The pocket square is the canary in the menswear coal mine, announcing a man’s decision to view his clothes as an opportunity rather a necessity. Many writers have heralded the pocket square as the mark of a truly natty dresser - Bruce Boyer wrote that “a gentleman should wear a pocket square”; retired menswear doyen Will Boehlke used to say that most men should have half as many ties and twice as many pocket squares.
You may remember that there was a football game a couple of Sundays ago that ended in dramatic fashion. As the clock ticked down to zero and players and media spilled onto the field, no one knew quite what to make of what had just happened.
There are many ways to wear a pocket square, but only one rule – always complement; never match. As with tie knots, card tricks, and pick-up lines, you want to look good without seeming like you put in too much effort. Any hint of contrivance and the magic is gone. For pocket squares, that means looking like you grabbed something at random (n.b.: use caution in applying this logic to pick-up lines) and things just happened to work out perfectly.
The barchetta pocket is often thought to be a tailoring detail exclusively from Italy. The word “barchetta” is Italian for “little boat.” It describes how the pocket floats on the chest, gently angled upwards, like the bow of a sailboat. Most machine-made suits, by contrast, have chest pockets with a more stamped-out, rectangular shape.
Most people think of suits as being British, Italian, or American - the first being “structured,” the second “softly tailored,” and the third a "sack cut." But what a suit looks like can be much more complicated than that. There can be curves and lines throughout the jacket that give the wearer a certain look. Here are some of the main details that make up a suit's silhouette.
“Suede” is one of those words used to describe a group of different things that most people think of as all the same. Like “Africa,” or “blogger.” Suede generally refers to any leather that has a “nap” to it – that is, loose fibers that give the material a soft, velvety feel, and a deep color. There are three different ways such a finish is achieved.
It’s confusing, but the terms “benchgrade” and “handgrade” don’t actually describe shoes that were made on a bench or by hand. Instead, they’re ways of denoting different levels of quality, like “Gold” and “Platinum” Amex cards. Most quality shoes – including high-end names such as Edward Green and John Lobb – are Goodyear welted, which is a machine method. Real handmade shoes are rare, and typically cost $1,500 or more.