I was recently approached by long time Styleforum member @TheBlackBruceWayne (aka Marcel P. Ames) to do a review of several pocket squares offered by his new menswear and accessories brand X of Pentacles. As some of you already know I am actively involved in the Southern Trad thread here on Styleforum. Although XoP does not describe itself as trad I was eager to see what a home grown Southern entrepreneur and menswear enthusiast like Marcel was up to. Marcel hails from Richmond, Virginia and some of his items reflect that Virginian heritage, as will be seen below. X of Pentacles describes itself thus: "Online clothing boutique specializing in traditional tailored clothing and accessories. Formed out of appreciation for Neapolitan tradition of subtle yet unique style. Soft structured garments, lighter fabrics, brighter color palettes, and silhouettes that compliment the man." Besides pocket squares and tailored clothing, XoP's offerings include handsome Neapolitan inspired ties. Marcel informs me that his packaging is still being developed so expect some changes in the future. Nevertheless, my first impression of XoP's packaging is not negative. A simple white box with a black printed logo and black ribbon presents a clean minimalist look. Perhaps not as refined as some other companies but more than worthy of gift presentation. I do not doubt that great improvements are soon to come. Upon opening the package the viewer is presented with a simple black tissue covering and Marcel's contact information. This is, perhaps, an area of improvement for XoP and an opportunity for Marcel to make changes as he develops his packaging. The best of packaging makes the buyer, or gift recipient, feel like he is holding something in his hands at every step of the unboxing process. Opening the XoP box was a small let down, until one actually sees the pocket square. Upon seeing the squares themselves my spirits lifted as I shuffled through the various designs. Marcel sent two squares from the Mythology Series and one from the Virginia Heritage Collection, which features images inspired by his home state. All squares were designed by Marcel. Contained herein were... 1. "Norse Serpent" in Cayenne/ Gold , from the Mythology Series 2. "King Neptune" from the Virginia Heritage Collection 3. "Minotaur's Labyrinth" in Olive, from the Mythology Series All of the squares shown here are 70% wool and 30% silk, giving them a rough, textured, look and feel. Printed in Macclesfield England, each square presented bright, clear, colors throughout. The areas in which medium dark colors meet other medium dark colors (like where the Neptune's dark green meets the blue of the ocean) is particularly impressive in this square, with clear lines being maintained throughout. Occasionally colors and lines become slightly muddled as shown here where the light brown and the dark brown of the Norse ship meet. This is not necessarily a liability because it provides a rustic look when stuffed in a breast pocket, but is worth noting. The fading gradient of the green sea near the colored border, however, is elegantly done despite the rough texture of the fabric. X of Pentacles pocket squares feature hand rolled edges with no visible stitching (something I've come to call the "Italian method" which contrasts with the "French method" which provides visible stitching). I have mentioned elsewhere that I prefer no visible stitching, as on XoP's squares, but both methods are perfectly acceptable. The hand rolling is tight and well achieved. All of the XoP squares I received measured a consistent 15.5 inches, or about 40 cm. This makes them slightly larger than even some of the larger squares in my collection. I do not find the size cumbersome, however, as they easily fold into any breast pocket on my various jackets. Indeed, the added size is a desirable convenience in some of the deeper welted pockets some of my jackets posses. The Mythology series squares retail for $65 and the Virginia Heritage Series retails for $69 (USD). With some other brands running well over a hundred dollars per square, this price puts XoP decidedly in the more affordable range of high quality pocket squares. Indeed, that Marcel is able to offer such appealing products at that price is fairly remarkable. Marcel's designs are large print images with impressionistic shapes and colors. The contrast of dusty browns, olives, and burgundies with bright blues, greens, and reds is appealing to me for Spring and Summer looks. Below I have paired the Norse Serpent square with a linen/cotton unstructured sport coat and a navy blue neckerchief. For me, the rough texture of the square fits nicely with this fabric and the colors add a little bit of brilliance without overpowering the rusty orange color of the jacket. An XoP pocket square (Minotaur's Labrynth in "Rust") has also been featured recently by Styleforum trend setter @EFV at Pitti Uomo 92. See below for full images of the squares featured here, as displayed on X of Pentacles' website.