Nothing shows both polish and utility like the nattily tucked pocket handkerchief or “pocket square” in the breast pocket of a man’s blazer, sport coat or suit jacket. The material and style of your fold or free-form puff is key.
Fine white Irish linen by day, great for wiping pizza off your fingers or mopping your brow before a TV interview. Nightime calls for foulards, paisleys, polka dots and solids of darker colors. I myself prefer the insouciant “dunk” with four tips showing. Ronald Reagan folded his straight and showed exactly 1 1/2 inch above his pocket welt, perfect given his broad shoulders.
Look at the greatest dressers in history — Philadelphia socialite and diplomat Angier Biddle Duke, Sir Anthony Eden, Fred Astaire, the Duke of Windsor, John F. Kennedy and Gary Cooper — they all sport the well placed pocket adornment.
A rogue knows a fine cotton handkerchief can be indispensable if a fellow were to “get lucky” if you know what I mean.
Artsy types show more, business types show less and L.A. types like the puff. No one does the puff better than George Hamilton. Never, never, never should the pocket square be of the same pattern as your ties. You are not “Reverend Ike”.
The pocket square, properly contrived, finishes a man’s look. With good tailoring and well chosen neck wear the look connotes power, taste, refinement, manners. The naked pocket connotes the opposite, working class, tasteless, base, crude, ignorant.
Men, get with it.