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Southern Men & Pocket Squares
Mar 25/17

Southern Men & Pocket Squares Posted by: Aaron Stearns | 0 Comments

Urban Dictionary defines a Southern Gentleman as: A man from the south, has a southern Accent, sometimes wears boots. He likes iconic music like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and knows all the songs of Lynyrd Skynrd. He loves the baritone ballads he can sign in the shower, and Ring of Fire would be his Karaoke choice.  He enjoys hunting, fishing, classic American cars, small batch bourbons, and is picky about how his steak is prepared.  Southern Gentlemen are mainly known for their respect of women, hate it when other guys abuse women, they stick up for their lady, call them beautiful, hold doors, provide them fresh flowers on special occasions, and walk them to class or church.

It is springtime once again here in the South. With Easter Sunday and Derby Day on the near horizon, southern gentlemen will be rocking their seersucker or linen suit at outdoor affairs where mint juleps are served and tornadoes are dodged.  Nothing sets off a blazer like a nice pocket square. We love them and have worn them for years, even when wearing a blazer with jeans. Depending on what you read, pocket squares have been worn or carried by men since Roman times. It is said that French gentlemen used them to shield their delicate olefactories from the stench of the commoners. Pocket squares serve no such utilitarian purpose now. So why should a gentleman insert a piece of cloth into a compartment on a blazer that might be otherwise used to conceal his readers.

Fashion writer Alan Flusser once wrote that a pocket square should “appear unstudied, effortlessly contributing to the overall aplomb.” Which is precisely what a Board Certified dandy like Alan Flusser would write. 

Bourbon & Boots sought out its local men's fashionista for some advice on the proper way for a gentleman to accent his spring wears with a pocket square and we are pleased to share the interview with you.

B&B: You read the quote from Flusser. Is wearing a pocket square as fussy as all that?
A:“Not necessarily. I wear them in every jacket whether it’s a trip to the market or to a formal event. Now HOW you wear one is the defining factor. If you are indeed a fussy, flowery person you will wear it very billowy and ‘blousy.’ If you are not you will wear it very crisp and clean. Either way will subtly project an indication of who you are.”

B&B: Still, why should I wear a pocket square?
A:“Why should you NOT wear one? A pocket square has the potential to speak volumes of your mood and overall psyche. It projects confidence, strength, creativity, and hopefully, taste.”

B&B: Why couldn’t I just stick a white handkerchief in there?
A: “Actually you can! But handkerchiefs per-se are typically used for function. If you are going to substitute a handkerchief for a pocket square, you still will need to carry another handkerchief in your jacket or hip pocket. You can’t take it out of your front pocket to blow your nose. Well, at least not if you intend to put it back in there.”

B&B: Speaking of handkerchiefs, can I keep the emergency one in the sleeve of my jacket and produce it from there if need be?
A: “Dear God. No.”

B&B: Does my pocket square have to match my tie?
A: “Well, if you aren’t comfortable with mixing patterns, perhaps you should stick with mixing solid colored ties with similarly colored pocket squares and/or keeping it white. You can’t go wrong there. Or, if your tie has multiple patterns and colors, you could simply choose your favorite color from the multitude within the tie and enhance the color with a coordinating pocket square. If you are a bit more confident, a subtle contrast of a striped tie and a gingham checked pocket square is really sharp.  

B&B: In conclusion?
A: “The best reason to wear a pocket square pretty much depends on you. Initial impressions are important. If you want to be seen as someone with confidence and class then wear a pocket square and wear it however you want. But don’t let your jacket or blazer leave the house without one.”

There you have it. Be bold gents, and show your lady you also possess a modicum of fashion style.  Wear a pocket square this spring.


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