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The Pocket Square: An Elegant Detail for Any Sport Jacket or Suit

November 27, 2009

The pocket square owes its origins to the handkerchief, which has been used for over 600 years and originated in England. Initially, the handkerchief was adopted by the upper class, but by the 17th century it was common among all classes throughout western Europe. Originally, handkerchiefs were kept in trouser pockets. However, by the 19th century, as two-piece suits came into fashion, men started to place a clean handkerchief into their jacket’s breast pocket. By the 1920’s the pocket square had become more of a fashion accessory, especially after folding techniques were developed. The pocket square as accessory was cemented in the 40’s and 50’s after disposable tissue was introduced.

Always appropriate, a pocket square is a fantastic way to add colour and detail to any sport jacket, blazer, suit or tuxedo. The only situation in which we would not recommend sporting a pocket square would be if you’re wearing a boutineer.    

A boutineer with a pocket square seems crowded and overdone. One should preclude the other.

A boutineer with a pocket square seems crowded and overdone. One should preclude the other.

When accessorizing an outfit with a pocket square, try to match it with your tie or shirt. If your approach to clothing is more traditional, then feel free to use a white pocket square. Our favourite look is combining an Antonio Valente sport jacket with one of our sport shirts, worn open, and a pocket square made from the same shirt fabric.

Shirt and pocket square cut from the same fabric

Shirt and pocket square were cut from the same fabric

There are many pocket square styles, from the traditional square fold (The Presidential) to anything you may imagine. Have a look here for helpful illustrations and step-by-step instructions on a wide range of pocket square looks.

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