Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pocket Squared

The main thrust of this blog is to document my exploration of refinement. I'm trying to examine every aspect of life and when it appears that I'm defaulting to an immature or crude way of doing things, I research and upgrade. Right now I'm half way through Alan Flusser's "Dressing The Man". Each chapter is a revelation.

At the outset I began wearing a sport coat and tie as much as possible and being influenced by Mad Men and other bloggers, I took to sporting a pocket square. I stocked up on some traditional linens and I've been combing thrift shops and department stores to ad some fun and variety.

For the past few days I've had a cold. I've been congested and blowing my nose around the clock. The first day, I pulled tissues out of the box on my desk one after another and all but ignored the handkerchief in my front pocket. The next day I called upon it but once it had been used once I stuffed it in my front pocket, but that made accessing my keys and cell phone a pain. It even muffled the ring and caused me to miss a call. On the third day, I grabbed two before leaving the house. Stuffed one in my jacket pocket and the other in my back trouser pocket where I used to keep my wallet before I switched to a money clip.

Not only does this reinforce the case for money clips, but it's a top notch move that I plan on continuing. In fact there's a precedent for the two handkerchiefs. A fully equipped gentleman always has "one for blowin'" and "one for showin'". This also frees up the display square to be offered to a lady or whipped out in an emergency without fear of sharing your snot and sweat.

In regards to style there is an art to choosing and folding your daily pocket square. Not wanting to get into the whole thing. I've picked up on a few rules that I'll share. A pocket square should not match your tie or your shirt, but it should compliment them both. Sort of like the rug that really ties the room together. And like tie knots, there is a time and a place for each method of folding and stuffing a pocket square. It should reflect your mood. You can be Don Draper (tight and in control), Fred Astaire (Puffed and with flair), Cary Grant (Coy and slightly skewed), The Duke of Windsor (Carefully staged) or Gary Cooper (just stuffed in there). Take note of how each of them positions their handkerchief and how it relates to what you know or assume about each of them. You can also bet that each of them has another one stashed somewhere. Depending on their personality, it might be in their back pocket, breast pocket, front jacket pocket or as debonair as stuffed inside their jacket sleeve.

This is my typical pocket arrangement:
Front Right Trouser - Money Clip
Front Left Trouser - Cell Phone
Back Right Trouser - Usable Handkerchief
Front Right Jacket - Keys
Front Left Jacket - Pocket Knife
Outside Breast Pocket - Show & Share Handkerchief
Inside Left Breast Pocket - Pen and Notebook
Inside Right Breast Pocket - iPod

Needless to say this is how a man carries on without a purse and why a sport coat is a necessity.

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