August 21, 2017

41 Ways to Wear a Pocket Square

From a subtle accent to an outfit dominating colour contrast, there are a number of ways to style a pocket square.

As we are often asked about the best ways to wear a pocket square, we thought we would create a visual guide of some of our favourite looks from images that our customers have shared with us.  

Venice: The Basin of San Marco on Ascension Day Pocket Square

Venice

The Basin of San Marco on Ascension Day,  1740, Canaletto

To symbolise the marriage of Venice to the sea, the Doge of Venice drops a gold ring into the Grand Canal. This is the scene depicted here in one of Canaletto’s finest paintings. The annual festival, which has taken place for more than 1000 years, symbolises Venice’s dominance of the seas during this period in history. 

View the pocket square here: Venice: The Basin of San Marco on Ascension Day.

In the image below we love how the white hand rolled edge of the square complements the white shirt and the white flecked texture of this double breasted jacket.

Canaletto Square

A beautiful contrast of the texture of the jacket against the silk square in the image below, with the light blue in the square matching the shirt.

Blue Pocket Square

A nice use of different shades of blue with varying textures adding real interest to this outfit. The prominent fold is a variation of the Fleur De Lis. 

Light blue pocket square

A lovely complementary look between the blue stripes of the shirt being picked up in the tie, square and jacket to give a very balanced look.

Pinstripe suit and pocket square

A nice rolled puff fold below that leaves the light blue as a secondary colour, with the dark grey's and brown's of the pocket square being the primary focus and contrasting against the pink stripes and dark blue tie.

Pocket square for navy jacket

We love this as a casual look. A brown jacket with the classic herringbone pattern, denim shirt and subtle puff fold with the secondary colour in the square mirroring the pale blue of the shirt.

Herringbone jacket and pocket square


Samson and Delilah Pocket Square

 Samson & Delilah

Samson and Delilah about 1609 – 1610, Peter Paul Rubens

This pocket square depicts the gentle scene of biblical characters Samson and Delilah sharing a tender moment. There is a softness in the pose and we as an audience take on a voyeuristic role gazing at a seemingly very intimate moment, however, it is in fact a scene of ultimate betrayal.

 View the pocket square here: Samson & Delilah

A refined look with the sharp, well-tailored grey jacket and knitted tie. The 4 point fold gives a nice flourish to the outfit to add some interest to a more formal look.

Grey jacket with pocket square

We love the deep tones in the outfit below. The crimson of the knitted tie is beautifully matched to a similar shade in the pocket square and contrasts nicely against the blues of the jacket and shirt.

Knitted tie and pocket square

In the below, a similar knitted tie is displayed but is contrasted against a heavily textured jacket. We also like the subtle matching of Delilah's dress from the pocket square to the tie as a complementary colour.

Red tie and pocket square


The Death of Major Peirson Pocket Square 

 The Death Of Major Peirson

The Death of Major Peirson, 1783, John Singleton Copley

This large oil painting by American artist John Singleton Copley depicts the death of Major Francis Peirson at the Battle of Jersey on 6th January 1781. Major Peirson led an attack against the French troops, during which he was killed by a French sniper.

View the pocket square here: The Death of Major Peirson

Nice use of a two-point puff fold and different textures from the heavy weight jacket fabric through to the lightly textured tie and finally the silk pocket square. 

Pocket square fold with jacket

Lightweight summer jacket and shirt combination with a variation on the winged puff fold. The prominent fold adds some interest to a casual summer look.

Winged puff fold

Nice variation on the 3 point fold, with the red tie being subtly reflected in the secondary colour in the pocket square. 

Grey jacket with red tie and pocket square

Lovely variation on a Fleur de Lis pocket square fold. The different patterns and contrasting colours, along with the prominent fold make this quite a striking look.

Pink tie and pocket square

One of our favourite folds, the three-point puff fold it adds a lot of interest to the jacket using both the edging of the square along with all the different colour variants within the painting itself. 

3 point puff fold pocket square

For the more formal occasion, a subtle roll fold is a perfect look. Rising just over an inch above the pocket it adds a colour accent while not being too flamboyant.

Navy jacket with pocket square

 

The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum Pocket Square

 Destruction of Pompeii

The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, 1822 (restored 2011) John Martin

On this pocket square, we’ve used John Martin’s oil painting of the destruction of the great cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD. 

View this pocket square here: The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum 

This is a very flamboyant puff fold that clearly draws the eye. The different variations in red tone provide a nice complementary look.

Red tie and pocket square

Another great casual look for summer with a check sports coat and polo shirt. The fan fold adds further interest with the rounded nature of the fold contrasting nicely with the check pattern of the jacket.

Sports coat and pocket square

Nice use of a double point roll pocket square fold, while the classic navy and red combination always look good together.

Double point roll fold

Beautiful intricate fold with a variation of the 4 peaks fold with a puff. Adds interest to a simple jacket and shirt combination.

Light blue jacket and pocket handkerchief

Beautifully matched combination of pocket square and bow tie. A flamboyant look that will obviously draw attention.

Pocket square and bow tie

 

The Annunciation With Saint Emidus Pocket Square

The Annunciation

The Annunciation, with Saint Emidius, 1486, Carlo Crivelli

Set in the town of Ascoli, Italy, Crivelli has captured the day of the Annunciation in stunning detail. Crivelli’s precision with colour and composition narrates The Virgin Mary, seen on the right, seated indoors and a divine, heavenly shaft of light from above is breaking into the physical world symbolising the Annunciation.

View the pocket square here: The Annunciation, With Saint Emidus

 

Nice muted colour combination with the tones of the blues, greys and yellows all complementing each other.

Striped tie and pocket square

Classic matching of the small amount of green in the pocket square reflecting the green textured tie. We particularly like the colours in this outfit as perfect for an Autumn look.

Brown jacket and pocket square

Adding a pocket square with a bit of colour can really give a tuxedo a touch of flare and separate it from the classic all black/navy and white look.

Pocket square for tuxedo

A nice variation of the one point roll fold. A nice subtle matching of the blue edging of the pocket square with the blue navy jacket.

Rosette tie and pocket square

Subtle use of the pocket square as a minor accent to the jacket. With orange tones in the square reflecting a similar shade to that of the tie.

Pocket square for orange tie

A classic look for the City with a pin stripe double-breasted suit with burratti tie and pocket square. The muted tones make it a great business look while the tie and square add texture and flair.

Pocket square for Burratti tie

Lovely use of a four peak fold with a puff adding interest to a classic dark navy jacket and white shirt combination.

Pocket handkerchief

  

Kingfisher Silk Pocket Square

 Kingfisher Pocket Square

The Kingfisher Silk Pocket Square is part of our William John Swainson Collection, a 19th century British artist and naturalist.

He was also the first illustrator and naturalist to adopt lithography with the monochrome lithographic prints in his books being hand coloured and it was use of this approach along with his natural talent at illustration that led to his fame.

View the pocket square here: Kingfisher Pocket Square

We do like folds that incorporate both the edging and the colours of the square itself and this is a nice example of a two peak incorporating a puff fold. A nice match between the more flamboyant fold and casual shirt.

Yellow pocket square

Great use of complementary colours with the yellow of the tie being mirrored in the pocket square with the secondary pale blue colour of the square reflecting the shirt colour.

Striped tie with a pocket square

For the ultimate casual look for summer, letting the square hang freely from the pocket will both catch the eye and make a bold fashion statement. The yellow lightweight summer scarf is reflected in the pocket square edging.

Casual pocket square

We like the below look for general business wear, the jacket, tie and shirt are all classic colours and patterns, while the pocket square fold is relatively understated.

Blue and white tie and pocket square

The below outfit employs relatively muted colours with the pocket square fold and vibrant yellow providing a touch of flair.

Green tie and pocket square

 

The Battle of San Romano Pocket Square

The Battle of San Romano

The Battle of San Romano, about 1438-40, Paolo Uccello

This brilliantly structured and colourful painting depicts part of the battle of San Romano that was fought between Florence and Siena in 1432. The central figure is Niccolò da Mauruzi da Tolentino on his white charger, the leader of the victorious Florentine forces, who is identifiable by the motif of 'Knot of Solomon' on his banner.

View the pocket square here: The Battle of San Romano

Nice use of different shades of browns and yellows with the secondary colours of the tie and pocket square matching and complementing the jacket for a coordinated look. 

Patterned tie and pocket square

Another nice casual pairing with the gingham patterned jacket and polo shirt with a slight variation on the four mountains fold.

Patterned jacket and pocket handkerchief


Saint George And The Dragon Pocket Square

 Saint George and the Dragon

Saint George and the Dragon, about 1555, Jacopo Tintoretto

Saint George is seen here about to defeat the dragon by the edge of the sea. The treatment of the subject is unusual, with the figure of the fleeing princess dominant, and in the centre lies a corpse which the dragon was about to eat.

View the pocket square here: Saint George and the Dragon

Beautiful use of colour in the outfit below, combining the base colours of navy and white with vibrant oranges, reds and blues.

Pocket square with waistcoat

What we like about the below is the pale yellows in the pocket square give an extra pop of colour to grey and white pinstriped jacket and contrasts nicely with the red tie.

Grey jacket and pocket handkerchief

Nice use of multiple patterns, with a classic Prince of Wales check jacket, paired with a striped shirt and patterned pocket square. The key with pattern matching is to ensure that the patterns are varying sizes or shapes.

Prince of Wales jacket with pocket square

 

The Battle of Trafalgar Pocket Square

Battle of Trafalgar

The Battle of Trafalgar, as Seen from the Mizen Starboard Shrouds of the Victory, 1806–8, Joseph Mallord William Turner

This painting represents the moment Nelson was hit with the final shot at The Battle of Trafalgar. You can see him lying left of centre and if you draw your eye towards the top right you see the smoking gun of the French marksman high in the rigging of his ship.

View this pocket square here: The Battle of Trafalgar

Lovely matching of different shades of brown in this outfit with seven or eight different shades and then contrasted against the pale blue shirt. The 3 peak fold with a puff also provides an extravagant finish.

Brown jacket and pocket handkerchief

Nice use of light summer colours with the lightweight summer jacket, casual white shirt and pocket square utilising the yellow in the square with just a touch of dark brown for contrast.  

Summer jacket and pocket square

We always appreciate a set of braces, and in the image below the braces add an extra layer of interest with the browns in the braces and square complementing the jacket nicely. 

Matching braces to a pocket square

Another classic summer look with a bold white and navy striped jacket paired with a casual white shirt and a very flamboyant fold. Definitely a striking look.

Wide stripe jacket and pocket square

 
Conclusion 

As has been demonstrated above, there are myriad ways to style a pocket square. The key rules to follow are to never directly match the colours of your pocket square and tie and the same applies to not directly matching the same patterns. 

Other than that, the pocket square allows you to really display your individual style and can be adapted to the occasion with subtle folds for more formal events to flamboyant folds for more casual occasions.

All the squares shown above can be found in our store here: Pocket Squares 

 

July 03, 2017

Pitti Uomo 92 Review - From Groundhogs to Peacocks

Pitti Uomo 92 Review

Pitti Uomo 2017 Review - From Peacocks to Groundhogs in the sweltering summer heat of Florence

We sent men’s style blogger Lee Osborne, AKA Sartorialee, to Pitti Uomo in Florence to capture the élan and flair of the show’s attendees, styling some of the most stylish gents on the planet in Rampley & Co pocket squares.

With its terracotta rooftops, concealed courtyards and streets reverberating with artistic energy, Florence, birthplace of The Renaissance, is the perfect backdrop for Pitti Uomo to play out on. With its ornamented streets bathed in shafts of golden light and shade in equal measure during the day, and dimly lit streets in the evening, it lends an ethereal quality to whatever the camera brings into view. With arguably the most stylish inhabitants of any city, it is seriously close to perfection.

Florence, Italy


Pitti Uomo is credited with liberating men's style globally and is one of the world’s leading platforms for men’s clothing and accessories. Now in its 45th year, having launched in 1972, it masquerades as a trade show, but in all honesty is where the most dapper men on planet earth descend biannually to parade in front of the awaiting street style paparazzi.

Unlike other men’s fashion shows, it’s not all about the catwalks. The appeal of the photography the show generates is that it’s shot on the street, in natural light and is very easy to emulate. Guys tap into their Instagram feeds and immediately feel inspired to pull off similar looks.

Pitti 2017


There’s no doubt that men nowadays are more comfortable about being dandy. Most guys I speak to are of the same opinion as me - it’s as though dandyism skipped a generation. I always remember my grandfather being a very smart gentleman even in a casual scenario, and that definitely rubbed off on me.  

But what is the archetypal Pitti man? Generally speaking he can be divided in to two distinct groups. The former, ‘the peacock’, usually wears a tight-fitting jacket or suit, in a pristine, straight out of the packet kind of way, in a standout colour or design. There’s nearly always a waistcoat beneath, his wrists awash with bracelets, fingers festooned with rings . He will spend hours on end glued to the Pitti wall, preening his feathers, desperately courting the lens.

Pitti Uomo 2017


The latter are the ‘groundhogs’ - effortlessly cool guys that go under the radar, the ones that don’t try too hard yet still accomplish the sartorial zenith. Their outfits seem careless and artfully put together at the same time. The term sprezzatura (coined by Italian Renaissance author Baldassare Castiglione in the 17th century, to describe the appearance of his courtiers) was invented for them. Their aim is to maintain interest without being attention-seeking.

Pitti Uomo 92


Armed with a bag full of Rampley & Co pocket squares for the duration of the show, my task was to hand pick some of the above-mentioned men (and women) and style pocket squares to compliment their outfits.

Pitti 92 will go down as one of the hottest yet. Even the locals struggled to keep composure in 36 degrees heat - Neapolitan playboy Luca Rubinacci was even rumoured to have left after only one day citing the over-zealous heat.

Whilst this did not deter some of the peacocks from fanning their feathers, the wiser, more learned ones retired to whichever shaded area of the Fortezza da Basso they could find. ‘The groundhogs’ kept cool by jettisoning their jackets for bespoke polo shirts, linen trousers and espadrilles.

Blazing sun aside, summer editions of Pitti are always a riot of colour. Primary colours were dominant this year - from red, worn in all its raw vividness by the Peacocks, or in more subdued hues like @cingizis.

Pitti @cingizis


To show-stopping cyan, as exemplified by @officina38_byhugoc and several eye-popping head-to-toe yellows.

Pitti Uomo 2017 @officina38_byhugoc


Linen and seersucker (such as @gui_bo’s grey and white masterpiece) reigned supreme in the oven of the Fortezza.

Pitti GuillaumeBo@gui_bo


Several white or cream coloured blazers were in evidence - a look not always as easy to pull off as one might expect. It helps to have olive-coloured skin, failing that it’s a case of accessorising to perfection with contrasting colours. None were more beautifully orchestrated than Giorgio Gianlulio’s DB version that he teamed with damson chinos on day 2.


Pitti Florence


The show’s theme this time around was ‘Boom, Pitti Blooms’: some had clearly got the memo and dressed to botanically flourish. Evidenced in various forms from all out Liberty-style print shirting, pocket squares, ties or even floral-inspired button holes. On the whole, trousers were mankle-inducingly cropped, with no break in the fabric, cut wide enough at the top to allow even the merest (in this case) amount of air to pass through.

Accessories showcase that it is, Pitti wouldn’t be Pitti without the presence of mirrored sunglasses - although there was a predominance of the more rounded frame over traditional wayfarer’s and aviator’s. Same applies to the panama, but with a marked rise in the beribboned Gondalier-inspired straw boater.


Pitti, Italy

 

The array of Rampley & Co pocket squares drew much praise from the biggest players in the sartorial world. From French Canadian Guillaume Bo of Men Need More Style who I paired Black-throated Blue Warbler with his double-breasted seersucker suit.


Pitti, Florence, Italy

American tailor Angel Ramos of Angel Bespoke with Battle of Trafalgar 

Angel Ramos


Middle-Eastern tailor Samir from Bureza with The Basin of San Marco on Ascension Day 1740

Pitti 92 Florence


To model and influencer Kish Style from Toronto with Saint George and the Dragon, all waxed lyrical about the design and quality.

Kish Style - Pitti 

Representing the ladies of Pitti, I styled Erica Ström in The Annunciation, with Saint Emidius 1486 


Erica Strom

Brit Sonya Glenn in 
Merian’s Drawings of Surinam Insects & Birds


Sonia Glyn

Finally Polish blogger and tailor Monika Kaminska in The Death of Major Peirson

Monika Kaminska 
Below are a few more of my favourite images from Pitti Uomo in Rampley & Co pocket squares. 

PIT_7418_FadiKoteiche@fadiblanc59

PIT_7717_@dapperpassion

PIT_8113_@picolo_diop

PIT_7627_ZackRoman@zackroman_official

PIT_7883_LewisM_@lewax

PIT_7461_KwariJacobs@kwari_jacobs


To see all of the pocket squares featured in this article visit our store here: Pocket Square Collection 

Lee Osborne is the founder of men’s style blog ‘Sartorialee: dressing the globe-trotting man’ and is a former creative director of Condé Nast. https://sartorialee.wordpress.com Instagram: @sartorialee

June 14, 2017

Pocket Square Rules and Etiquette in 2017

Whether you’re a pocket square aficionado or just a dabbler in menswear trends, navigating the etiquette of this accessory can admittedly be a bit of a sartorial minefield.

In This Pocket Square Guide:

  • General pocket square rules
  • Different pocket square styles
  • What colour pocket square to choose for an occasion
  • Should your square match, complement or contrast with your outfit?
  • Are you aiming for a smart or casual aesthetic, or mulling over what pocket square to wear at work?

If all of these questions leave you feeling a bit flummoxed, read on for our comprehensive pocket square guide on how to wear your square with panache.

Dress Code

Historically, the pocket square was a necessity for guests attending dinner parties and other formal engagements. The classic pocket square fashion for smart occasions remains much the same today: a white, handkerchief-style pocket square folded into a flat fold (more on that later). However, even within the sphere of formal attire, there is still scope to experiment with your arrangement and move outside the standard white pocket square rule. Tonal monochrome shades work well for pocket squares teamed with black or grey suits, for instance, while a vibrant pop of red adds interest to crisp blue suits, particularly in summer. A puff fold can also offer a more nonchalant approach to formal dressing than the classic flat fold.

On the other hand, the pocket square’s recent resurgence in popularity has also led to an influx of men elevating their everyday looks and showing a bit of sartorial flair. A well-cut suit or jacket certainly makes a strong statement about a man, but to really stand out, it's your accessories that can often make all the difference. In fact, that's one of the reason's we started Rampley & Co. We felt that there was a dearth of truly unique and interesting men's accessories so we partnered with some of the world's leading galleries to try and create striking accessories which you can be seen in our online store

Matching Tie And Pocket Square

One question we often get asked is around whether you should be matching your tie and pocket square. The short answer is no. Although it might seem like an easy way to coordinate your outfit, matching your pocket square and tie or bow tie is a definite no-no in modern dress.

Instead, the purpose of the pocket square is to complement the rest of your look: either by harmonising or contrasting with your other accessories. So although some stores even offer matching tie and pocket square sets, our advice is to steer clear of these if you want to be seen to be on top of your style game.

If your pocket square has a pattern or print, for example, then pick a colour from that palette to bring your look together and match it to a primary colour in your ties such as in the image below. The burgundy in the tie is reflected in sections of the pocket square design.

Matching tie and pocket square

Equally, you could choose a pocket square that is a shade lighter or darker than the core colour of your ensemble. Remember, it’s all in the detail, so don’t be afraid to bring out an accent colour on a subtle pinstripe or checked shirt.

Alternatively, if you want to make your pocket square the focal point of your look, you could opt to clash your pocket square with your tie and, indeed, the rest of your outfit. With this, it really is a case of ‘the bolder the better’: experiment with vibrant colours, eclectic prints or even textured materials such as chambray, leather or tweed to pull this off.

So that you know you should never directly match your pocket square and tie, below we have set out some basic tie and pocket square rules so you will always look sharp.

Pocket Square Rules

Below is a handy summary of the rules when choosing your pocket square:

  • Choose a secondary colour from your shirt or tie as the primary colour for your pocket square
  • Don't overdo the patterns, ensure some articles of clothing are flat colours which will accentuate the colours in your pocket square or tie
  • Don't directly match your tie and pocket square
  • If you are wearing a silk pocket square make sure it is over 40cm x 40cm (16 inches) as anything smaller the fine material is likely to slip down into your pocket
  • Match your fold to the occasion. For formal occasions stick to the flat fold or one or two point folds, for more casual occasions use some more flare with the classic puff fold or one of the more flamboyant fold as set out below.
  • White pocket square rules; for the most part, there are no rules. White squares work with every jacket and tie combination and colour so you can never really get it wrong with a white pocket square.

How To Fold Your Pocket Square

Once you’ve chosen your square, there remains the all-important decision of pocket square folds. As mentioned, you should match your fold to the occasion, but also keep in mind that certain folds will lift the colours in your square. For example, if you have a design that incorporates an interesting border then you want to make the most of this with a point fold or perhaps a Dunaway fold. See our full guide here: how to fold a pocket square.

 

Shop Image

Pocket Square Styles

One of the great things about a pocket square is they are so incredibly versatile in how you wear them and reasonably subtle changes can have a big impact on your style. The colour that you choose and the fold that you use is really a function on the colour of your outfit, the nature of the occasion, whether it be for work, or more formal such as a wedding, and your own personal style.

When choosing what pocket square to wear with a suit, you could choose a conservative fold such as a flat fold and position it so that it is around a half to an inch is viewable above your pocket. Whereas is you use colours that are in high contrast with your jacket and use a more flamboyant fold that really catches the eye. Below are some examples from our Instagram feed of some more conservative and flamboyant looks.

Conservative Styles
So firstly, below are more conservative styles. The pocket square is quite subtle in its positioning and also the colours complement other hues in the outfit. 

Pocket Square Styles 1

Flamboyant Styles
In comparison, below are some images that are more flamboyant in either their colour contrast or fold. With the more flamboyant styles the square naturally draws the eye and makes more of a style statement.

Pocket Square Styles

Pocket Square Without Tie Styles
Some people have a perception about the type of occasion around when to wear a pocket square, i.e. formal and worn with a James Bond style suit and tie. On the contrary, pocket squares can be a casual accessory which adds a touch of flair to an open shirt and jacket combination.

pocket square without tie

 

Conclusion

In short, we at Rampley and Co believe that the pocket square offers an incredibly versatile accessory option; allowing modern men to express themselves and vary their look without having to invest in different suits and outerwear. You may also be interested to see our post on shirt and tie combinations which has further insights into matching your accessories to get the most of our your outfit.  

Click here to view our full range of Hand Rolled Pocket Squares.

Updated: 6th September, 2017

June 05, 2017

Suit Accessories - Our Complete Guide For 2017

Anyone can look good in a suit. Quite often, anyone will look good in a suit. But not just anyone can look amazing in a suit. This generally comes down to a good eye for the individual accessories that truly ‘create’ an outfit.

In this guide, we cover how to choose the accessories where you can exhibit an effortless polish and take your suiting up a sartorial notch by looking at the below accessories: 

  • Watches
  • Cufflinks
  • Ties
  • Pocket Squares
  • Umbrellas

The Importance Of Your Accessories
Accessories adorn your look almost like a Christmas tree- drawing the eye to key aspects. Think of a broad chest emphasised by a pocket square or the antique grandeur of a watch chain. There is a difference between just putting on clothes and actually dressing. We all want to be the latter. The only problem is it takes a bit of effort. However, with practise, minimal effort becomes effortless splendour.

Choosing A Watch

Why do we need watches in the age of the smartphone? Actually, the smartphone emphasises the importance of a watch when it comes to style. Since it is no longer functional, it has become purely a statement piece.

In practical concerns, a watch is now limited to providing the time when your phone runs out, or in some cases a rudimentary compass. In the modern life, these feature pretty low in terms of real practicality. This leaves the real benefit of owing a timepiece a the possession of true, weighty craftsmanship.

Ten years ago many of us were happy with a reasonable design that didn’t break the bank, now we don’t need one in the practical sense, it makes more sense to invest in quality. You don't necessarily need to invest in a Patek Phillipe, the key is to find a high-quality design you like and wear it.

A watch is a reflection of the owner's personality and there are no hard and fast rules, however, our advice when wearing with a suit are below.

Minimalist Faces
Choose classic minimal faces with a 
white faced watch with a brown leather strap to wear during the day and a black faced watch with a black leather strap for the evening or black tie events. The below examples are about as complex as you'd really want to go. 

choose watch for a suit
Image Source: Jomashop.com

Avoid Bulky Watches
Don't go over the top with big bulky faces. Unless you have especially thick wrists avoid 44mm diameter faces with a deep case. A suit is about clean lines and this type of watch most definitely breaks the clean lines. Also, leave classic sports watches with metal straps for more casual events.

Not dress watches

Match Your Watch To Your Personality
Taken the above into account, your watch is a profound statement of who you are, and wearing it says something about your personal style. If you are a classic work of leather go for any antique style watch, if you like a touch of flair then go for a watch that has a punchy accent with the hands.

Classic watches for a suit


The Pocket Watch
For the more eccentric there is the pocket watch. As to how to wear a pocket watch, it should be in the waistcoat pocket if you have one. The dangling fob should be, like a lady’s charm bracelet, a chance to express some personality. Although antique fobs remain best.

The single albert is this traditional style of chain while a second length from the T-bar to another fob in the opposite waistcoat pocket forms a resplendent double Albert. If you do not wear a waistcoat, fasten the T-bar to your lapel and place the watch in your breast pocket. Again though, it should provide an accent to the suit not dominate the entire outfit. 

Pocket watch with a suit
Image source: Gq.com

Choosing Cufflinks

Cuff links are both an opportunity and a curse. They can be a pain to put on in the morning, but their effect in a double cuff is profound. The faux pas to truly avoid is the comedy cufflinks your best man or sister gave you, keep these for casual events.

Symbols close to your heart are acceptable, but keep them small and understated. Stick with simple gold and silver with basic settings like stones or mother of pearl. Art Deco cufflinks are never unfashionable and provide a nice touch.

cufflinks for suits

As for the age-old debate or trigger or chain, chains are generally deemed more formal- most likely due to what a nightmare they can be to put on. Triggers may seem modern convenience but are a joy to put on.

Pocket Squares

Firstly, and most importantly, do not directly match your pocket square to your tie. The key is to take a primary colour from your jacket, shirt or tie and have that as a secondary colour in your pocket square. 

The pocket square is a superbly versatile suit accessory for a suit in that if you are at a more formal occasion you can keep it quite conservative and go for a flat fold which provides an accent to the jacket.   

As an example see how our Kinglet Calyptura Pocket Square has been used here to accent the green in the tie but is only an inch above the pocket so provides interest without being overtly flamboyant. 

Suit pocket square

For the more casual occasion then a more flamboyant fold can definitely draw attention and lift the suit to another level. This time the fold is much more flamboyant, in this example using our Kingfisher Square, matching the blue stripes in the shirt with blue accents in the pocket square.  

Pocket square for suit

In this example, the pocket square is the focal point of the suit, using our Venice: The Basin of San Marco Pocket Square with different shades of blue reflected in the shirt, tie, jacket and pocket square. This kind of attention to detail will really make your suit stand out. 

Pocket handkerchief for suit

Ties

Ties allow one to express his individuality without contradicting the conservative dress codes that exist in some work environments or social occasions. They main things to consider when choosing your tie are the colour and pattern matching to your shirt, jacket and any other accessories such as a pocket square, and thinking about the textures.

Bold Patterned Ties
If you have a solid coloured shirt (particularly white or sky blue) and a classic suit colour such as navy, then you are free to experiment with bolder colours and patterns with your tie, and you can provide strong contrast should you wish. 

Bold Tie

Matching Colours
When matching your tie to your suit colour, the best looks tend to come when your combinations are balanced. From the colour wheel below you want to match your suit colours on the opposite side, so blues and navy's work well with oranges and reds.

Colour Wheel

Pattern Matching
There is one main rule with patterns, and that is don't directly match your tie to your suit pattern in terms of the pattern itself, but more importantly the size of the pattern. For example if you have a houndstooth suit, choose a tie that has a smaller pattern such as polka dots, or a larger pattern. 

Houndstooth jacket and tie
Image Source: Hespokestyle.com

Feel free to adorn straight ties with all manner of the tie bars and tie pins, but a word of advice on tie bars. Aim for your tie bar to be around 3/4 of your tie width. Although it is not a complete faux pas for it to be the width of your tie, we feel that if you have a tie bar the full width of your you are effectively cutting your tie in half and it ruins the vertical aesthetic of the tie.

A tie bar should also be placed between the 3rd and 4th button of your shirt. 

Tie Bar 3/4 Of The Width
Image Source: Thescotteffect.com

Braces

Braces are a sadly forgotten essential. Today, the biggest effort we see is the narcissistic throwing off a jacket to reveal the clip-ons underneath. What these aspiring dandies don’t understand is the clips on these stand up to very little, flying off at the slightest tension like slipping a hand into your pocket.

The original braces use traditional buttoning with leather ends and thick cloth that doesn’t stretch such as our hand-made braces below.

Button Braces

Quality braces make a statement. One of luxury craftsmanship rather than mass produced synthetics. These braces work. Trousers should be hung and braces achieve this beautifully, unlike a belt that simply latches the waistband to the hips. The braces actually hold the crease so that it drapes correctly.

Suit trousers should not actually be worn with a belt, if not braces then side adjusters are the other method of keeping them in place. The reason for this being that a suit is meant to form a singular, vertical aesthetic, whereas a belt provides a horizontal break in the middle of the suit. 

The ‘dressed’ feeling of braces is hard to beat, reminding one that the suit is the modern day armour. Braces have the effect of almost pulling you together, your trousers higher and shirt held in. Another benefit of our wool box-cloth material is the comfort of not being stretched across you.

Umbrella With Wooden Handle

For something rather more functional in the modern age, try an umbrella. The Fox frame is the patented and best model that won’t let you down like a small-packing version. Although not directly a suit accessory, a well suited man in the cooler months with a quality umbrella is making a satorial statement all of his own.

Our personal favourite is to go for a two tone colour, ideally with a classic houndstooth or herringbone pattern such as the below.

Herringbone Umbrella

 

Final Thoughts

A well-tailored suit will always look sharp, but what really takes it up a level is how you choose your accessories so you look like you are styled from the pages of GQ. The main things to keep in mind are complementing primary and secondary colours through your suit and accessories rather than directly matching. 

Also, keep an eye on texture matching. In our opinion, a highly textured suit jacket, such as a heavy wool does not work with a shiny silk tie or pocket square. You don't have to match textures directly, but keep them within a few levels of each other.  

Our online store, featuring luxury pocket squares, ties and braces for the modern gentleman can be found here: Rampley & Co Shop.  

November 10, 2016

Luxury Socks For The Modern Gentleman 

We are very pleased to announce the launch of our new sock collections, The Burleigh Collection in Merino wool, The Langham Collection of cotton dress socks, and The Darsham Collection a cotton sock with Herringbone pattern. You can view the full range on the following link: Rampley & Co Sock Collections

These easily overlooked items are a wardrobe essential worn by every president, king, actor and singer, put on one at a time no matter what their wearer may go on to achieve that day. It would therefore be unjust if our range of accessories failed to include such understated servants, made to the same high standard we value so strongly in our products.

Luxury Socks

Manufactured In Leicester 

Our socks are hand finished in a Leicestershire Mill in what was once the beating heart of the British cotton industry. The mill has been family owned since 1937, having been a paper factory built in 1924. In the 1960s when business was booming, the factory needed to be upgraded for increased demands of production and was moved to a larger complex on the very same street in Leicester.

Leicester Mill

Professional hosiers divide the construction between the knitting of the fabric, the closure of the toes as well as the finishes and treatments necessary to craft these world class pieces. The skill of these experts takes years to perfect. The staff members are treated with the same regard for quality as the wool that is bought in Italy each year at the forefront of world wool trade and innovations.

Sourcing Quality Fibres

As with most items of menswear, the breathing and comfort of natural fibres is difficult to beat. The cotton we provide has been grown in the Nile Delta and treated for maximum softness, comfort and longevity. However, pure wool or cotton socks will deteriorate very quickly when confronted by the rigours of daily life as a largely functional covering of the feet. Therefore we have included a percentage of nylon which stretches their durability and lifetime considerably. This also means they will not shrink with correct laundry practise, and have more spring and so are less likely to sag around ankles.

The Merino wool of our socks is also perfect for all seasons and the varied temperatures faced in modern daily life. Merino wool is derived from sheep that originated in Spain, but are now found mainly in Australasia, who therefore must adapt to hot sun and cold nights within a single fleece.

Selecting The Weight

In tailoring, thin socks tend to be favoured as they are generally more comfortable and lighter to wear rather than confining the foot in a fitted shoe with thicker insulating varieties. Our socks are manufactured on a cylinder knitting machine holding 200 very thin knitting needles. This means that there will be 200 finely crafted stitches around the leg of every sock to produce a very lightweight and strong everyday dress sock. 

Matching Socks To Your Outfit

Outside formalities of black tie and morning dress there are no rules beyond the aesthetic. This can be the key to turning a conformist suit into the skin of a dashing rebel. Consider fiery reds, oranges and pinks to contrast a grey outfit. Ultimately with trousers of the right length socks should not be seen except for in glances when walking or when crossing your legs, which is a position of panache even without daring socks. Therefore sock choice is one of the few areas in men's fashion where the rules are very relaxed.

For more formal situations a more conservative look is to match your socks to your trousers. However, we feel that unless absolutely necessary, consider a pair of socks as your accent colour and look to match the colour with a colour in your tie or pocket square. 

To view our full range, click on the following link: Rampley & Co Sock Collections
September 05, 2016

Black Suit Combinations In 2017

Though not as easily pulled off as ubiquitous – mostly thanks to their versatility – grey or navy men’s suits, a well-styled black two-piece is a thing of undeniable sartorial gravitas. 

Unsure of how to style yours? From colour combinations to finding the perfect coordinating accessories, we’re here to show you exactly why black is the new, well, black.

In this post we will cover:

  • What shirt colours work best with a black suit
  • What shoes to wear with a black suit
  • The difference accessories to enhance your look

Spoiled by too-often seen over-long trousers, ill-fitting jackets and mismatched colour combinations, the impact a sleek black suit can create has often been overlooked. Not only does it never date, the black suit can be styled and mixed and matched to suit almost any occasion. Black-tie dress code? Slip a white shirt and bow tie on with a smart three-piece. Monday-morning meeting? A black jacket and light-blue shirt looks polished and professional. Though it may require a little more thought, a beautifully cut, perfectly tailored men’s black suit that fits like a glove should be a staple in every refined gent’s wardrobe.

Black suit combinations image

Complexion
After cut, an important thing to consider when piecing together your black suit is how it works alongside your colouring and complexion. As a general rule, those with pale skin and fair hair would do well to opt for a shirt that eases the contrast between light and dark – grey, light blue or warmer pastel shades work nicely. Those with darker skin tones have much more flexibility and can play around with myriad colour combinations, from muted to bold.

Colour combinations

When building your outfit, nailing the colour combination of shirts and ties for black suits is key; anything overly saturated, garish or bright in colour just won’t work. That’s not to say colour can’t work at all, in fact, some of the most well put-together men’s suits involve unique colour combinations or pops of complementary hues. Take heed of our advice to showcase your sartorial nous:

The Black Suit and Blue Shirt
The age-old adage states that navy and black should never be worn together, but we’re here to attest that this could in fact be one of the sleekest tonal combinations around. Hinting at dressiness without the formality of, say, a white shirt, this ensemble makes light work of smartening up in a contemporary way.

Black suit black shirt

Alternatively, the black-suit-light-blue-shirt combination remains one not to be sniffed at. Perfect for the office, it looks entirely appropriate for meeting clients, and works for after-work drinks too.

Black shirt light blue shirt
Image Source: Raymondnext.com

The Black Suit and Grey or Silver Shirt
A beautiful colour combination that works for any skintone, a black suit and silver or grey shirt is a sartorial go-to. Not quite as stark a contrast as white and black, it’s smart without being harsh; a tonal tie and silver accessories will pull the look together effortlessly.

Black suit silver shirt

The Black Suit and Pink Shirt
Softening against black, a pink shirt is surprisingly flattering and easier to pull off than you think. In the same ballpark as a light-blue Oxford button down, the look is smart but not stuffy, making it a safe bet for work or with jeans for smart-casual dress codes. Alternatively, a light or pastel-pink shirt makes a dapper alternative to white when your RSVP calls for something a little smarter.

Black suit pink shirt

The Black Suit and White Shirt
John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, Will Smith in Men in Black, James Bond… some of the most iconic scenes in modern film have featured a black suit and crisp white shirt – a testament to the ensemble’s enduring impact. The ultimate way to smarten up for a formal affair, this combination gives off a certain air of masculinity that can’t be achieved with any other combination; it’s suave, sharp and slick.

Black suit white shirt
Image Source: Dailymail.co.uk

Step it up even further with the tuxedo. The main difference between a tux and a run-of-the-mill black suit and white shirt is the presence of satin on the lapels and trims, and the bow tie or cummerbund/vest worn with it. The very last word in debonair sophistication, the tux is the reserve of the elite of social engagements and we’d argue that a gent looks at his very best in a beautifully crafted tuxedo.

Black tuxedo

The Black Suit and Printed Shirt
Now here’s where things get interesting. Inject a little personality into your look with a print or motif that complements your black suit. Take your pick from geos, florals or polka dots, but to avoid a style catastrophe keep the print small and tonal, keeping the colours of the shirt and suit complementary – they should work together rather than battling for the limelight.

Black suit printed shirt

The Black Suit and Non-formal Shirt
A contemporary update for the gent who likes to stand out from the crowd, swapping a shirt for a high-quality cotton tee or knitwear can really highlight your standing as a man of impeccable taste and sartorial know how. Perfect for low-key occasions and winter layering, try a grey cashmere roll neck or a printed t-shirt. Just remember the golden rule: keep the neckline high and the cut form fitting.

Black suit with turtle neck top
Image Source: Thefashionisto.com

The Finer Details

Finally, we move onto the accessories which can make or break your look. Below we run through those small touches that will add the final touch of finesse to your black suit.


Ties
The most obvious choice is the black suit and black tie combination. Really, you can’t go wrong with it for a special occasion; effortlessly suave and polished with minimal effort, it’s a sartorial no-brainer.

For a pop of colour, red can really finish off a black suit to perfection and is a smart choice for a wedding. To avoid looking dated, forego shiny fabrics in favour of matt tones and subtle texture. Just make sure the tie is in proportion to the lapels and fit of your suit.

Black suit red tie

Pocket Square and Socks                             
Accent a dapper print or colour with your pocket square or socks. Giving a hint of your style leanings, these accoutrements allow you a little more creative freedom than your tie or shirt. But whatever you do, remember your look should work together as a whole, and the golden rule is to keep in mind is that your tie should never directly match your pocket square.

The colours in your tie should be sympathetic to those on your pocket square. So either you can take a secondary colour from your tie and have that in your pocket square such as in the image below where the yellow stripes in the blue tie work well with the yellow primary colours of our Lion Hunt pocket square which can be seen here: Lion Hunt Pocket Square

Black suit pocket square

Shoes
The easiest rule of them all: a black suit should always be paired with a pair of polished black shoes. For a slightly less formal look go for a pair of Derby black shoes, but for formal events go for a pair of whole cut Oxfords.

Black Oxford shoes
Image Source: Soletopia.com

Watch, Cufflinks and Tie Bar
Whichever watch, cufflink and tie bar you opt for, remember to keep the metal on each the same. Nothing ruins an outfit quicker than mismatched metal. And if you’re wearing a belt, ensure the buckle follows suit. The devil is in the detail after all.

Conclusion

In summary, the black suit is a classic article of clothing that can be worn a number of ways to either dress it up or down depending on the occation. Below is a recap of the main points we've covered.

  • The fairer your complexion the warmer your shirt’s colour should be.
  • A black suit and white shirt is a great choice for a very formal affair.
  • Looking for an office-appropriate men’s suit? Opt for black with a blue shirt.
  • If you really want to show off your satorial skill, reach for a printed shirt or a cashmere roll neck.
  • Match your metals, coordinate your accessories and always pair your black suit with black shoes. No exceptions.

Undated: 18 July, 2017 

August 22, 2016

Men's Suit Fabrics - Our Complete Guide

When it comes to suit fabrics the vast majority of tailoring aficionados would sooner invest in cut and style in tailored suits than micro-weaves and ‘smart’ materials in designer suits. As many people find the very basics of regular men’s suit fabrics confusing, we felt it worth creating a guide that explains some of the fundamentals around suit fabrics.  

In this post we'll cover: 

  • The Most Common Patterns 
  • Types Of Suit Fabrics
  • When To Wear The Fabrics

Just as a gentleman has a suit or outfit for every occasion, so is there a fabric for every requirement. Fabric, in tailoring terms, varies based on the fineness of the thread and hence the weight per yard of fabric. Yarn numbers, originating from the industrial quantities of thread spun from a pound of wool, hover around 80 for standard wool up to over 100 for luxuriously smooth wool. It's, therefore, a number closer to 100 that that fine tailors treasure. That actual number can be left to the expertise of the tailor to decide, and an off-the-peg suit may not even mention the yarn number so the easiest starting point is with the fibre itself for understanding men’s suit fabrics.

The most important categories to bear in mind are synthetic and natural fibres. These fibres can form fabric into a variety of different weaves that provide the patterns of men’s suiting. It is how these fibres are treated and woven that produces different suit fabrics, while the array of patterns available is also the product of different weaves.

Common Patterns

Herringbone is so called since it resembles a fish skeleton. This can make a plain coloured fabric nicely textured. 

Herringbone Fabric Suit

Windowpane check is an elegant pattern that breaks up the cloth into a grid. This creates a smooth wrapping effect showing the curvature around the back and boasts the tailor’s skill in matching multiple lines in different panels.

Window Pane Check Fabric

Prince-of-Wales or Glen check is a classic formal pattern of greys favoured by Edward VIII before his accession and subsequent abdication from the throne. It is a regal favourite for its gentle texture that is distinguished but not too overwhelming.

Prince Of Wales Check Fabric

Pinstripe and chalkstripes speak for themselves as edgy icons with an air of Wall Street stockbrokers or gangsters. Feint narrow stripes are the high street staple whilst wider inch-separated chalk stripes resemble more tailored suits, due to the skill in matching the ends of the lines when joining pieces of fabric as can be seen below. This example emphasises the power of stripes when cut in a classic shape with peak lapels and double-breasted fastening for a sharp, angular effect.

Pin Stripe Suit Fabric

These patterns make little difference to the physical characteristics of the fabric. These are decided by the fibres spun to create the threads the fabric is woven from.

Fabric Types 

Polyester
Let's start with the most basic fabric and work our way up. The most popular man-made synthetic fabric is polyester which for all its sceptics holds a wealth of benefits as a lightweight, durable fabric that will not be consumed by moths. 

On the other hand, the downsides include a shininess that together with the light fabric feels somewhat artificial. It is perfectly serviceable, but does not breath particularly well and therefore can become hot. While the clear favourite among budget suit lines, most high-street men’s fashion suits are also made from a combination of synthetics. In the latter case branding and restricting tight trousers make the bulk of the price tag. Suits made from Polyester are an option for infrequent wear, but for wear within hot offices and during sunny afternoons more natural fibres provide a much more comfortable fabric.

Polyester Suit

Wool
The universal natural fibre is wool that, although associated with heavy tweeds actually breathes well, is water resistant to an extent and will not burn when brushed by a stray cigarette. Forgive a degree of eulogising, but this incredible fibre has been the fabric of choice for millennia. Wool can also be successfully combined with polyester to host the benefits of both fabrics as a moth-proof, breathable and economical fabric available in a variety of weights.

Light Weight 100% Wool Suit

Tweed
Recent men’s fashion has catapulted the wool-based tweed upon a glorious silver pedestal to the very height of taste. Once synonymous with the elderly and country parishes, the legislation-protected cloth now adorns young and old, hipster and traditionalist and never had need to be sidelined in the first place. 

The cottage industries of weavers of UK suiting fabric on the Scottish island of Harris have been saved as Regent Street is awash from Liberty’s to Cordings with the distinctive orb badge upon handbags, wallets and jackets. Perhaps its challenge is the sheer volume of choice. We much admire some of the more luxurious weaves of colourful checks seen in the windows of Savile Row, plain browns carrying a feint sliver of purple or blue. These are very much modern suits, made to a weight suitable for sauntering around town in all seasons as well as the heat of the Central line.

The annual London Tweed Run takes place in May every year where over a thousand cyclists tour the city centre fully clad in the cloth.

London Tweed Run
Image Source: Hobidas.com


The waistcoat has enjoyed its revival at the same time as tweed, and with this fabric layering is the best option both for elegance and practicalities of temperature. Seek as classic a cut as possible. Tailored is certainly recommended since with good care this is a suit that can last many years. It was this durability that inspired the tradition of replacing the most worn areas of elbows and cuffs with leather patches, but in the modern age I shall leave such matters of preservation to the wearer. For a more casual look, cotton corduroy trousers covered later can be substituted in the colour of your choice.

Seek as classic a cut as possible. Tailored is certainly recommended since with good care this is a suit that can last many years. It was this durability that inspired the tradition of replacing the most worn areas of elbows and cuffs with leather patches, but in the modern age I shall leave such matters of preservation to the wearer. For a more casual look, cotton corduroy trousers covered later can be substituted in the colour of your choice.

Tweed Suit

While the woollen cloth of most blazers makes a lighter summer alternative, a full suit remains perhaps too warm. While the blazer deserves an article in it's own right, the subject of fabrics to wear with one can be touched upon. Preferable is white, tan or grey flannel trousers, also wool, in the case of the classic navy blue jacket with gold buttons. 

However, these can be difficult to get hold of while linen and cotton trousers are easy. In cooler temperatures contrasting corduroy works beautifully. The most important advice is not to attempt to match the blazer to the trousers, since it is not meant to be like a suit.

Blue Blazer Flannel Trousers

 

Cotton and Linen
As for travels abroad and the height of summer, many gentlemen fear the suit wholly inappropriate. For holiday makers this is quite understandable, but there remain in the mind images of Daniel Craig stepping off a jet in the Bahamas or for the more traditionally-minded, beige Bright Young Things in Venice in Brideshead Revisited. Cotton and linen here form the saviour of men’s tailoring.

Linen Suit

Both of these fibres grown from the earth hang beautifully in stony colours. Linen in particular offers options of blends of cotton or even silk introduced to the fabric. We need not elaborate upon the mere thought of such luxury. However, we would hasten to add that the summer is and should be a time of activity.

In times of picnics, beer gardens and country walks a man’s clothing is at its most vulnerable. A good breathable fabric in a good cut need not cost the earth and will lose nothing from regular trips to the dry cleaners.

Corduroy
Corduroy is a form of cotton woven in such a way as to produce ‘tunnels’ that are then cut so the fibres spring outwards. This is an everyday staple, ideal in winter, though more common as separate trousers given the heavy weight.

Corduroy Suit
Image Source: Thesatorialist.com

Velvet is a similar cotton with a ‘pile’ of upward-facing fibres that will wear quicker if brushed against this grain. For this reason, velvet suits are rare given their vulnerability and should be made with the trousers’ pile upward so when the wearer is sitting the sliding direction goes with the grain. Dinner suits and smoking jackets are beautiful uses of this fabric.

Velvet Jacket

Final Thoughts

As a final note, matching these fabrics can seem a daunting prospect. Although the joy of the suit is that the top and bottom are pre-ordained for you, much of men’s fashion focuses on accessories such as scarves, pocket squares and ties. Each has their own benefits a formula cannot encapsulate.

For instance, a silk scarf goes with anything. However, a general rule to keep in mind is that to match fabrics you should match the weight. Heavy wools go with heavy wools like tweed but would look out of place with linen. 

August 10, 2016

What Makes A Luxury Pocket Square?

At Rampley & Co we pride ourselves on producing the best possible quality products through innovative design, the best available fabrics and quality craftsmanship. In terms of creating beautiful pocket squares, there are four key elements that make up the design process; material, design, finish and size. Below we have lain out exactly what we feel makes a luxury pocket square and why we feel we make the finest silk pocket squares for men in the world!

Luxury Pocket Squares

Material

The material chosen for both your ties and pocket squares (or handkerchiefs as they’re sometimes referred) is incredibly important and there are a variety of options available that work for both, namely silk, linen, cotton and wool-silk blends. The majority of our collection are silk pocket squares and we spent a long time ensuring that the silk we sourced was of the top quality but also that it was the correct type when trying to print a lot of the intricate patterns we often use. 

One aspect that a lot of consumers don’t tend to consider is the ‘bleed’ of the pocket square. This is affected by both the weight of the material that you are using but also by the style of printing. When hand printing you tend to find you get much better penetration of the ink through the fabric but you are unable to get the level of detail and colour blend required if trying to print a piece of fine art onto silk.

As we need to digitally print our paintings we needed to find the right weight of silk that would allow us to get the penetration of ink onto the reverse of the square (essentially when showing out of your pocket) while also having the right structural integrity to allow a rigid fold and avoid slippage in the pocket. For this reason, we decided upon a 15OZ weight of 100% silk which we feel is the perfect blend. 

If you’re trying to introduce a bit of texture then a fine linen pocket square or a wool-silk blend can be an excellent choice and we find can be a very high-end choice when looking for a more casual look and feel but while retaining the feel of luxury. 

Design

As a company, we’re always trying to work with some of the most prestigious and well-known institutions, museums, galleries, artists and designers to provide our customers with truly unique designs. It is our aim to provide pieces of art in your pocket while continuing to innovate and find new ways of presenting this timeless classic as well as paying a premium to ensure we have the best quality product available.

When identifying a partner to work with we always take great care to ensure that they are in line with our brand values as well as making sure that the partnership is in keeping with the style of product we’re looking to create and that the imagery we’re using is the right fit. With The National Gallery for example, we worked closely with their team to choose a selection of paintings from their substantial collection of some of the finest artworks in the world.

The paintings had to first and foremost suit the medium on which they were to be presented and so we slowly identified those we wanted based on colour blends and the ability to work within a square crop. We then designed unique borders for each square, each inspired by the painting it was chosen to go with and utilising individual details seen in the work such as the detailing on an arch or the colouring of a piece of clothing.

Below is the Crivelli painting The Annunciation, With Saint Emidus as seen in the National Gallery which we have used as a design on one of our pocket squares.

Crivelli

Once designs were finalised we worked with their expert colourist to ensure that the sampling process gave us the closest possible match to the original painting before producing our finished product. This is a difficult task when printing complicated images with multiple colour blends onto silk but fully worth it when presented at the end with a stunning hand rolled silk pocket square featuring an absolutely stunning piece of art. 

Finish

To really ensure you have a truly luxury pocket square you really need to look carefully at the way the edges of the pocket square are finished. We would always recommend that you have a hand rolled hem as this is the only way to give you the best possible look when folding the pocket square for your sports jacket, blazer or suit. The process of hand rolling ensures that you have a nice plump finish all along the edge of your square and this will act as a way of providing structural integrity to your square when folded. When machine finished you will find that you end up with a very flat edge as it has been slightly pressed down by the machine. This can cause the corners of your square to droop when sticking from your pocket but also flattens the square in general when folded and so you may also find you get slippage within the pocket, especially if moving around at pace, and so you’ll have to keep having to fish your pocket square out and readjust!

Pocket Square Size

We spent a long time deciding what size our pocket squares should be but found that it is often dependent on the material that you’re using. Effectively, you want the right balance between a large enough square to provide some structural integrity when in the pocket (thus again avoiding slippage as with the hand rolled hems) while avoiding the puffing effect that this can have on some jacket pockets. What you tend to find with some retailers of lower quality squares is that they will be 30x30cm or 32x32cm when finished and this is often down to the fact that they can produce more per length of silk/linen and therefore increase margins. In terms of silk pocket squares, we felt that the only way to have a truly luxury product was to produce the size that would best suit the needs of the customer and so we finish ours at 42x42cm.

Click here to view our full range of Hand Rolled Pocket Squares.

August 03, 2016

Grey Suit Combinations

In our guide to grey suit combinations below, we will provide you with some general rules that will elevate and enhance your style. From bold to laid back, the grey suit is often the one to stand out in amongst the tide of black and navy options. In this post we'll cover:

  • Colour combinations
  • How to wear your suit for different occasions
  • Choosing the right accessories

Colour Combinations

In our minds, there is nothing more dashing and sharp as a suit when worn well. To bring out the best in your grey suit, it's important to get the right suit colour. Firstly, the basic shirt colours every man must have in his wardrobe are white and sky blue. These are both safe options that will allow you to create an array of classic options.

Grey suit with blue shirt

In general, a grey suit will always look good with a crisp white shirt and a black tie. However, we feel that this look has become such a staple that it actually comes across as bland. This is particularly true in a corporate environment where you might be faced with a small army of clones wearing the same combination. The best way to liven it up? Add an injection of colour. For example pairing it with a pink or green shirt. This is a bold look, but when worn with confidence will separate you as a man with true style.

Grey suit with pink shirt

Your usual sartorial sense would tell you that wearing a sky blue shirt would work, but this does depend on the shade of grey. If you are wearing a light grey suit, a sky blue shirt will appear so washed out you will completely lose the effect of the contrast. However, if you are wearing a dark grey suit, a crisp sky blue shirt can make the grey really shine, and that is a simple way of adding a subtle pop of colour. If you do want to introduce a sky blue shirt with a pale grey suit, go for a blue and white striped or checked number. This is a simple, yet effective way of making a statement without being too overt, while you will also get the effect of the contrasting shades. 

Grey shirt with striped shirt

Tie Options

Let's now look at some tie options. A grey suit on it's own does offer quite a blank canvas when it comes to choosing a tie. So if you keep it neutral by going with a white shirt you can comfortably go bold with your tie. You could choose to go for more vibrant solid colours or choose a pattern that will become the focal point of your look.

Grey suit and patterned tie
Imagine Source: Lookastic.com

To add a touch of warmth, a burgundy tie is a great option. The burgundy tie is a classic tie that every gentleman should own. More commonly seen in combination with a navy suit, it pairs perfectly with a grey suit.

Grey suit burgundy tie
Image Source: Hespokestyle.com

As a further note, it's definitely worth investing in classic silk ties, 6cm to 8cm wide, in either solid colours or lightly patterned that will stay in style year after year. Cheap ties will tend to crease after a short period to of time if you don't really look after them.  

For a grey suit, the shirt and tie combinations are just as versatile as a navy suit, and therefore adaptable for all seasons. However, as a general rule we would recommend sticking to the paler shades of grey during the warm months and the darker shades or charcoal in a woollen mix for the cooler months.

How To Wear A Grey Suit

A grey suit is most definitely a versatile colour, and can be dressed up or down with some thought given to your accessories. Below we've covered off some different occasions with a bit of guidance to always look your best.

A Wedding
A simple way to look well turned out at a wedding is by wearing a classic double cuffed shirt, and then pair it with an elegant set of cufflinks. Ideally you should look to match other accessories of your look, for example silver cufflinks with a silver watch and silver buckles on a nice pair of monk strap shoes. This is such an effortless way of adding something to draw the eye. Although this is so simple, it is an easy way of showing off your sartorial knowledge. If you're looking to keep it simple lean towards plain rather than patterned shirts and use your accessories to lift the outfit.

If it's a summer wedding and you're going for a pale grey suit, a solid combination would be a crisp white shirt and blue tie and then you can use the pocket square as your flare accessory and go for something bold such as purple. Alternatively, you could keep the pocket square safe and go for a plain white square with a flat fold, and then go for a green or patterned tie as your flare piece. Simple combinations like this will give you that attention grabbing and effortless look that is perfect for a wedding.

Grey suit with blue tie

In The Office
In the office it is very easy to slip into the common grey suit, white shirt and black tie combo. Below we set out a few things to keep in mind so you can stand out from the crowd, while keeping the hint of formality that many job roles require.

Firstly, there is the shade. Broadly speaking light greys are more casual, with the darker greys and charcoal more formal. Therefore if you are mainly planning to wear your suit in the office, go for a darker shade.

In terms of what you wear with it, a stylish choice is to choose a flat coloured shirt and then wear a tie that is at least one or two shades darker. For the office, if you go for a patterned tie, don't choose a pattern that is too overpowering.  

Grey suit with blue shirt and tie
Image Source: Stylisheve.com

Finally, a very simple, but often overlooked accessory for a modern man is an elegant dress watch. A white faced watch with a brown leather strap will always look good in the office during the day and is also an easy complement for brown leather shoes. 

A Casual Event
For a casual event or day out this is where you can definitely be more flamboyant with your look and introduce bolder patterns, more eye-catching accessories or loose your socks and go for a pair of loafers. The main thing to keep in mind is not to go too overboard with your accessories. Choose 1 or 2 more flamboyant options and then keep everything else relatively muted. This ensures that you look like a man of style.

Grey suit with loafers
Image Source: Guesswatches.com

Conclusion

In conclusion, the grey suit is a very versatile suit colour. In general, the lighter the suit colour the more casual it tends to be. However, the shirt colour and accessories can definitely dress up or down the suit. 

For more formal occasions keep your shirt options safe and then you can be much more flamboyant with your accessories. For more casual events or in summer, look to lose your socks and tie and go for a pair of loafers for a stylish relaxed look.

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July 26, 2016

Men's Silk Scarves - Our Guide For The Gentleman

In our minds, there is nothing quite so elegantly rakish and raffish as a men’s silk scarf worn in a beautifully blasé manner. Whatever the milieu you move in – or that you are trying to infiltrate – a silk scarf is one of the few accessories that is capable of making a bold yet laid back statement at the same time.

Casual silk scarf
Image Source: Lookastic.com

The Origin Of The Scarf

Silk scarves for men originated in the modern day as an accessory for pilots to protect their necks from irritation as they flew in cockpits open to the elements. Whether it be the stories of heroic war deeds, or images from Hollywood of the brave fighter pilot, a silk scarf has always given a man a sense of standing apart, supremely confident in his own skin. 

Cary Grant Silk Scarf

Nowadays it is one of the few articles of clothing in a man's wardrobe that is wholly romantic – a quality that we hold in high regard and that we think is not at all irrelevant to maintaining an optimistic lucidity in today’s world. A men's silk dress scarf will pronounce that you have occasionally taken a step back from the game in order to contemplate and luxuriate, while also remaining in it.  

A Few Rules To Keep In Mind

Be careful never to mistake a scarf for a necktie. While contemporaries in style and dignity, they are polar opposites when it comes to attitude. Don't tie a scarf tightly around your neck, for that you would want to invest in a cravat. In our opinion a scarf is meant to be worn loose and easy; to be tossed on as a finishing touch to an outfit rather than seem as if the look is expressly planned around it, as with a necktie. This is expressly their charm. Our preference is to wear it as a classic drape, however there are a few more options set out below.

Silk Scarf and Suit
Image Source: Thebestfashionblog.com

Matching Options

In terms of matching options, you can apply the same basic thoughts about colour and pattern to your scarf-and-shirt combination as to your tie-and-shirt combinations, at least at the beginning. Don't match your scarf pattern to your shirt, or choose to wear a bold pattern on both garments. We particularly like a silk scarf in paisley as a wardrobe staple and paired with a plain coloured shirt. 

A scarf is a very versatile accessory allowing your to dress up a cardigan or casual jacket. You can simply drape a long scarf around your neck and let the ends hang free inside or outside the garment, depending on whichever feels most natural for you. They are also a great addition under a winter coat. As most of your clothing is covered during the cold winter months, a scarf is a good way to add a touch of colour to your winter look.

Winter jacket and scarf

The Wrap Around Knot

If you're looking for something a bit more bold than simply draping your scarf, an alternative knot is the wrap around. Similar to draping, it does give off a casual feel, but clearly makes more of a statement of style intent, and puts your colour combinations right into the eye line of anyone you should be passing by.

Wrap around silk scarf

The Parisian Knot

If you do however wish to make your scarf the focal point of your outfit, you can opt for the Parisian or loop knot. Just make a coil of the silk scarf, put around your neck, and pass both ends of the scarf through. The Parisian knot, when wearing it over the top of the jacket gives the scarf volume and takes it from subtle accessory to an overt fashion statement so you need to wear this knot with poise and certainty. We suggest trying out this look with a blazer on days that are lower key.

Parisian Knot
Image Source: Artofstyle.com

The Formal Look

Scarves are especially wonderful when worn with a tuxedo.  For a classic, old-school look that never dates, go for dark or light coloured plain silk scarf. Black tie events have relatively strict rules for the gentleman's attire, so a scarf most definitely adds a flamboyant touch to your tuxedo. For a more conservative look, tuck the scarf behind the lapels of your suit. You can wear it with or without a bow tie depending on the occasion, although pairing with a bow tie is definitely the more formal, entirely gentlemanly option.

Tuxedo and silk tie

 

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