There’s certain holidays that just seem to necessitate an excess of articles on how they relate to men’s style - Independence Day, Christmas, Inauguration Day, Veteran’s Day, Winter Solstice, the list goes on and on. And then there’s Valentine’s Day. Sure, I could sit here and give you all my incredibly last minute gift guide on what you can can buy your girlfriend from the bodega around the corner, or I could opine on my current “love affair” with Prince of Wales check suits, but when it comes to February 14th, the only fair reference I can make is to one little pocket square.
Michael Hill and the rest of the team over at Drakes of London have done an incredible job over the past few years of turning ties and pocket squares into something that men actively choose to wear. By leaning heavily on brighter patterns and colors, and dynamic fabrics, Drakes of London has actually helped to make the world of men’s accessories exciting again, and no where is this more evident than in their Saint Valentine’s Day Hankerchief. Between the identical dancing couples in each of the corners (dancing is a commonly used motif throughout Drakes’ collections particularly in their “step” squares which are below) and the line “I looked at you and all time stood still” which seems ripped right from the Ella Fitzgerald song book, this square is probably my favorite piece from Drakes last collection. Although that’s not to say that I wouldn’t gladly take any number of Drakes’ bicycle, Navajo, beach, or deco prints from this latest offering.
I recently read an article that deemed the tie to be the first purely aesthetic item introduced into the male wardrobe, and I’d have to say that today that pocket square now occupies that same category. Sure, pocket squares began as actual handkerchiefs, but personal hygiene and Kleenex seem to have done away with the notion for the most part, and in it’s place we know how companies like Drakes, Patrick Johnson Tailors and Rubinacci who view the pocket square as a canvas. Of the few pocket squares I have, it’s the patterned ones that I find myself tossing into my breast pocket most frequently. It’s all fine and well to play it safe with a solid square, but when you take an orante handkerchief, each time that you wear it, it becomes a new design with different characters and colors popping out. The square does all the work, but you’ll reap the benefits, and that right there is a Valentine’s Day miracle. I’m on the right holiday, right?