A Good Suit Guide Part II

Square up to impress with this weeks edition of the simple suiting guide, covering all you need to know about pocket squares.

By Haider Mushtaq

So if you’ve been following our guide so far, you should now have the perfect suit that’s made just for you. And while a well fitted suit is all anyone really needs, you can take it one step further and really elevate your style to nail that classic sartorial look.  The key to this, and the main subject of today’s guide, is accessories.

Accessories are must have for any occasion.

Whether it be as a simple as a watch or pair of sunglasses, accessories can completely transform an outfit and compliment your personal sense of style, granting you an identity with every outfit you wear. This same principle applies to suit accessories such as the necktie, the pocket square and general accessories such as belts, socks, shirts, watches and shoes.

The great thing about accessories is that you have the potential to transform one basic suit into a range of different outfits. This is achieved by altering small things such as the colour of the tie used, or the shade of shirt you are wearing in particular seasons. This provides a cheap and easy way to get the most bang for your buck out of how you wear a suit, with one suit offering a huge range of possible combinations and styles.

Same suit, different accessories. A small change for a big effect.

If this seems overwhelming to you, don’t worry, we have you covered. The following editions of FABSOC’s Good Suiting Guide will be covering each and every accessory in depth, starting with this week’s subject, the pocket square.

The Pocket Square

The pocket square is a great accessory that adds a bit of elegance and flair to your suit and can enhance and harmonize the overall look of your suit.  However with so many different types of pockets squares in different shapes and folds available, choosing the perfect pocket square for your outfit can become confusing and daunting. Here are some simple tips and fundamentals to help you break down the selection process for your new suit.

Colour and Patterns

A pocket square should accomplish one of two things when worn;

  1. It should complement the colours of your shirt and tie
  2. It should contrast the overall shades of your entire suit

One thing a pocket square should not do is match exactly with your tie. In modern suiting standards, matching your pocket square exactly with your tie robs your outfit of the additional flair and wow factor that you’re going for when elevating your style.  

Notice the difference in the overall look of the outfit? The image on the left looks tacky and unrefined while picture on the right looks elegant and classy.

Instead, have your pocket square compliment the overall tones and look of your suit by matching the colour to a different shade of your shirt/tie or have the colours match your tie but include patterns of differing colour to break it up and give your suit some extra pop.

However, if you want a more relaxed or flamboyant look, you can have your pocket square completely contrast the rest of the tones of your suit, providing an eye catching and pleasing splash of colour throughout your whole ensemble.

One key thing to remember throughout all of this is, to ensure that you don’t overdo it with patterns and stripes within your outfit. Too many different shapes and lines can end up making you look too clownish and ruin the overall effect a suit gives. Instead aim to have only one piece of your suit contain patterns and compliment the rest of your pieces around that.

Jumping on the Avengers Endgame hype, let’s take a look at some superheroes for inspiration.  On left we can see Chris Evans compliment his outfit with a grey patterned pocket square in a darker shade of navy than his tie. RDJ on the other hand uses a pink pocket square as a splash of colour to contrast the overall flat tones of grey and white he has in the other pieces of his suit.

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