Put This On Pocket Squares: Fall/Winter 2013

We’ve just added two dozen beautiful new squares to our shop for fall and winter. There are English silks, vintage wools, Indian cotton and so much more. I think this is the best group of squares we’ve ever released.

View the new collection here… and if you buy two or more pieces from our new collection today, and we’ll give you ten dollars off with the coupon “NEWNEW.”

Put This On Handkerchiefs

A few months ago, one of the most significant shirting shops in New York City closed. It sold only to the trade, and specialized in the finest cottons from England and Italy. They had to sell off their stock - decades of beautiful shirting fabrics.

Luckily, we got in on the action. We had the folks at the shop ship us a box of their finest stuff - all in lengths too short to make into shirts. Perfect, of course, for pocket squares.

The result is a limited-edition handkerchief collection. These pieces are made from the best cotton in the world and are hand-made, with hand-rolled edges, just like our other Put This On pocket squares, but they’re priced so inexpensively that you can use them to blow your nose if you want to. The squares are just $35 each, three for $95, or five for $125… but when they’re gone, they’re gone.

You can see the full selection here in our Etsy shop. Pick up a drawerful!

(Use code THREEHANDKERCHIEFS or FIVEHANDKERCHIEFS for discounts.)

I’m always grateful to hear from Gentlemen’s Association members. Here’s a shot of our latest square, via Squalor to Baller (a blog worth reading if you don’t already). This fabric I brought over from London in my luggage the last time I was there. I had to buy a roller cart to carry it, but it was worth it.The next round is something I just picked up in San Francisco, an Italian cotton that sincerely feels like silk. Spent a pretty penny on it, but I think you’re worth it ;).

I’m always grateful to hear from Gentlemen’s Association members. Here’s a shot of our latest square, via Squalor to Baller (a blog worth reading if you don’t already). This fabric I brought over from London in my luggage the last time I was there. I had to buy a roller cart to carry it, but it was worth it.

The next round is something I just picked up in San Francisco, an Italian cotton that sincerely feels like silk. Spent a pretty penny on it, but I think you’re worth it ;).

New Square Alert: Rayon!

I spent about six months gathering vintage rayon yardage for the latest round of Put This On Gentlemen’s Association pocket squares. I went to fabric shows, trawled online and bought everything wonderful I could find.
 We ended up with dozens of designs from the 1940s and 50s.

I just posted the first twenty of these designs in our Etsy shop. Some are already all gone, but you can take a look at them all here.

Four New PTO Squares

We used plaid cotton for the last round of Put This On Gentlemen’s Association pocket squares. A few were left over, and I thought members might like to grab an extra colorway, and non-members might like to get in on the action, so I’ve posted them in our Etsy shop. I decided to give them a bargain price, as well - the plaids are $45, and the striped one is $35.

The Power of Plain White Linen Pocket Squares

I’ve got too many pocket squares for my own good. I started with squares found at thrift stores and estate sales. I quickly built a collection from eBay and the internet. Then I started manufacturing squares with the PTO brand. At this point, the clear plastic closet boxes where I keep my squares are literally overflowing.

Still, even with all these squares, I find that I most frequently reach for the simplest: plain white linen.

The advantages of white linen are many. It’s not excessively showy. It goes with literally anything. It’s simple and refined.

One could dress well with only one white linen square.

To get a good one can cost a bit of money. Linen quality can vary, and many less-expensive squares have unnatractive machine-stitched edges, rather than full hand-rolled ones. I think it’s worth an expenditure.

Drake’s version are pretty gorgeous, but costly. You’ll need about $125 for a three pack. Our friend Will’s three pack at A Suitable Wardrobe is a bit more affordable at $95. Our Irish linen version, handmade in Los Angeles, are available by the piece, for $45 (less ten percent if you’re in Inside Track or Gentlemen’s Association member). I like the look of Sam Hober’s option, made in Thailand, for $30 each, as well. Kent Wang’s are cheapest of all, at $20, but I’m not a fan of his 12” size.

Even if you decide on a cheaper, machine-edged square, the addition of white linen to the breast pocket of any coat will kick any outfit up a notch. Consider it next time you’re getting dressed.

Ikire Jones Pocket Squares

Our friend Wale Oyejide recently started a new clothing line called Ikire Jones. I’ve actually been in touch with Wale about his project for the last year and a half or so, as we used to trade emails about clothing production, design, and distribution. For a time, I was thinking about starting a small accessories company, but work got too busy for me. Wale, on the other hand, has been working hard to make his company happen, and his first collection of jackets and pocket squares were released a month or so ago.

Wale sent me a few of his pocket squares to check out and I’m rather impressed with what he put together. The squares are made from a 70/ 30 wool-silk blend and the edges have nice plump rolls. Each square is also generously sized at 45cm x 45cm. It’s harder and harder to find pocket squares this size nowadays, as many manufacturers need to cut down on their costs, so they skimp on material, but a bigger square means getting something that won’t slip down in your breast pocket throughout the day.

What I like most is the artwork, which are inspired by Wale’s Nigerian heritage and hand printed in Macclesfield, England (where much of the world’s best printing is done). As a matter of practicality, it’s easier to wear pocket squares like these since you never want your squares to match too closely with your ties. Thus, when you have a big, bold pattern – as opposed to a small repeating one such as pin dots – you can always be assured that they’ll stand on their own, but still harmonize through a complementary color. And, with a little turning here and there, you can show off which colors you want most. I’ve taken my favorite of Wale’s five designs, the darker red “Iya Ni Wun” square, which celebrates the relationship between a mother and her child, and put it in one of my pockets to demonstrate. With a little turning, the square can be a dark mottled green, a light celery green, or a pumpkin orange.

Wale’s squares sell for $65, which is a great price for what these are. You can check out everything at his webstore and follow him on his blog Less Gentlemen. We wish him the best of luck with his new venture. 

Q & Answer: If You Can Only Pick Three…
I received this question from Tumblr user “enjoynicethings” about where to start with pocket squares:
Slowly coming around to the idea of pocket squares, but want to keep it simple. If you were only going to have three pockets squares in your selection, what three would you choose?
I suspect my answers will vary quite differently from both Jesse and Derek, but I can only look at what squares I’ve worn most often in my rather modest collection. 
A safe first bet for the start of any collection is a solid white linen square. It’s conservative and goes well with any occasion in which you would wear a suit and all the way up to black tie. I also wear it quite often with a navy blazer. It’s my default in a rush, but also a bit boring perhaps too conservative when you’re wearing a sport jacket. 
I would suggest finding two squares — likely silk, but potentially blended with another material like wool or cotton — with two types of prints. One print ought to have some sort of medium to small scale repeating pattern on it. Look for dots, geometric shapes or something like the paisleys I have above. Ideally, the colors in the square should compliment a good number of your sport coats or more casual suits you plan to wear it with. Because it’s a pattern, the eye will be drawn toward its recognizable repetition. If you want to play it safe, consider navy dots on a white ground. 
Finally, the other print should be a large-scale design with a lot of colors. When folded up, you won’t see what’s on it, but it’ll blend the colors nicely as it peeks out from the breast pocket. Huge paisleys, giant florals or intriguing prints that one might find otherwise on a Hermes-style silk scarf work quite well. Try to find something unique that you feel a connection to and think you could stuff into your pocket in various way to express the multitude of colors. These tend to go well with solid sport coats, especially when you’re not wearing a tie, to bring some color variety.
This is where I’d start, but I think as you build a wardrobe of various textures and colors in your ties and jackets, you’ll likely want to start exploring more options. Derek wrote a great primer on how to wear a pocket square that’s worth reviewing if you’ve never worn one before. 
(Of course, at the Put This On Etsy store, Jesse has a solid white linen square and prints large and small worth checking out.) 
-Kiyoshi

Q & Answer: If You Can Only Pick Three…

I received this question from Tumblr user “enjoynicethings” about where to start with pocket squares:

Slowly coming around to the idea of pocket squares, but want to keep it simple. If you were only going to have three pockets squares in your selection, what three would you choose?

I suspect my answers will vary quite differently from both Jesse and Derek, but I can only look at what squares I’ve worn most often in my rather modest collection. 

A safe first bet for the start of any collection is a solid white linen square. It’s conservative and goes well with any occasion in which you would wear a suit and all the way up to black tie. I also wear it quite often with a navy blazer. It’s my default in a rush, but also a bit boring perhaps too conservative when you’re wearing a sport jacket. 

I would suggest finding two squares — likely silk, but potentially blended with another material like wool or cotton — with two types of prints. One print ought to have some sort of medium to small scale repeating pattern on it. Look for dots, geometric shapes or something like the paisleys I have above. Ideally, the colors in the square should compliment a good number of your sport coats or more casual suits you plan to wear it with. Because it’s a pattern, the eye will be drawn toward its recognizable repetition. If you want to play it safe, consider navy dots on a white ground. 

Finally, the other print should be a large-scale design with a lot of colors. When folded up, you won’t see what’s on it, but it’ll blend the colors nicely as it peeks out from the breast pocket. Huge paisleys, giant florals or intriguing prints that one might find otherwise on a Hermes-style silk scarf work quite well. Try to find something unique that you feel a connection to and think you could stuff into your pocket in various way to express the multitude of colors. These tend to go well with solid sport coats, especially when you’re not wearing a tie, to bring some color variety.

This is where I’d start, but I think as you build a wardrobe of various textures and colors in your ties and jackets, you’ll likely want to start exploring more options. Derek wrote a great primer on how to wear a pocket square that’s worth reviewing if you’ve never worn one before. 

(Of course, at the Put This On Etsy store, Jesse has a solid white linen square and prints large and small worth checking out.) 

-Kiyoshi

Q & Answer: My Pocket Square Makes My Lapel Bulge!
Gus asks: I have a recurring problem with my jackets: the left lapel bulges open when I put a pocket square in the breast pocket.  Do you know of the cause of this and the cure?
The answer’s about as simple as you’d think it would be. Either your pocket square’s too big or your coat’s too small. With our squares, we usually cut at 16” square, though we go down a bit smaller for heavier fabric to prevent this problem. You can try a less scrunchy, more foldy pocket square arrangement - that might cut down on volume.
More likely though is that your coat is fitting tightly, either in the chest or at the buttoning point. So either have it let out a bit or hit the gym. The fad for tight-fitting jackets has led to a lot of gaping and bowing in our nation’s lapels, and jamming a pocket square in there can exacerbate the problem.

Q & Answer: My Pocket Square Makes My Lapel Bulge!

Gus asks: I have a recurring problem with my jackets: the left lapel bulges open when I put a pocket square in the breast pocket.  Do you know of the cause of this and the cure?

The answer’s about as simple as you’d think it would be. Either your pocket square’s too big or your coat’s too small. With our squares, we usually cut at 16” square, though we go down a bit smaller for heavier fabric to prevent this problem. You can try a less scrunchy, more foldy pocket square arrangement - that might cut down on volume.

More likely though is that your coat is fitting tightly, either in the chest or at the buttoning point. So either have it let out a bit or hit the gym. The fad for tight-fitting jackets has led to a lot of gaping and bowing in our nation’s lapels, and jamming a pocket square in there can exacerbate the problem.

The Pre-Folded Pocket Square 
I’ve seen these around for some time now, but I can’t imagine ever buying a pre-folded pocket square. Yet, many companies selling them exist online, which leads me to believe someone out there must be buying them. 
The idea of men walking around with such unnecessary things makes me cringe. The look is entirely too studied and rigid. 
If you’re currently wondering if you need your squares to be perfectly creased in your pocket, then let me alleviate your worries and tell you that part of the joy of putting squares in your pocket is in the imperfection. 
The only fold you’ll ever need to know is the TV fold that creates a straight line across your breast pocket with a white linen square (think: Don Draper) for the most conservative times. Otherwise, it’s simply shoving the square into the pocket. 
There’s no need to get out an iron, staples, glue and cardboard to create an art project for your pocket. Take that creative ambition and make some modular polyhedra instead. 
-Kiyoshi

The Pre-Folded Pocket Square 

I’ve seen these around for some time now, but I can’t imagine ever buying a pre-folded pocket square. Yet, many companies selling them exist online, which leads me to believe someone out there must be buying them. 

The idea of men walking around with such unnecessary things makes me cringe. The look is entirely too studied and rigid. 

If you’re currently wondering if you need your squares to be perfectly creased in your pocket, then let me alleviate your worries and tell you that part of the joy of putting squares in your pocket is in the imperfection. 

The only fold you’ll ever need to know is the TV fold that creates a straight line across your breast pocket with a white linen square (think: Don Draper) for the most conservative times. Otherwise, it’s simply shoving the square into the pocket. 

There’s no need to get out an iron, staples, glue and cardboard to create an art project for your pocket. Take that creative ambition and make some modular polyhedra instead. 

-Kiyoshi