The A-to-Z of Accessories: Pocket Square

Turnbull & Asser Pocket Square from Mr PorterAt the start of the century, finding a decent pocket square would have been rather tricky as they were somewhat out of fashion. Reserved only for gentlemen of a certain age who were a member of the sort of club that has wing-backed armchairs and doesn’t admit women, or for those wearing a suit in a wedding party, anyone wanting to break the mould would probably have had to investigate vintage options. Fifteen years later and there is a great deal of choice – on the high street and in department stores, from classic brands and also from new ones.

Designed in New York and made in Italy, the limited edition silk and cashmere pocket squares from Madison Pears are as beautiful as their tagline: “Make life more colourful, one adventure at a time”. My current favourite design is the watery treasure map called The Davy Jones which is youthful in its playful exuberance. A definite conversation starter if it’s folded to show off the right parts of the design. Speaking of folding your pocket square, of course there are a great many ways to do it but you don’t have to follow the rules either. Ali from Age of Reason came up with a stylish and appropriate ‘fox ear’ fold for her Grey Fox collaboration. Check out the lovely images of the quirky design being hand painted in water colours, over at the Grey Fox blog.

Another small company with a surprising range of pocket square designs is Cravat Club. As you might imagine from their name, they are best known for their cravats, but their pocket squares are just as delightful, including the bold woven design called Reilly. Of course, a pocket square should ideally complement your outfit – not everyone likes bright colours, and not all bold patterns go well with checked jackets (although the costume designer for the TV show Hannibal would beg to differ) – so you might be after something a bit more low key. If you don’t spend hours on social media looking at this kind of thing, you might not know where to start, so a site with a good selection of styles and brands is perfect. The splendid Mr Porter is always an excellent source for stylish pocket squares and their current selection is quite spectacular. I particularly like the colourful prints by Turnbull & Asser, Richard James and Drakes. Although I love the Richard James butterfly and map designs, and the Drakes bicycle print, it’s the Turnbull & Asser designs that grab my attention first time every time (see image above). However, I still haven’t quite managed to select a favourite from the striking paisley, geometric and floral designs.

If you’re in the market for a pocket square, hopefully there has been something in this blog post that is to your liking. Or if you didn’t think they were for you, perhaps you have now been converted. Accessories are great for adding a bit of personality to an outfit, even when you have to follow the rules with the rest of your clothing, and a pocket square is the ideal way to do that. Which design speaks to you?

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