:
    3,274
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Four versions of coordinated shirts and pocket squares. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     


  4. Salad

    Salad Senior member

    Messages:
    674
    Likes Received:
    101
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Yay Area
    In case anyone is interested, I found these NWT RLPL white linen squares on eBay. I have no connection at all to this auction other than I bought one. There are 4 left. $27 shipped. I almost bought a few to filp but I thought I'd share instead. http://cgi.ebay.com/NWT-55-Ralph-Lau...#ht_1915wt_907 I was going to put this in the PSA thread but I figured it would get more attention here. Mods please move or delete if this is deemed inappropriate.
     


  5. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

    Messages:
    11,386
    Likes Received:
    4,274
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Location:
    Suburban Sprawl Sector 3, Maryland
    Almost looks like a handkerchief and not a pocket square, edges looks stitched and not rolled. Could just be bad photos?
     


  6. JS1357

    JS1357 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Yeah the edges look too clean... It looks like a napkin...
     


  7. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    5,724
    Likes Received:
    1,226
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Location:
    London
    That's a handkerchief-style edge, not even a machine-made attempt at a pocket square edge. Odd that RLPL would do this. Maybe it's actually supposed to be a handkerchief and not a square.
     


  8. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

    Messages:
    11,386
    Likes Received:
    4,274
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Location:
    Suburban Sprawl Sector 3, Maryland
    It wouldn't be the first time that someone on Ebay saw a linen something from RLPL and claimed it was a pocket square.
     


  9. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    19,164
    Likes Received:
    3,274
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    It wouldn't be the first time that someone on Ebay saw a linen something from RLPL and claimed it was a pocket square.

    [​IMG] I have seen that on EBay as well I swear it was a linen napkin. I feel sorry for a guy who buys it and is frustrated because it won't fit in his pocket.
     


  10. Beaune Head

    Beaune Head Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    Left Coast
     


  11. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    19,164
    Likes Received:
    3,274
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Mixing plaids with stripes or other plaids, or stripes with stripes, can be hard to pull off for even the most experienced designers. The common solution, in pocket squares, is to offer a print that is the opposite of linear or geometric stripes and plaids. Free form ancient madder prints, paisley or other asymmetrical patterns are ideal for this:

    Below are a few from A Suitable Wardrobe by Drakes:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]





    This one is from Rubinacci. It offers a mix of colors and shapes that will offer a nice visual balance to plaids and striped jackets.





    [​IMG]
     


  12. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

    Messages:
    12,644
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Princeton, NJ
    It wouldn't be the first time that someone on Ebay saw a linen something from RLPL and claimed it was a pocket square.


    I own one. I machine wash it when it's dirty.
     


  13. Salad

    Salad Senior member

    Messages:
    674
    Likes Received:
    101
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Yay Area
    ^So it is a pocketsquare? What a relief! I thought I bought a piece of a pillowcase or something! Lol.
     


  14. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

    Messages:
    12,644
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Princeton, NJ
    It's a hanky that i put in my pocket, it happens to be square and expensive but surprisingly useful.
     


  15. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    19,164
    Likes Received:
    3,274
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    One of the more expressive and distinctive designers of pocket squares is Hermes. Yes they have solid linen and simple silk squares, but my favorites are their in house designed patterns. Some feel that the Hermes silk pochettes are such heavy silk to make them too bulky for smaller breast pockets. My suggestion is to wear these sparingly, with just a bit of pattern peeking out of your pocket. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by