Pocket Square Rules And Etiquette

Pocket sqare detail

One question we often get asked is about whether you should be matching your tie and pocket square. The short answer is no. Although it might seem like an easy way to coordinate your outfit, matching your pocket square and tie or bow tie is a definite no-no if you want to consider yourself a well-dressed man.

Instead, the purpose of the pocket square is to complement the rest of your look: either by harmonizing or contrasting with your other accessories. So although some stores even offer matching tie and pocket square sets, our advice is to steer clear of these if you want to be seen to be on top of your style game.

If your pocket square has a pattern or print, for example, then pick a color from that palette to bring your look together and match it to a primary color in your tie such as in the image below. The burgundy in the tie is reflected in sections of the pocket square design.

Equally, you could choose a pocket square that is a shade lighter or darker than the core color of your ensemble. Remember, it’s all in the detail, so don’t be afraid to bring out an accent color on a subtle pinstripe or checked shirt. In the video below, Leah has outlined the simple rules to pairing your tie and pocket square.

Pocket Square Rules

Below is a handy pocket square guide when choosing your pocket square:

  • Choose a secondary color from your shirt or tie as the primary color for your pocket square
  • Don’t overdo the patterns, ensure some articles of clothing are flat colors that will accentuate the colors in your pocket square or tie
  • Don’t directly match your tie and pocket square
  • If you are wearing a silk pocket square make sure it is over 40cm x 40cm (16 inches) as anything smaller, the fine material is likely to slip down into your pocket.
  • Match your fold to the occasion. For formal occasions stick to the flat fold or one or two-point folds, for more casual occasions use some more flare with the classic puff fold or one of the more flamboyant folds.
  • White pocket square rules; for the most part, there are no rules. White squares work with every jacket and tie combination and color so you can never really get it wrong.

Luxury Pocket Squares Vs Low Priced Squares

We are always huge advocates for quality. Pocket squares are possibly one of the best products for price vs lifetime value in clothing pieces that you can buy. If you think about it, pocket squares are not subjected to the wear and tear of most clothing pieces and never need to be washed. This means if you invest in quality, the best mulberry silk, long-lasting ink that penetrates the silk on both sides, and hand-rolled edges, you really do have a product that will last a lifetime and can be passed down to the future generations. Imagine one of your grandchildren wearing one of your squares at their graduation that you’d purchased 50 years earlier. Pocket squares fall into that special little category of small family heirlooms such as pins, watches, scarves, rings, etc. that over time can offer that extra layer of sentimentality.

In contrast, cheaper pocket squares in the market are generally printed on inexpensive silk or a mixed cotton fiber content base. Additionally, the printing is often not crisp and the color generally doesn’t bleed through to the opposite side for the premium appeal, limiting how you can fold it in your pocket, and giving you fewer styling ways to wear it.

The final key difference between luxury pocket squares and cheaper versions is the hand-rolled edges. We feel that the precision and care taken by our skilled artisans give each square its own unique character, finish and feel.

To create the finest rolled hems, the edge of the silk must be softy turned over with a handheld needle and then small stitches are inserted approximately one-half to one centimeter apart around the edge, creating a supple yet prominent border. This plump border helps give the square structure and makes it possible to do pointed folds.

Conclusion

In short, we at BBespoke believe that the pocket square offers an incredibly versatile accessory option; allowing modern men to express themselves and vary their look without having to invest in different suits and outerwear.

Book an appointment online today. Our clothiers will curate accessories specifically for you and make great gift ideas for the man that has it all!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Professional Business Attire

When it comes to men’s professional business attire, it may seem that we’ve been in a safe territory for a long time.

The two-piece suit, or lounge suit to give it its formal name, is certainly here to stay. After a long evolution, it emerged as the standard professional dress around the 1920s and with minor tweaks has been around ever since.

However, times and styles have changed, and even in the professional environment, there’s room for a business casual style. However, this does not mean that styling is any less important than it once was.

Join us on a journey through the do’s and don’ts of professional business attire.

Professional Dress – Dont’s

OK – let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. We’ve all seen them, but hopefully never worn them.

Here are the absolute don’ts of professional business dress:

Too Tight or Too Short

No ifs, no buts, there is a big difference between fitted and too tight, and you know it. Don’t go there. Buy for the size you currently are, not hope to be. Alterations can be made later if needed.

Another offender is suit pants, jackets or shirts that are too short. This can be a challenge for the taller man but needs to be addressed. See below ‘Get the Pant Length Right’.

Scuffed Shoes

If you want to present a professional appearance, make sure your shoes don’t let you down.

At all times, shoes should be clean, polished, and look their best.

Short-Sleeved Shirts

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably not looking to follow the ‘Walter Mitty’ school of fashion.

They may be comfortable, but short-sleeved shirts of any description have no place in the professional business wardrobe.

Professional Dress – Do’s

Your suit is one chance to make an unforgettable first impression. Here’s how to ensure its for all the right reasons:

Get the Pant Length Right

For pants, aim for the half or medium ‘break’.

That is, the pants sit lightly on top of your laces and cover the upper part of the rear of your shoe. This is a safe look for men of all heights and can be obtained with the help of a tailor.

Get a Tailor Involved

Every man’s body is different and what fits well on one may sag, droop or bulge on another.

Bespoke tailoring ensures that your suit perfectly matches the contours of your body. This allows you to choose a style that flatters you, rather than draws attention to flaws.

If you buy off the rack, consider having a suit professionally altered to achieve the custom look.

Get the Tie Right

The right tie at the right length will set off your suit and give you confidence.

The end of the tie should sit just at the top of your belt. Please note that tucking it in would go firmly in the don’ts category.

Professional business attire staples include bold block colors and diagonal stripes. Avoid anything too busy or whimsical. Narrower styles are currently in and make sure that you nail the knot.

Business Casual – Dont’s

Business casual may have fewer formal ‘rules’ than professional business attire, but don’t let your guard down. A good rule of thumb is it’s less embarrassing to overdress at first, then tone it down.

Here are the definite pitfalls to avoid:

Denim

This could seem like a controversial starter, as some companies will allow denim as business casual. If you’re in doubt, check first before you arrive for your first day at work looking like a dress-down Friday.

If denim is allowed, go for a block color without fade and a smart cut. Offset with the right blazer in a contrasting color, you can still put the business into business casual.

Sneakers

Sneakers come under the heading of ‘casual’.

There’s nothing about them that says business. They’re best left at home for weekends and working out.

Wear Statement Pieces

Like wearing an overly bright tie with a business suit just spoils the look, so wearing a statement shirt or loud pants just won’t cut it when you’re trying to nail business casual.

So consign that Hawaiian shirt to the weekend-only section of your closet.

Business Casual – Do’s

Don’t let the don’ts put you off – business casual is a great look and an easy one to get right.

Smart Pants

A well-cut pair of chino pants will make a great impression, especially if paired with a jacket of contrasting color.

We’ve called them smart because they’re sharp, not because they are suit pants. Cotton pants are fine, but they still need to be clean, well pressed, and in pristine condition.

Simple Tweaks

With business casual, the clue’s in the name. It’s still business wear, but let’s dress it down a little.

First of all, try keeping the suit, but ditching the tie.

Try mixing out your jackets with one of a color that contrasts with your pants, but doesn’t clash.

Don’t be afraid to accessorize with a bright pocket square to add a pop of color without looking garish.

Stick to the Classics

The tried and true formula for business casual is smart pants, a long-sleeved shirt with an open collar, a well-cut blazer or jacket, and smart shoes.

There is no need to try to reinvent this. The key is having good quality pieces, in great condition, that complement each other and your physique.

If you struggle to find shirts that fit well, consider tailor-made custom shirts. You have total control over style and fabric, and you can discuss with your tailor what will go well with your current wardrobe.

The Ultimate Pattern Guide

If you can pull off patterned outfits successfully, the return can be big. Among other things, it can up your chances of catching people’s eye in a crowded room.

But it requires a bit of courage and a fair amount of know-how.

Fortunately, there are time-honored and simple rules for pairing patterns so they’ll look great, and today we’re going to be teaching you all of them.

3 Rules For Mixing Patterns

  1. Mix the Patterns

You can generally group all menswear patterns into four broad categories: 1) checks/plaids 2) stripes 3) repeat prints (polka dots, paisleys, wild animals, etc) and 4) textures (like hopsack, herringbone, etc). We’ll get into the fundamentals of each pattern later on in this article. 

Try pairing one with another, and avoid “stripes with stripes” or “checks with checks”. When in doubt, use a solid to balance everything out.  

  1. Offset The Scales

Look carefully at the size of the patterns together. They should each be on a different scale. One big, one medium, one small – for example. The small one should be very small. There is taste in subtlety and pattern-mixing is all about restraint. 

  1. Distribute the Strength

The patterns should also be different levels of “boldness” or “loudness”. One pattern should be faint and not very noticeable. One should be more conservative; evident but not overpowering. And one can be a little more bold and flashy, within reason.

9 Popular Prints and Patterns

Adding a bold pattern or print into your look is the easiest way to show that you’ve put real thought into your outfit. A pattern is any repeated design, whereas a print is a design that has been printed onto fabric, rather than woven or embroidered. The words are often used interchangeably to talk about any non-solid-color clothing. Some of the most popular patterns and prints include:

  1. Gingham is a fabric made from dyed cotton yarn woven into a checkered pattern, usually white and one other color.
  1. Stripes come in all different styles, from pinstripes (very narrow vertical stripes that often appear on dark-colored suits) to the classic French marinière T-shirt with its distinctive blue and white horizontal stripes.
  2. Animal prints mimic the stripes, spots, and scales of wild animals. Snake, zebra, and leopard prints make a bold statement, but there are ways to incorporate them subtly.
  1. Plaid, also known as tartan, is a woven fabric traditionally made from wool that is now a common pattern for flannel shirts. Multicolor plaid features repeating vertical and horizontal stripes of varying thicknesses.
  1. Floral patterns feature flowers of all kinds. Floral prints can be tiny (aka ditsy) or large and detailed. They can be multicolor or monochrome. They are fun patterns to work with since they offer so much variety.
  1. Polka-dots are a pattern of repeating circles of the same size. They can be big or small; smaller dots tend to look more neutral, while larger dots make more of a statement.
  1. Geometric prints feature shapes such as triangles, squares, and trapezoids. They can be intricate and repetitive, or more abstract. Houndstooth is an example of a repeating geometric pattern in two colors.
  1. Paisley is a Persian pattern featuring a teardrop design with a curved point. The interior of the teardrop often contains intricate geometric or floral-inspired designs. You’re likely to find paisleys printed on silk items like ties and scarves.
  1. Herringbone is a fabric (usually twill) featuring a V-shape weave with a repeating pattern that has the appearance of a fish skeleton.

Custom Bespoke Suits in NYC, NJ, & Anywhere In The U.S

BBspoke personal service is our specialty and we have many ways to serve you in NJ and NYC Area.  Our custom tuxedo, suit, and tailoring services go far beyond just the material itself.  Book an appointment online today. You’ll be fitted so that your new suit has the best look and feel you can buy.

A Guide To Wearing Pastels

Spring is right around the corner which means lighter and brighter colors are replacing the grey and black tones that dominated your fall and winter wardrobes. For some, shades like yellow, blue, pink green, and purple can be scary. But we’re here to tell you that they don’t have to be. 

If you haven’t already begun updating your closet for Spring, here are some top tips on how to incorporate pastels into your wardrobe this season.

Consider Your Skin Tone

Wearing the wrong shade of rouge can leave you quite literally red-faced, so it’s wise to spend some time studying your reflection before hitting the order button.

The color wheel can be split into warm (red, orange, and yellow) and cool (green, blue, and purple) colors. The same goes for your complexion. If the veins on your arms are blue, your skin has a cool undertone. If they’re more of a greenish color, consider yourself warm. Once you’ve figured this out, look to the opposite side of the wheel. This is where you should be in terms of clothing.

There are also ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ pastels to consider. Soft being more washed out and hard more vibrant. Those with fair skin might find themselves washed out by soft pastels, so should stick to more vibrant shades such as coral or pistachio green, keeping in mind the cool/warm split. A medium complexion – which usually has a warm, olive tone – can hold its own against softer pastels like mint green or lilac, but also looks good next to some harder shades. Darker skin fares well with pretty much any color – so feel free to play around with the entire spectrum of pastels.

Choose Looser Fits

Yes, slim fits are in. While you may personally love to dress up in tight clothes, pastel shades and tight fittings just don’t go together. When it comes to pastels for men, choosing loose attires may work best. Go for clothes that are looser than the slim-fits.

However, pastel shades have a tendency to make you appear bigger than you really are. So, don’t oversize yourself. Strike a balance, and watch how the pastel clothing brings out the best in you.

Pair Pastels with Neutral Colors

Let your pastel piece take center stage by keeping the rest of your attire neutral and accessorizing with black or white. Offsetting strong sunset shades with softer shades of cream, dove grey, khaki, or tan will put just the right amount of emphasis on your pastel showpiece.

Pair your sunshine yellow tee with charcoal grey trousers, make a peachy pink top pop against an all-black ensemble, or balance a pair of dusky lavender chinos with a cream shirt. If in doubt, team your pastel with crisp white for an instantly fresh, summer-ready look. And when it comes to texture and design, opt for clean cuts and minimalist silhouettes that will keep the focus solely on color.

Limit to 2 Pastel Colors

There’s no need to wear all the colors of the rainbow at once. To avoid looking Neapolitan, opt for one pop of color at a time — two at most. Sticking to just one or two sunny shades will ensure your pastel outfit looks sophisticated rather than saccharine.

Accessorize by picking varying shades of your chosen pastel that will add definition to your outfit — a pair of pastel blue slacks, for example, or an aqua green shirt. And if you do choose to go pastel-on-pastel, pick two shades that err on the side of dusty. Think greyed-out lavender, dusky rose, or thistle purple.

If All Else Fails, Accessorize

Pastels for men are not limited to only the clothing pieces. If you feel that going fully pastel on the street or at your work is not your cup of tea, you can start small by including pastel accessories in your usual attire.

Go for pastel sneakers with your classic black and white attire. A pair of sunglasses or a baseball cap are also good accessories to introduce a pop of color to your day-to-day fashion. If you are attending a laid-back but formal event, take the jump by going with a pastel shade tie or pocket square.

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Changing the way men think about how they shop and build out their wardrobe is no easy task, but we are up for the challenge! We believe that everyone should have control over how their clothing fits and looks. And having a trusted stylist working directly with you will help elevate your style to the next level!