Christmas presents 4: Hankyz

Sometimes you get an idea that shouldn’t work but it just about does because it addresses a problem. I’ve written occasionally about pocket squares – bits of material blokes use to dress up an otherwise workaday suit. Many men are wearing them at the moment.

In fact there may be more blokes wearing them than you think. Mine have certainly developed a habit of sliding down into the pocket so that they can’t be seen – leaving me self-consciously fiddling with them on the train, on the tube, on the street, when the whole idea was to make me look as if I didn’t have a care in the world and had natural style. I look as though I’ve developed a new nervous tic when I’m wearing a particularly silky one.

There are a few answers if you want to continue wearing the things. First, consider cotton – for white it’s best, and it slips down a pocket far less easily than most. Second, get a big one – it will only slide into the pocket if there’s space for it to slide into. I have a couple of decent-sized offerings from Ralph Lauren and from Duchamp which stay up simply because the pocket’s stuffed with the rest; smaller ones vanish from view all too quickly. The trick with a larger one is not to show too much of it, so you don’t end up looking flash.

Or you can cheat like mad. A firm not too far from me, Hankyz, has started making ready-folded pocket squares, folded and stuck onto a card so you can fold the card to the right height and never get caught out.Yes it sounds like the equivalent of the ready-tied tie, and as someone who’s only recently learned to do up his own dickie bow I’m quite down on those. But they do work – the hanky bit is of course genuine, it’s just propped up.

The key to the success of these is going to be the variety available and the price. At £28-£39.50 they’re on the pricey side but hey, we wanted a proper bit of material rather than something dirt cheap trying to look like silk. The colours, patterns and general variety on offer are very promising. A nice addition to the dandy in your life’s Christmas.

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