It’s Hip to be (Pocket) Square

But why don’t more women know it?


Following this morning’s dissertation on the boys, the boys, the boys, the boys, I’m still left wondering: why is it that to be a well-dressed man seems so much easier than to be a well-dressed woman? Put any male specimen with two legs and arms into a suit and watch the immediate transformation from before to dapper. Unruly beard, large stomach and curious finger nails notwithstanding. Now put a woman — any woman — in a gown, and she’s not immediately Jared Leto. That which makes her the adjective equivalent of dapper seems contingent on an extensive variety of petty variables.

I know I can’t fight what I am and frankly, I don’t want to, but as part of a genus of individuals known to marvel in not just the notion but act of wearing vast, manifold accessories, how is it even possible that the art of the pocket square has gone overlooked by my fellow x chromosome carriers all this time? And following my recent-but-fervent devotion to neckerchiefs coupled with a more historic propensity for oversized blazers, how is it that I have overlooked them?

Never one to omit the potential for an additional accoutrement, I’m disappointed in myself. Here I stand, lost months behind me, empty pockets and no truly thoughtful color coordination to show for my tango with personal style. But there’s probably no use in harping on the mistakes of my past, right? Or maybe I should play the Pros vs. Cons game to determine what I’ve really missed.

Yeah, that’s what I’m going to do.

Pro 1: It’s one more layer to add to the continuously growing onion.

Pro 2: Which, if you’re thinking hard enough and can allow a pocket square to moonlight as an element that affects human character development, also kind of sort of maybe has it functioning as an additional layer of personality.

Pro 3: And print. One more print.

Pro 4: If you’re obsessive compulsive about matching like both my domestic partner and mother-in-law are, pocket squares are a nice way to bring it way back around (see: square + handbag as evidenced by the above photos for women, pocket square + matching socks for men and women.)

Pro 5: If you need to sneeze but have nowhere to deposit your excrete, surprise! Yes you do.

Con 1: If you need to sneeze but have nowhere to deposit your excrete, surprise! Yes you do.

Con 2: It’s one more item to think about during this renaissance of simplification.

Con 3, which depending on your stance might be deemed a pro: If you, like me, are frequently mistaken for an awful-looking boy (and without makeup on, very offensively a meth-addict), this either will or will not help your cause.

Con 4: Never mind, that’s it. There are only three cons, which, as you can see, concludes the pro count at 5 and the con count at 3.

This effectively makes it your official duty to test drive your own pocket square (use a paper napkin if you have to! That seems very Margiela to me) — (also, fun fact about mine: it’s not actually a kerchief so much as it is a pre-pocketed square of sorts that can also hold your phone should you choose to give it that much power) — and share the tales of your trying. A full white outfit plus black socks and lug-sole sandals is optional, but I do recommend sneezing.

Dries van Noten jacket, Zara sweater, Maison Martin Margiela jeans, Commando socks, Prada sandals, Valentino clutch, Dannijo bracelets and pocket square by Hank.

Now, let’s hear it for the girls, eh?

Get more Personal Style ?
  • Malorie Bertrand

    Here, here! In fact, I was encouraged by a colleague to scoot over to a local and uber-hipster fabric store to make pocket squares for my boyfriend and father. I quickly realized that I, too, could wear one! Alas, I never got around to it but it’s on my 2014 to-do list. Stand by.

  • Milda

    Great idea! Funny thing happened, my first look at the picture was like: what? did Leandra fell into mud with her jacket while photo shooting and yet still posted the pictures for the sake of fun? Given a closer look I realized- it´s the brown embroidery. Beautiful jacket.

  • Kristen – They have a bunch of great styles – and Hank holds your phone or glasses too??

  • monkeyshines

    love the sock styling!


  • Ayli

    Con 2: It’s one more item to think about during this renaissance of simplification…. biggest one for me 😀

  • Sacred
  • Nico

    Greeeeat! Love the shots!

    New post on lowbudget-lowcost Fashion Blog

  • Sara

    Love the mens wear look!

  • Victoria

    I love the idea of incorporating men styles into women’s wear, I just think Leandra could have done better with this. This outfit just looks messy. The jacket should be more feminine and fitted, it looks as if she stole this off the back of someone’s chair. Also I adore those Pradas and don’t even mind them with socks, but the colors are all wrong. Anyway good job on constantly bringing back pieces from fashion history with a modern spin. Always interesting to see.

  • Paula

    I had never thought of that but it looks amazing! Great idea.

  • Quinn Halman

    amazing outfit, Leandra!

  • Katiquette

    It actually look pretty awesome on a woman! Never thought of a pocket square that way. Thanks for the inspiration, maam!

  • dupras

    Woman, those SHOES! The pocket square is cool too but the heels/socks got me, flawless styling yet again.

    Like it Haute


  • Super outfit, Leandra. I actually really love the black socks with the brown shoes. I usually tend to shy away from that combination for some reason, but you are rockin’ it here. It may have something to do with my love for Prada footwear, too.

    As for the handkerchief….it reminds me of my grandfather. He always had one in his shirt or sport coat pocket, and I always questioned its turnover. He used it, is what I’m saying. I hope there was frequent turnover.

  • Peach Blossom 22

    Simply wonderful!!!!!
    I will show you my mini bag
    Come to see my blog

  • Your posts never fail to provide some great humour (pro 5 con 1) xx

  • Very nice, and I like your jacket!

    Mafalda ❤

  • Lavender

    So baddas, amazing, new twist, I love it!

  • That oversized blazer is the perfect partner for your pocket square. I will never understand why women’s clothing frequently fails to have proper pockets. (We need to carry shit too!) The one on that blazer looks pretty decent though.

  • LechatNoir

    Yo, Sis: I looked at the link for your pocket square: “Hank” is BRILLIANT !

    Do you use Hank to hold your shades & iPhone ??! (Or, just to blow yr nose?) Also: did you swipe it from PermanPartner ?!

    I neeeeeed one !!! Thanks for posting this 😀

    • Leandra Medine

      I *would* use it for my iPhone but since I use it as a pocket square, I am afraid that such close contact to my boobie with result in less than fortunate circumstances for my tango with health.

  • girlinmenswear

    I always wear menswear, so much so that I have a blog about it –

    I spend my life looking for masculine inspired womenswear and pairing it with borrowed from the boyfriend pieces. Its true though, boys can just chuck a shirt on and seem to look chic instantly! Damn them.