Back in ancient Egypt, the linen handkerchief was originally carried by men for functional purposes. Primarily, so they were able to clean dirt and sweat off their faces. This concept eventually gave way to the modern day pocket square. Since the early 1920’s, the delicate accessory has been adding color and intrigue to the dapper gentleman’s wardrobe. Finley & Company, in partner with several incredible artists, has successfully married wardrobe and art to create these silk masterpieces. In this post, I’ll be focusing specifically on the Craig Tracy Collection and the Iris Scott Shakin’ Dogs Collection, exclusively by Finley and Company.
Before I go into detail about the collections, first let me tell you about the Signs of a Quality Pocket Square:
- Edges: When purchasing a pocket square, hand-rolled with hand-stitched edges are the way to go. This subtle detail creates an elegant, natural-looking, raised edge that adds finesse to the square and your overall outfit. The manual effort usually implies a higher quality product versus a machine-stitched edge. Take a look at how the mass-produced pocket square on the left compares to Finley & Co.’s pocket square on the right. Details, details, details!
- Material: As with ties, you want to look for natural materials when evaluating the integrity of a pocket square. Fabric made from poor-quality silk or polyester not only detracts from the square’s character, but it also degrades much quicker than a high-quality silk, linen, cotton, or wool piece.
- Proportions: Generally speaking, the thinner the material, the larger the square should be. If a large square is crafted with a bulky material, the result is a messy bulge in your breast pocket. On the flip side of the coin, a small and thin square won’t hold a shape. You’ll end up constantly fishing it out of your pocket! I was really happy with the way that this pocket square from Finley & Company, aided by it’s hand-rolled edges, held its puff without the eventual slipping you sometimes see with the same size machine-stitched silk squares.
- Design: You can find solid squares or patterned squares anywhere. If you can find pieces with detailed designs, it typically implies that more thought and care went into the product. Utilizing artwork, such as is the case with Finley and Company, on a pocket square requires even more attention to detail. Sizing, material, print method, and finish must all be considered carefully in order to get the best finished product.
So, how does a Finley and Company Pocket square measure up? In short? They are spectacular. These two collections by Finley & Company are a wonderful marriage of fine art and style.
Each collection is a collaboration between an artist and a designer, made up of three squares, and utilizes three art pieces from a single artist. Each piece of art is carefully screen printed onto a stunning silk pocket square & the edges are hand-rolled and stitched with great attention to detail. The squares are crafted using high-quality Italian silk and made entirely in Como, Italy. You can be sure that a great deal of work is being done to ensure that these pocket squares will stand the test of time and look stunning in the process!
The artwork is truly brilliant to behold in person, utilizing vibrant colors and images that almost jump off the silk! My favorite part of both collections is the variation in color used. Depending on how you fold the square, it could look like you’re wearing an entirely different square from the fold before! Since we’re talking about a high-quality, well-made product, each collection is priced at $180. While this might seem like a high sticker price, consider that you are purchasing three pocket squares that can morph into what seems like 8-10 different pieces (trust me, I put them to the test!).
The squares really stand out when they are set against the differing texture, color, and material of most jackets. Wool, linen, cotton, cashmere, or blends of these natural materials really create a wonderful frame for these artistic pocket squares! In the images below, “Shakin’ Off the Blues” by Iris Scott picks up the teal accents in my tie while the natural colored fur of the dog compliments the overall earthy tone of my tie and waistcoat. The Finley and Company pocket squares offer just the right amount of elegant shine instead of sticking out as overly glossy and cheap like lower-quality squares often do.
As an added bonus, the Finley & Company pocket squares are made in small batches. Once the lot is sold out, the print is retired. I love wearing something unique among my ensemble – it’s a fun ice breaker and topic of conversation when someone inevitably comments on the interesting piece! It’s a big win in my book when I am among only a small handful of gentlemen who own this specific article of clothing.
A little added time and effort when pairing colors, patterns, textures, and materials will, without a doubt, take your wardrobe from ordinary to dapper. And, don’t forget that accessories give you an opportunity to showcase your unique style and passions. You can contrast or complement your tie, shirt, or jacket to create a pleasing outfit! “Shakin’ Off the Sunset” by Iris Scott reminds me of the first puppy my wife and I had in our first married year, Garbo. She was such a sweet pup and loved to get wet and shake at the most inconvenient of times 🙂
I’m going to put the Finley & Company pocket squares into my splurge category. But, are they worth it? 100 times yes!
*The thoughts and opinions in this post are entirely my own.