white pocket square

The Signs as Suits
  • Aries: Slate grey, English-cut, extremely well-fitted. Paired with a scarlet tie and a crisp ivory button-down, slightly creased near the belt because they're moving constantly. Navy blue pocket square and a silver tie clip, with matching silk knots rather than cuff links.
  • Taurus: Olive green, American-cut, tailored but comfortable in the waist. Paired with a muted yellow spread-collar and a perfectly knotted gold-and-yellow striped tie. They forgo the pocket square because it's ostentatious, and probably aren't wearing a tie clip either.
  • Gemini: Powder-blue, Italian-cut, large in the shoulders but perfect in the waist. Paired with a white button-down, pink tie, and a meticulously folded pink-and-white pocket square that matches perfectly. Their tie clip keeps slipping diagonally. Most likely sign to wear a bow tie.
  • Cancer: Grey, English-cut, leaves a little room in both the shoulders and waist but not enough to be noticeable. Paired with a light blue button-down, a tie patterned in cream and yellow, and a brighter yellow pocket square. Understated silver tie clip, and cuffs are buttoned, not linked.
  • Leo: Navy blue pinstriped, Italian-cut and fitted almost as well as Capricorn. Off-white shirt with a classic collar and an extremely attention-getting tie - a wild pattern or color, or even a novelty or bow tie. They pull it off with aplomb and coordinate a pocket square perfectly, somehow.
  • Virgo: Tan, English-cut summer suit, extremely well-fitted and meticulously tailored, though their crisp white shirt is a little tight in the neck. Creatively tulip-knotted patterned ivory tie and a jaunty but understated pale pink pocket square, with rose gold tie clip and cuff links.
  • Libra: Charcoal, English-cut, fits well all the way through. The color coordination is careful and well-considered: pale yellow button-down, cornflower blue patterned tie, ivory pocket square and a tasteful pin in addition to the matching tie clip and monogrammed cuff links.
  • Scorpio: Black, Italian cut, fits snugly in the shoulders but makes the wearer look like a million bucks. Three-piece with a grey vest. Gold patterned tie and a beautifully folded dark grey silk pocket square. Inches away from black tie apparel - they could walk into the Oscars and blend in.
  • Sagittarius: Navy blue, American-cut blazer over khaki slacks. They're dressed just a little more casually than anyone around them, but rocking it. Paired with a classic white button-down and deep green tie, bright yellow-and-green-striped pocket square worn almost ironically.
  • Capricorn: Navy blue pinstriped, Italian-cut, the best-tailored and most conservative suit out of all the signs. Semi-spread collared ivory shirt with a very expensive dark carmine patterned tie. The pocket square is deeper red, and their silver cuff links match their tie clip perfectly.
  • Aquarius: Dark blue, American-cut, a little loose in the shoulders but no desire for alteration. Paired with a vivid blue button-down, extremely ostentatious violet and navy tie, and neither pocket square nor tie clip. They make it look high-class, and they dare you to comment.
  • Pisces: Blue seersucker, American-cut, well-fitted but very comfortable. Three-piece, with a matching vest. Paired with a peach-hued button-down that perfectly offsets the slate-grey tie and white pocket square. Platinum-colored tie clip offsets cuffs that are buttoned, not linked.

Real People: Send a Message

If you’re interested in clothes, like I am, you’ll always feel the nagging need to make what you’re wearing look interesting. That might include wearing a bit of color, adding a little texture, or using something with an unusual detail. It comes from the idea that, in order to look stylish, you also need to be eye-catching. 

Instead of thinking about what you’re wearing as art (things you can combine in an infinite number of ways for positive effect), think about it as language. In the above photo, Niels in Berlin is wearing the simplest of outfits: a dark grey suit with a black tie, combined with a white shirt and white pocket square. No unusual colors or accessories here. Not even the tie clip that some would want to wear for Mad Men effect. 

Yet, he looks great. Not because “simple is better” (which is still about judging clothes in terms of their combination), but because of the message that’s being sent. For decades, a dark suit with a dark tie, worn with a white shirt and white pocket square, has meant something very specific. It means, “I’m here for business,” whether that’s the business of actually doing business, or the business of attending an important event. Change the pocket square, shirt, or tie for something more fun, and the message becomes something else. 

You can combine things a bit more freely in casualwear, but traditional men’s clothing is often about language. There’s still a lot of room for self-expression, but just as you can express yourself through writing, think about the message you’re creating when you’re putting on a coat-and-tie, rather than just the visual presentation.