Whither the Pocket Square?

Jan Libourel

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I have been under the impression that for some years the pocket square has been enjoying a revival of popularity. I certainly seem to see more of them for sale wherever menswear is sold.

However, Saturday night my wife and I went to a party hosted by an old prep school pal of mine. He has made a substantial fortune as a BMW dealer. He is also a very eminent turfman. Thus he is very used to dealing with wealthy and prominent people. It was a delightful party, and the vast majority of the male guests were either in suit and tie or at least coat and tie. I had the distinct impression most of the guests were also wealthy and prominent. However, as best I could descry, I was the only male at the party "rockin' the square." Mine host, who is I think the only guy I have ever known who has worn white tie, this to a debutante ball many, many years, ago was completely unfamiliar with the square. To him it was an object of curiosity.

Is the square, then, a commonplace item of apparel or still a curiosity? I realize than many men eschew the square, but I had assumed that every reasonably affluent and/or socially genteel man would at least be familiar with it. Although I watch comparatively little television, I have the impression that many newscasters, sportscasters and such sport the square.
 
I don't wear mine very often anymore because I feel a bit silly wearing one nowadays.
 
I wear mainly white ones for my daily. I have some fun ones for parties or social gatherings.
 
I have been under the impression that for some years the pocket square has been enjoying a revival of popularity. I certainly seem to see more of them for sale wherever menswear is sold.

However, Saturday night my wife and I went to a party hosted by an old prep school pal of mine. He has made a substantial fortune as a BMW dealer. He is also a very eminent turfman. Thus he is very used to dealing with wealthy and prominent people. It was a delightful party, and the vast majority of the male guests were either in suit and tie or at least coat and tie. I had the distinct impression most of the guests were also wealthy and prominent. However, as best I could descry, I was the only male at the party "rockin' the square." Mine host, who is I think the only guy I have ever known who has worn white tie, this to a debutante ball many, many years, ago was completely unfamiliar with the square. To him it was an object of curiosity.

Is the square, then, a commonplace item of apparel or still a curiosity? I realize than many men eschew the square, but I had assumed that every reasonably affluent and/or socially genteel man would at least be familiar with it. Although I watch comparatively little television, I have the impression that many newscasters, sportscasters and such sport the square.

I rarely see anyone forgo them. I was out to dinner on Friday and all the men with coats on had squares. One guy had a gun club on which I despise, but wore a yellow square with duck prints, which redeemed him a bit in my estimation.
 
I never see them, but then, I live in the Pacific Northwest and hardly anyone out here ever wears jackets, much less suits.
 
I rarely see anyone forgo them. I was out to dinner on Friday and all the men with coats on had squares. One guy had a gun club on which I despise, but wore a yellow square with duck prints, which redeemed him a bit in my estimation.
Where did you eat, the dining hall at the Waldorf?
 
I rarely see squares on a daily basis. Often, people paw my square like its a Syrian refugee or a baby Sasquatch in my breast pocket
 
To be fair, it could be a sasquatch in your neck of the woods.

True. They interviewed a woman from around here who has interacted with a community of Sasquatch. She says they are demons. They are benign now because they don't recognize that they are demonic creatures. But just wait!
 
I wear mainly white ones for my daily. I have some fun ones for parties or social gatherings.

I used to wear more colourful, printed silk squares, but now I typically wear either a white linen pocket square, or a pale blue linen square with white edging for everyday use and my other squares languish at the back of my dresser drawer.

Where I live, I find that it's typically younger, iGent types who wear pocket squares. Whilst some of them tasteful, there's also a depressing number of matching tie and square combinations, or the dreaded "pocket parrot", where the square sticks up and overflows from the pocket.
 
I used to wear more colourful, printed silk squares, but now I typically wear either a white linen pocket square, or a pale blue linen square with white edging for everyday use and my other squares languish at the back of my dresser drawer.

Where I live, I find that it's typically younger, iGent types who wear pocket squares. Whilst some of them tasteful, there's also a depressing number of matching tie and square combinations, or the dreaded "pocket parrot", where the square sticks up and overflows from the pocket.

My best friend does the pocket parrot... He is a hipster. -_-
 
I used to wear more colourful, printed silk squares, but now I typically wear either a white linen pocket square, or a pale blue linen square with white edging for everyday use and my other squares languish at the back of my dresser drawer.

Where I live, I find that it's typically younger, iGent types who wear pocket squares. Whilst some of them tasteful, there's also a depressing number of matching tie and square combinations, or the dreaded "pocket parrot", where the square sticks up and overflows from the pocket.
I used to wear pocket hankies and was one of the few who did.
Now its all the short ankle trousers and no socks brigade wearing Pocket Parrots I'll go hankie less more times than not. In fact its rare I plonk one in.
 
I see plenty of pocket squares in my city because it is in the middle of growth period, it is the top rated city for investment in Canada. There are a lot of accountants, banksters and real estate folks and they are all 30-50s, basically a new batch of hipster yuppies with social media who either read blogs or are GQ subscribers. There are a lot of matching ties/squares and surprising amount of pocket parrots. And as you all know, I'm trying to cash in on this trend in my city.
 
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I see plenty of pocket squares in my city because it is in the middle of growth period, it is the top rated city for investment in Canada. There are a lot of accountants, banksters and real estate folks and they are all 30-50s, basically a new batch of hipster yuppies with social media who either read blogs or are GQ subscribers. There are a lot of matching ties/squares and surprising amount of pocket parrots. And as you all know, I'm trying to cash in on this trend in my city.
Don't worry, yours wouldn't be the first business venture with a questionable moral basis.
 
Went to a New Year's Eve event at the yacht club we recently joined. It was "black tie optional," and a majority of the men, myself included, were in suits. A few were considerably less formal than that. Again, as far as I could tell, I was the only one "rockin' the square."
 
In the financial district in Toronto, I see most under the age of 35 are wearing them, and they aren't going for the white TV fold. I'd say a small cachet of men over 50 are either wearing them again or I never noticed they were wearing them. There's still some portion of men who don't wear them but have no qualms wearing a 2.5" tie or sporting cuffs that reveal their ankles with shoes that aren't brown nor black.

I've only been to one black tie event since autumn, and most older than 35 did not sport one. The ones under 35 did and often had silk ones instead of recycling their linens.

Do any of these men in 2016 actually use their pocket squares? I've offered mine to a woman two or three times (crying). I've used it to wipe down spectacles coming in from the rain. I can't say I'm blowing my nose into it like my grandfather.
 
Linen - especially one that is used and has been washed a few times- is fine for wiping anything.

Agree - I use my linen pocket square to wipe my glasses (and only my glasses!) quite regularly, especially if I've been caught in the rain on the way to work or at lunchtime, and it works very well.
 
I cannot conceive of using a pocket square for anything except decorative purpose--not for drying the tears of a weeping woman (a gentleman carries a spare white cotton handkerchief for that purpose), cleaning eyeglasses or anything else. I would no more use one of my squares to wipe my eyeglasses than I would my necktie.
 
I cannot conceive of using a pocket square for anything except decorative purpose--not for drying the tears of a weeping woman (a gentleman carries a spare white cotton handkerchief for that purpose), cleaning eyeglasses or anything else. I would no more use one of my squares to wipe my eyeglasses than I would my necktie.

How often are you around crying women that you need to carry a spare handkerchief?
 
As far as "crying women" go, except for when my wife chokes up at the end of movie that especially moves her, not often. However, wiping tears is sometimes cited as a rationale for wearing a square. I saw that done in the soap opera my wife used to follow. However, there are occasions when my wife doesn't have access to tissues and a spare handkerchief comes in handy.

My wife, who is extremely fitness oriented, has, in the few days I've had 'em, decided she really likes the Indian clubs as exercise devices.
 
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