DAPPER IN TRAINING
Matching Tie And Pocket Square Sets: The Horror (?)
28 August 2017
I can’t keep avoiding this topic.
It’s time I faced my fears and went for it. It’s time to talk about one of the most fear inducing topics in the formal menswear world…
*queue in creepy music*…
Matching tie and pocket square sets
I know, I know… the horror!
But let’s not overreact, gentlemen. Let me try to tackle this topic from an impartial, factual perspective and come to a sensible conclusion.
I can declare with confidence that very few other subjects in the world of formal menswear create such stir as that of sets of matching ties and pocket squares.
I’m not talking about the actual art of picking and choosing to different pieces and assembling them together as part of an overall successful outfit. No, that is an art in itself that should always be appreciated.
You know exactly what I’m talking about. I have seen them, you have seen them, we all have seen them.
Those sets of a tie and a pocket square made of the exact same fabric and sold together as what I guess would be described from a marketing perspective, as foolproof, 100% guaranteed, no guesswork matching tie and pocket square combos for dummies.
Sounds like a clever idea, right? So what’s all the fuss about?
Technically Speaking, There Is Nothing Wrong With These Sets Of Matching Ties & Pocket Squares
I spent quite some time thinking about this topic. I tried analyzing it from different angles and perspectives before I could give you my most honest opinion.
I really had to be completely honest to myself when thinking about what my thoughts on this topic were and how to express them. And as much as it goes contradicts my natural instincts, my conclusion was very simple: there is nothing intrinsically wrong with these bundled sets of ties and pocket squares.
I mean, how could two separate pieces of fabric that happen to match in their patterns and colors cause any disturbance? Sounds absurd, right?
The thing is, when it comes to personal style, it’s not really about rights and wrongs. There are no absolutes and pretty much all of it comes with a certain degree of subjectiveness.
And that is exactly where my personal opinion comes in.
Why I’m Not A Fan
Isn’t style or even the actual process of developing/improving a style supposed to be fun and exciting?
Just think about the endless possibilities you have at your disposal. There are so many options and so many ways to have fun experimenting while creating a style of your own.
And yes, formal menswear is not an exception, no matter how many critics will express an opposing view, those of us who share this passion, know for a fact how thrilling and lively formal attire can be.
This is where my objection to sets of matching neckties and pocket squares comes into play.
Read also: Introduction to pocket squares.
I just have to ask myself: where is the personal input? Where is the fun? Where are the risks? Where is the excitement when you are simply wearing what someone else put together for you to wear without even engaging your own sense of style at all?
Let me go one step further. I will claim no one put any thought behind it. Not you, the wearer, nor the designer. No one at all.
Isn’t this a paradoxical concept to the idea of expressing your own personaliy and preferences through style?
Sure, you can say it was your personal choice to wear such matching sets, and that would be true for you, but also for the next man wearing the exact same set, and for the next one and the next one.
Suddenly there are no traces of any apparent personal approach to style.
When you consider the fact that the possibilities are endless, why stick to a single, predefined and boring option?
Don’t limit your options. Matching a pocket square and a tie can be art in itself.
My Suggestion To You
Embrace all the various prospects there are when choosing a tie and pocket square for your suit & tie ensembles.
There are countless combinations of colors, patterns and textures for you to play with.
Will all your combinations be a hit every single time? No, there will be hits and there will be misses. We all make mistakes. But those mistakes will only come as a result of a genuine attempt at developing your personal style. You can live with those errors and learn from them.
But I’ll tell you something, my friend: you’ll have the reassurance that the errors you make are all your own and they originated from a honest and original approach to style.
If you have made a dead set decision to buy matching sets of pocket squares and ties, go ahead and buy them, but don’t limit yourself to that single possibility.
Wear the tie with a different pocket square. Wear the pocket square with a different tie. Make the most of it and let your personal touch dictate how to combine these garments with other pieces.
As for me, I have come to the conclusion that I won’t judge or point fingers as if someone had committed an atrocious crime when choosing to wear one of these matching sets.
And of course, no more screaming in horror when I see one.
But oh, how painful it’ll be for me to think of the wasted opportunities!
GEORGE CLOONEY LOVES MY STYLE CONSULTING SERVICES. YOU'LL LOVE THEM TOO!