All week we’ve been showing you some subtle ways to bring a little color into your winter rotation. And what better way to greet Hump Day than by tackling the too often misunderstood role of the pocket square? These bits of cloth come in such a variety of colors and patterns they practical beg one to peacock. And yet, while a pocket square may present an easy opportunity to work hot pink into your ensemble, that’s probably not the most graceful use of the item’s properties.
The key here is being aware of contrast. At right, Gilt MAN style director Josh Peskowitz sports an eye-popping navy polka dot pocket square. But he pairs it with a similarly hued Isaia blazer, so as not to allow a diminutive shred of silk to dominate an entire look. Which gets to the gist of this particular move: Go tonal and pair like colors together.
But maybe you’re looking to amp up your contrast quotient, in which case a gray jacket (as seen below, on the author) offers a neutral palette on which you can go wild. Just one warning: Do not match said wildness with anything else in your outfit, ever, whether it’s shoelaces or a hat. It’s a fine line between dandy and pimp; err on the side of the former.
Finally, plaid is a safe and classy way to bring some color in under the radar. At first glance, our executive editor Andy Comer’s plaid Brooks Brothers square might go unnoticed. At second glance, an array of green and yellow pop out just enough against a muted gray flannel suit.
And finally, a brief note on how to fold yours. As you’ve likely noticed above, we tend to fall on the straighter, squarer end of the pocket square spectrum. But that doesn’t mean we don’t fully endorse a more artfully disheveled, carelessly-stuffed-into-your-breast-pocket kind of look. As we’re fond of saying (have you noticed?), the rules of men’s style are made to be broken.
Got a question about how to pull this look off—or anything else we’ve covered so far this week? Join Jared Flint and Andy Comer for a Facebook chat at 1:00 pm ET tomorrow (Thursday, January 20) to discuss and debate ways to give your cold-weather wardrobe a new lease on life.