POCKET SQUARES A ROGUES GALLERY

Whether it be that you are fully attuned to your inner James Bond, or that you simply don’t give a damn for convention the folding and fluffery involved in the display of a pocket square can say a lot.

Words by: DUNCAN QUINN
Photos by: KEVIN BUITRAGO

We’ve been watching what’s going on with pocket candy for over 10 years in New York City. Of course, we’ve always loved them and had them available since we first opened. Like many things we do, people often didn’t know what they were and we had to explain their role.

So what is a pocket square for? Well, they really serve a couple of purposes. On your disheveled old uncle they probably are made of cotton, look a little unsanitary and are used for removing the nose garbage from his reddened schnoz. Either with a good elephant like trumpet of a blow, or the use of the odd finger or two. Or sometimes the full blown combo of both.

But that’s not what we’re discussing here or suggesting they be used for. Especially when they are made from some of the finest silk known to man. We’re more concerned with sending a message. Whether it be that you are fully attuned to your inner James Bond, or that you simply don’t give a damn for convention the folding and fluffery involved in the display of a pocket square can say a lot.

They’re great for giving an outfit some uplifting contrast and for making a unique look that is yours. They brighten up the day and can put a smile on the face of many a lady as you swagger by. Or they can say that you mean business. And the worst kind.

So here we go.

THE FORMAL FOLD

THINK TUXEDO, JAMES BOND OR DON DRAPER

Executed pretty simply. You lay out the square, make it into a long rectangle and then fold perfectly aligning the seems until you have a small rectangle that is as wide as the mouth of the pocket on your chest. Then just insert, slide down to the appropriate height so just a little shows and you’re done. How much is enough? Well, that’s up to you, but we’d suggest anything from 1/8″ to about 1/2″. That’s our rule of thumb. But as we like to say, rules are for breaking, so do your thing.

PICKUP RATING: *****/5

THE FLOWER

FANTASTICALLY FLAMBOYANT

Rather more flamboyant and known for its conversation starting abilities, this one can be particularly useful if you are out on the prowl. Pick a bold colored square, grab in the center, make a circle of thumb and finger with your other hand and pull the circle up the square being sure to maintain the pinch in your first hand. You will see a flower start to form. Fold the bottom up as much as is necessary to then insert the flower into your pocket with ease. You can play with the flower to make sure it looks the way you want and twiddle with the petals so that if you e.g. have a square that is one color on one side and another color on the other it shows the predominance of the color you want. And hey, presto, you’re done.

PICKUP RATING: *****/5

THE TRIANGLE

THE LESS FORMAL, FORMAL ONE

An inbetweener with some of the simplicity of the formal fold and some of the flamboyance of the flower this is like a half-way house. Okay with a tux, but also okay with you want to spice up that blazer or suit. Take the square, open it out and then fold it diagonally across the center, so that you have a triangle. Fold one side over the center line of the triangle so that the tip is slighty off center and then do the same with the opposite side. Fold the bottom up and insert into your pocket. Done.

PICKUP RATING: *****/5

THE STUFFER

LAZY, BUT EFFECTIVE

This is arguably the easiest and also the most malleable. Simply take the square, stuff it into your pocket and shuffle it around until it looks how you like it. Clearly, not for those who like to conform.

PICKUP RATING: *****/5

dq-select

Words by DUNCAN QUINN Photos by KEVIN BUITRAGO