Mode Rage: Sewn in Pocket Square
I don’t watch much television. I find a lot of the ‘entertainment’ that is transmitted through the box to be banal, idiotic and depressing. ‘Reality’ television, which has eaten up much of the schedule, is particularly disagreeable to me, although there are a few notable exceptions in this category that appeal to me, chief amongst them the splendid Dragon’s Den on BBC2.
For those unfamiliar with the program, Dragon’s Den is effectively run in a gameshow format; ‘dragons’ – successful businessmen and women – sit in judgment on pitches from entrepreneurs and decide whether to provide them with the capital they are asking for in return for a stake in their business. The presentations are often rather poor, the entrepreneurs insufficiently informed and the dragons are entertainingly ruthless and unpleasant. There are however some aspects of the show which I do not like, one of which is a truly awful aspect of Peter Jones’ attire.
Jones is one of the most amusing ‘dragons’, and certainly one of the most astute but he has a curious taste in suits not commensurate with someone of his wealth and apparent discernment. He clearly has a liking for suiting and colour-matching, but seems to have fallen for a rather common and artless flavouring; the sewn-in pocket square.
The sewn in pocket square is not actually a square at all. It is not a stuffed-in, decorative handkerchief but a tiny slip of silk or other material that is sewn in to the top of the pocket, obviating the need for a separate accessory. In other words, it is an aesthetic fake; the clip-on bow of the pocket square world. However, it is not a very good fake. With every movement of the jacket, there is no change in the position of the ‘square’; it is but a lifeless border.
I have no idea what else necessitates such an inflexible, inadaptable, unattractive and lifeless addition to a suit except laziness. However, the convenience of the accessory is entirely wiped out by the expense of it. Jones wears his sewn-in-square suits with matching ties, often in bright colours. This means he must have a sewn-in square suit for every tie he owns; although he can certainly afford it, this is hardly a wardrobe blueprint for a man on an average income, or a sensible act of economy from a supposedly shrewd businessman. It is far wiser to adapt accessories to suits, and not the other way around.
Disappointingly, these suits have started to appear in shops on the high street (how could you, Zara?), often on mannequins with matching ties, no doubt to encourage the latest armchair-aesthete to avoid all the ‘hassle’ of choosing squares and ties (god forbid there should be colour variety in this world) and simply purchase a manufactured, Lego-man armour for the wash & go generation.
The worst thing is, in the spirit of the Den, I actually have a better idea for the lazy-but-economical: pocket-square cards (as made by Umo Lorenzo). Simply attached a ‘card clip’ – which receives the card – to the top pocket, and click in your selected ‘card’ of the day (with a strip of silk attached to each). “Sewn-in-security, but with variety.” Absolutely awful.