Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Finishing Touch

Have you ever wondered why mens suit and sport coats have an open pocket at the left breast? It's sole function is to display a pocket square, a finishing touch.

Most American men avoid this contrivance, no well dressed man ever does. An attentive dresser will return home to retrieve his hank should he discover it missing. So what about the President?

Presidents are generally wealthy men, accustomed to wearing bespoke clothing. They are advised and fitted by the best tailors the world has to offer, schooled in the subtle messages that good clothing offers. Yet, most American Presidents tend to dress down to meet the sartorial standards of their countrymen, albeit somewhat expensively. For further insight search out Tom Wolfe's piece on LBJ's trip to Savile Row (The Secret Vice). American men are afraid of flash.

So the Prez and his bride went to London to drop off the Queen's birthday present. As expected, Mr. O is decked out in his best blue suit,white shirt, dull tie, sans pocket linen.

How much better would he look dressed up complete with linen? Allow Prince William to show him how it's done well. Navy suit, white shirt, regimental tie, pocket square.

My fellow Americans a bit of color is nothing to fear. Photos from The Preppy Princess.



J.P. said...

I agree. I think perhaps due in part to "Mad Men" the white cotton or linen pocket square is making somewhat of a comeback among younger men, but still...I would say the vast majority of American men are afraid to dress well, which is a shame.

Shelley said...

Love these photos! Love (for once) the Queen's dress - 3/4 length sleeves even. So unusually 'casual'. Love Mrs O's short jacket. Love Kate's combination of nude pink and black...only what size is she? Negative 3?

Anonymous said...

Point well taken. I have always worn a neatly starched white Irish linen (Made in Eire) handkerchief in the breast pocket of all my suits and most sport coats since departing business school nearly thirty years ago.

My personal sense is that a white linen pocket dressing provides a perfect contrast to a sprightly striped neck tie and traditional conservative business suit.

Since then, I have encountered an equal number of complements and brickbats labeling them as effete or arrogant

Which it turns makes me consider the words of the Great Bard, G.B. Shaw - "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve."