Until recently, I’d never worn a pocket square, assuming they inevitably took a suit or blazer to the far side of that fine line between ‘fashionable’ and ‘foppish’.
But, a few months back, for reasons I no longer exactly recall, I picked one up. And, wearing it, I started started getting compliments. Not on the pocket square itself, but on the suit. And not just from friends and colleagues, but from cashiers, doormen, waitresses and security guards.
So, feeling adventurous, I picked up two more. A different check, and an emboidered white. I tried them in the breast pockets of other suits and jackets, and the results were the same. People liked my clothing better. Not just the pocket sqares, but the whole outfits.
I’m still not sure exactly why this happens. Perhaps it’s an Emperor’s New Clothes effect – an assumption that anyone with a pocket square must take fashion seriously, and, consquently, that whatever they’re wearing must be fashionable.
Or perhaps it’s just that a pocket square is slightly unusual enough to catch people’s attention, to cause them to look at something – a suit – they’d otherwise largely ignore.
Whatever the reason, though, it works. By now, a jacket looks almost naked to me without a handkerchief in the front pocket.
But don’t take my word for it. In the last month, I’ve spotted pics of Tom Brady, Jay-Z, Daniel Craig, and Nicholas Sarkozy all sporting poking pocket squares. Not a bad crowd with whom to keep company.