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Published Verve Magazine, Verve Man Supplement, October 2011

The handkerchief – once a permanent resident of a gentleman’s pocket – is hardly to be seen, but this accessory still has its uses….

There’s something about a well-dressed man that has me waxing eloquent on more than one occasion. While most men today are considerate towards our eyes and have upped their grooming quotient remarkably, it does send the heart in a tizzy when you spy that devilish, impertinent, cheeky little square punching a direct access to our emotions right out of the pocket. Tissues replaced handkerchiefs with ease – really does no one care about trees anymore? And we can never have the mid-century British moment of a flutter-and-swoon with the gentleman’s hanky popping out promptly to the rescue. With the disappearance of the hanky, came the appearance of the less-than-perfect man, whatever Raymond may claim. But the gregarious pocket square may save the day: in its beautiful sateen avatar, it promises a lifetime of care.

12 fortuitous ways in which the pocket square may come to the rescue:

  1. When there is a snivelling bride. And you are the solicitous groom with pleasant manners.
  2. When you are the best man at your buddy’s wedding and the delectable bridesmaid is having an emotional moment. The pocket square ensures that you will have a lucky night.
  3. Offering it to patch up the teensy-weensy sari blouse the girl next to you on the dance floor has managed to rip with an enthusiastic move.
  4. Serenading the woman of your dreams by dashing off poetry at a moment’s notice on your pale pink square and handing it to her by going down on one knee.
  5. After points #2 – #4 have worked, using it for some impromptu S&M.
  6. Knowing that you both scored a 100 per cent compatibility ratio in point #5, leaving your square with your number written on it with her lipstick to plan the next date.
  7. Using it innovatively to gain miles for your mile high club membership.
  8. Blindfolding your date before throwing her off a plane as you surprise her with a skydiving-and-dinner plan.
  9. Using it as loincloth, when she takes her revenge and runs away with your pants after leaving you in the Jacuzzi.
  10. Wowing your betrothed with vows scrawled in a flourish on the initialled-square and handed to her with her favourite piece of jewellery.
  11. When the elderly auntie right next to you is looking with quiet desperation for a tissue to quickly spit her tobacco…or paan before
    she has to make a lengthy speech about an enjoyable and hitherto utterly uneventful 75 years of marriage.
  12. You can use it as a gag for the auntie who makes it a point to nudge you repeatedly to ask you if you are next, while you play best man at your buddy’s wedding.