The hallmark of a true gentleman, a pocket square is an effortless way to add some sartorial flair to classic tailoring. Whether it's a more traditional tweed or a vibrant silk paisley you favour, a pocket square can impart a personal touch to even the dullest workwear. The question is, how should you wear it, and what are the rules?
A common misconception is that a matching tie and pocket square is the way to go. This is actually the opposite of the truth, as in practice this will often leave even the snappiest dressers looking more than a little austere.
So how do you style a pocket square, ensuring that it stands out, reflects your personality, and complements your suit, without looking like you got dressed in your grandmother's handkerchief box that morning? Read our style guide to find out all you need to know about how to wear this essential accessory.
As mentioned, directly matching pocket square and tie is a style no-go. But the question remains, how should you wear a pocket square and tie together? Here, you have a variety of options which can be alternated depending on your sartorial preference.
If you're feeling brave and you want to wear a pocket square that's going to get you noticed in the office, you may opt for a bright, patterned design such as paisley or polka-dot. If this is the case, then ensure that one of the colours featured in the pocket square complements either your tie or your suit. For example, if you had a blue polka-dot pocket square, you might want to go with a tie with flecks of blue in it, or for the fashion staple, a solid blue tie.
A more conservative option would be to opt for a traditional heritage fabric such as a Harris tweed or tartan, and largely the same rule applies here. Identify the main colour of the pocket square, and endeavour to pick a tie that features that colour in some way.
Not quite ready to go for a patterned number and want something more low-key? Neutral solid colours will work with everything, but ensure that they are in contrast with your suit and tie otherwise the impact of the accessory is definitively lessened. A textured pocket square, such as a lightweight linen or pique cotton, will add a point of interest without being too bold.
Now we've covered the basics, what about something a little more advanced? Considering your tie is one thing, but what about the rest of your outfit? Firstly, let's start with the suit. The pocket square is a great companion to fine tailoring, but as a contrast to, not a match for it. Choose a colour that will stand out against your suit and worry about matching it to your tie later, as this is what will really make the impact. Black makes a great base for the more stand-out, printed designs, whereas a simple grey suit can be transformed by a gentlemanly tweed.
Next, your shirt. As a general rule, wearing a printed shirt and a printed pocket square together runs the risk of looking like you've made a little too much effort, so a solid colour works better with a bold design and vice versa.
As a final flourish, why not consider your socks as an additional pairing to your pocket square? It's easy to forget the humble sock, but they can add serious impact to an outfit when properly picked using the guidelines above. Choose a block-colour that brings out the hues of your chosen square and you're guaranteed to turn heads on the train.
Features And Fashion Writer
1. Pocket Square, Rampley & Co - a necessary item for a fashionable gentleman, and one of our favourites from our Fine Art Collection. Adding this simple accessory can make an outfit truly unique.
2. Razor, Murdock - a hand-crafted razor could be a perfect gift for a man who likes to take good care of himself. Simple, classy and sharp - that's exactly what he needs.
3. Cosmetics Set, Grown Alchemist - a firm, yet gentle handshake is a must in social interactions. Grown Alchemist's hand cosmetics set will take care of that.
4. Cufflinks, Simon Carter - a perfect idea for every elegant man. The neutral colour palette of the cufflinks will suit almost every shirt.
5. Perfume, Yves Saint Laurent - a mix of patchouli wood and mandarins creates a perfect scent for a confident man.
6. Watch, Larsson & Jennings - a good quality watch is a must-have of every gentleman. Subtlety and reliability are the essence when choosing a timeless classic.
7. Wallet, Paul Smith - a black leather wallet is a safe present for everybody. The relatively small size makes it convenient to wear inside any trouser pocket.
8. Fountain pen, Visconti - a unique design collection of fountain pens inspired by artists. An ideal gift for a creative soul.
9. Whisky glass set, Dartington - designed to release flavours evenly, a perfect gift for any whisky connoisseur.
10. Umbrella, London Undercover - a must-have for a British gentleman. Not only usable, but also a perfect addition to an outfit.
As the season turns towards winter and thicker fabrics are put into play, it’s time to opt for some trend-worthy accessories for Autumn/Winter.
Tweed has always been a token classic for menswear, taking inspiration from the vast country life of a Scottish Gentleman to the rebellious 80’s punk. Due to its thick and rugged texture, tweed remains a favourite style staple for the colder months and is one of the most versatile fabrics in menswear. Pair tweed with virtually any colour or fabric, here we’ll run through the best tweed styling options for autumn/winter:
Twill – An unpatterned and simple weave with a subtle mottle effect. Orange, navy and bottle green are key colours for next season so pair a solid coloured pocket square with a plain blazer and a base colour polo neck to keep you warm. Twill pocket squares also look great when matched with the same coloured socks and either burgundy or whiskey brogues.
Overcheck Twill – Traditional twill with a large check design overlaid in a contrasting colour. The classic check is usually seen in earth tones such as brown, burgundy and red. In some cases grey, navy and monochrome are used which are in-keeping with one of next season’s biggest trends; the monochrome look. A large check design should be paired with pattern-less designs unless you’re brave enough to try the clashing look with an overcheck blazer in a different colour – never matching.
Image source: trendenciashombre.com
Plain Herringbone Tweed – Herringbone tweed consists of alternate parallel lines creating a ‘V’ shape, this is usually in a monochrome palette. This tweed perfectly blends with a classic black blazer and white shirt combination.
Striped Tweed – Striped tweeds include a distinctive pattern of vertical lines to create stripes of various sizes. Usually seen in earth tones, highland tweed can be juxtaposed against bright pop tones or subtly reflected in a neutral palette.
Houndstooth Tweed – Houndstooth uses a large broken checked pattern using pointed shapes instead of squares, said to resemble the back teeth of a dog. Much like the herringbone tweed, houndstooth is usually seen in a monochrome palette but has been seen updated with a large overcheck design and in pop colours by a few menswear designers. Depending on what colour or style you go for, houndstooth is the more eclectic mix of tweed.
Image Source: styleforum.net
Checked Tweed – A small square check which may be enhanced by a larger overcheck in a third colour. Because of this micro-pattern, it’s best to anchor the third colour and match that with your shirt for an all-over styled look. Micro-patterns should also stay away from larger prints.
Tartan Tweed – Any tartan can also be woven in tweed fabric. The characteristic uneven textire of Harris Tweed in particular wonderfully evokes authentic vintage tartans. Tartan being the most obvious tweed reference is therefor versatile for any formal or casual occasion. Formal being paired with an all-over base coloured three-piece suit, or a tweed pocket square to lift a casual outfit such as a cream blazer and denim shirt paired with boating shoes.
As woven fabrics are quite stiff, it’s always best to fold a tweed pocket square in a basic square or triangle fold, which makes styling options a lot easier.
Fashion & Lifestyle Writer
As the colder months draw in, attention is surely drawn to what trends one should buy into from the current season. The mens winter fashion runways were awash with a multitude of different sartorial offerings this year, so take a retrospective glance at 5 eminent looks from London's AW14 collections.
Checks are the ideal pattern to adopt if you want to make an understated impact. An easy-to-wear, versatile trend, a checked piece is a mens winter fashion staple.
Opt for a punchy monochrome Masai check as seen on the runway at Agi & Sam, go vibrant and garish with Jonathan Saunders' characteristically bold designs, or adopt Alexander McQueen's punk-inspired tartan.
A number of key London-based houses explored the stereotype of the English gentleman, evoking images of a range of iconic figures. Fiction's best-loved detective Sherlock Holmes was the focus at E.Tautz, who presented a selection of Ulster coats in various checked designs, styled with traditional Homburg hats.
Hackett drew on the idea of the gentlemanly explorer, infusing traditional tailoring with a sense of the intrepid. Impeccably cut tweed suits were accompanied by oversized vintage suitcases, backpacks and cameras, recalling nostalgic images of wealthy travellers.
Image source: style.com
Wide, regular or slim, it can be difficult to choose which trouser cut you're going to invest in for the forthcoming season. The AW14 runways have made the choice quite clear however, your mens winter fashion staple for the coming months is a pair of precisely tailored slim slacks.
A flattering slim-cut trouser is the ideal pairing for any sartorial mood. Paired with Casely-Hayford's grunge-inspired prints, Christopher Kane's scientific molecule motif, or Tom Ford's vibrant tailored jackets, they are perfect for balancing out a more statement-making upper half. Ensure you're wearing them slightly cropped at the ankle for that all-important 60s-inspired aesthetic.
Image source: style.com
Befitting the season, the dominant palettes on the London runways were a mix of rich, earthy tones. Gieves and Hawkes and Richard James presented formal looks in tonal brown hues, providing an on-trend alternative for black-tie events.
Wine-coloured tones were also prolific – go all out like Richard Nicoll and work with an entire outfit that variates on the theme, or opt for bold colour with neutral slacks as seen at Jonathan Saunders.
Image source: style.com
When it comes to the new season, you might also be wondering which grooming choices to make. The mens winter fashion runways were jam-packed with a host of different suggestions, but there is one clear winner. Bearded men take note, this might be time to pick up your razor – the London collections touted a distinct lack of facial hair. Clean-shaven and fresh-faced, the models at LC:M often had a boyish, youthful look.
As for the hair? Slicked-back and side-parted is the way to go for AW14, and as an additional bonus, the wet-look is very compatible with the rain. Take cues from Jonathan Saunders, Matthew Miller and Richard Nicoll, and freshen up your look with even breezier grooming.
Image source: style.com
Features And Fashion Writer
There’s no doubt about it, a tweed jacket is a solid staple within the contemporary men’s wardrobe. Versatile, classic and super smart, it’s a piece that will work for myriad occasions - providing you get the styling right. For both on and off duty dressing, consider the pocket square a failsafe companion.
Though small, this cunning little accessory holds all kinds of sartorial powers. Ultimately, it’s a great way to express your individual sense of style. If you’re into bold statement dressing, a pocket square in a bright hue will really make your tweed jacket pop. For the trend conscious, this is also a great way to tap into seasonal trends without being a style slave, the SS14 catwalks were awash with high-impact primary shades so opting for saturated yellow, blue or red will keep it current.
Another huge trend that has been brewing for several seasons now is pattern on pattern. Our inaugural Harris Tweed collection consists of both timeless and bold options that acknowledge this enduring trend. With that in mind, we’ve created some pointers on what to wear with a Tweed jacket, so you make the most of this timeless fashion classic.
Casual And Relaxed
If you’re out and about on a weekend, you’ll want to take the vibe down a notch and a pair of straight-leg or slim-cut jeans will do the trick. If your idea of casual and relaxed still includes a shirt, go for a white shirt in a casual fabric such as cotton. Wear with the top buttons left undone for that all-important ‘I just threw this on’ vibe. Otherwise a grey marl T is a super comfy option. Complete the look with a brightly coloured pocket square, a simple flat fold will suffice, and a pair of classic Converse or sneakers.
Whether you’re heading out for dinner with friends or meeting the in-laws, you’ll need to master this elusive dress code. Fortunately, when paired with simple wardrobe staples, a tweed jacket is a strong choice. Opt for a crisp black or pale blue shirt and a pair of neutral beige or navy chinos for the perfect smart casual canvas. Accessorise with a classic brown brogue and a matching tweed pocket square. Pairing the tweed fabrics gives you a sharp, yet casual look.
If you need to dress up for a meeting or a more formal engagement, wearing a tweed jacket offers plenty of scope. To keep it timeless, add a waistcoat and tailored trousers in a plain, dark fabric or in matching tweed. A bright white shirt works best for this look, especially if you’re going tweed-heavy.
Add an all-important sartorial edge with some choice accessories. Smart tweed dressing requires either a skinny tie or a bow tie, and a pocket square is essential to give your look the final touch of class. It's important not to directly match your pocket square to your tie, a definite no-no, but instead choose a complementary colour where one of the secondary colours in your tie is reflected in your pocket square or you can opt for another contrast, especially when you want to add just a little flash of colour. A neat flat fold or a two-point fold will underscore this razor-sharp look perfectly.
Image Source: fashionbeans.com
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