The fashion world is becoming inundated with talking pieces: novelty tie clips, funky socks, crazy pattern ties, hell some of us just straight up peacock. And I get it, in the world we live today attention is fleeting and who doesn't appreciate a cool icebreaker. But are you seeking attention or are you separating yourself from the pack and defining your own style? Style that tells a story, there's more than what meets the eye to quote the 80s Transformers cartoon. Fit Man Style is all about finding the right fit for your body type whether its formal or casual. Bt say, you find the right suit or have one made, a suit without a pocket square is just plain old boring. Pocketsquares are one of those stylish but functional accessories that you can have fun with the colors and patterns and also use it to wipe off dust on your glasses. Well I've stumbled across a company that is so unique at contributing to your style story that you have to see it for yourself, words can't justify the masterpieces but first a little background....
When History and Art Meets Style
I've seen Rampley & Co around Instagram and thought WOW! How the heck?!?! The elegance, the sophistication, the luxury! But I digress. Rampley & Co is a London based company that produce fine luxury accessories which add the needed spunk to your outfit. Just a quick browse through their website will show the fine craftsmanship that was put into these products but the one that caught my eye were there pocket squares. Their silk pocket squares depicts classic art paintings identical to the the originals. This is made possible through their partnership with the National Museum and British Museum who hosts the original masterpieces. History meets art meets style, who would have thought you could combine all three? But Rampley & Co do it so well. This just awakens my inner nerd because I LOVE history and art and to see classic paintings like The Battle of Trafalgar by Joseph Turner and The Destruction of Pompeii by John Martin printed on a silk pocket square, it completes a sophisticated triangle. Historic printing mills in the UK are responsible for the finished product but a bit of human touch is what gives it the luxury feel.
Samson and Delilah
This amazing print of Peter Paul Rueben's masterpiece of the 1600s has me in awe. The details of the clothes, to the colors to the characters depict the sad story of love and betrayal, fold the square in any way and tease the onlooker with a mystery. I wish I could take a picture of people's faces when I unravel the fold, it's more than a novelty talking piece, it's art, it's history, it's serves as an opportunity to show that you are a well versed and educated gentleman. In the vulnerability of this intimate scene, Samson has literally let his hair down and told Delilah the secret to his strength. Philistines all to eager to defeat the mighty Samson, cut his hair while others wait to capture him. The story ends up tragic as Samson is taken prisoner and his eyes are gouged out, finds his way back to God and asks for one last chance to defeat his enemies. While being mocked as he stood on display at a Philistine party, Samson convinced a child to guide him to the two biggest pillars that hold up the building. With one last push of his strength, he pushes the pillars over and collapses the entire building on the Philistines and sadly on himself. A story that started out with strength has been riddled with love, disobedience, betrayal and death. But it also serves as a reminder that God's purpose will always prevail regardless of the decisions we make. The Philistines were the enemy that God wanted defeated and defeated they were, one way or another.
Qualities of A Luxury Pocket Square
I've had cheap ones and I've had expensive ones. There is a difference! As I get more mature in all things sartorial, I'm finding out quickly it's true what they say, you get what you pay for. Just by simply touching them and you can feel the difference. This pocket square I got from Rampley & Co is probably the most luxurious in my collection and there are a few elements that make it stand out from the rest.
Fabric - The majority of my squares are silk which is a great fabric to do the different types of folds but other squares come in cotton, linen and wool. Like with everything else in sartorism, stay away from polyester and stick to natural fabrics.
Length - If there is one thing that irks my nerves is a short pocket square. You can't do any fold with it except for the presidential fold and even then there isn't enough fabric to make it stay up in your pocket. The minimum should be 12in x 12in and can go up to 16in x 16in like the Rampley & Co ones. So the combination of great fabric and perfect length gives the wearer so many options on folds and the confidence that it won't droop down into the pocket.
Human touch - If you got the first two qualities right you will have an above average pocket square but if you desire luxury then the human element plays a role. What make this particular pocket square different from the rest I have is its edges have been hand rolled and hand stitched. This time consuming process requires the artisan to carefully roll the hem while carefully stitching it down with a needle. I have actually watched this done by my aunt who is a seamstress and the finished result gives the garment a perfection that cannot be achieved with a machine. Imagine doing that over 64 inches of fabric. Precision and patience are what are needed to create a perfectly hemmed rolled edge.
These pocket squares are extraordinary! I find myself just staring at the one I have and plotting to get the next one. If the pocketsquares exude such elegance, I can only imagine what their other products are like. I'll admit, I didn't pay much attention to the edges of the pocketsquare I had prior to this one but now that my eye is mature enough to tell the difference between machine stitch and hand rolled, I'll be more discerning from now on. The price range of $90 is fair for what you're getting, remember buy cheap buy twice. Oh, and thanks Rampley & Co for the complimentary metal collar stays that came with the package, I sure needed new ones! If you are interested in this particular pocket square you can check it out over at https://www.rampleyandco.com/collections/national-gallery-collection/products/samson-and-delilah