Guide to Matching Pocket Squares
It is probably safe to say that most men consider a pocket square to be an unnecessary fashion measure. Needlessly flamboyant. Ostentatious, even. The truth, however, is that if you have the confidence to attempt a pocket square, they are actually quite acceptable for most ensembles, and occasions. So, how to properly match your pocket square with your outfit, is the question for today.
This problem is actually more complicated than most people realize. Most men would probably assume that one’s pocket square should match one’s tie, and, or, shirt. This is, in fact, not correct. In reality, your pocket square is meant to contrast with your shirt, tie, and jacket, but not being so different so as to clash with any. But, what of your pocket square choices? What are the various ingredients that go into a pocket square, so as to give you criteria from which to properly make you choice?
First off, is the classic; a solid white pocket square made from either linen, or cotton. The choice with these is pretty simple, as they go with, and compliment almost any business suit; looking particularly good, when matched with something that is dark and conservative, so its crisp appearance can stand out. Depending on the chosen fold employed, these pocket squares may be slightly starched to provide more body.
Next, of course, is what most people think of when the picture a pocket square; silk. These are also what you’re probably going to run into when you’re at your local department store. You will find that silk pocket squares are available in a nearly infinite number of color and pattern possibilities. Ironically, it is just this quantity of variety that can make choosing a pocket square difficult, and can make men shy away from them. Do not be daunted, and trust your instincts. One particular feature to look for when selecting a silk pocket square, are hand-rolled edges. The edges rolled over on themselves, and then stitched, so as to provide a thick, textured edge. A mark of quality.
When selecting a pocket square for your ensemble, the fabric of the jacket and tie should be considered. Silk may not always be the answer. Be prepared to fall back on your linen pocket squares, with their thicker, and courser texture. The rule of thumb here, is that finely textured fabrics, such as silk, match well with thicker textured mens ties and jackets. A silk pocket square will look particularly distinctive when set off against a tweed jacket, for instance. If your tie is already silk, a rougher textured fabric may be in order; such a linen. Wool suits however, probably the most common variety, are equally at home witgh either silk, or linen.
When choosing a pattern for your pocket square, you should look to the brightest component of you ensemble; in most cases the tie, but sometimes the shirt, or even the suit itself. If this brightest component is patterned, your aim should be to give it focus. Set it off. Thus, the pocket square itself, should be subordinate, and not the star of the show. With solid colors, a patterned pocket square just might be the right answer to add a bit of much needed contrast. Just be tasteful about it. If, you’re dealing with a pattern, a solid pocket square is the most obvious choice. In this case, however, don’t be afraid to try a contrasting pattern. Remember though, subtlety is the way to go, and often says more about you than loud patterns.
What of the color? Again; remember the pocket square is not the star, but an accent. Thusly, it shouldn’t be matched to the primary color of the ensemble, but rather, to a secondary color. And, of course, you should always keep the occasion in mind. A patterned fire engine red pocket square might not be the right choice for a funeral.
It might be only constitute a few inches of actually visible materiel, but a well chosen pocket square just might be the difference between an ordinary outfit, and one that will turn heads. Choose wisely, and happy pocket squaring.
Your Mens-Ties.com Team