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The trads may wear them all year round, but we’ve always thought of the pocket square as a quintessentially summer item.

We don’t mind a charmingly ostentatious flash of red silk in a black suit, if you have occasion to pull it off, and heavier suits can occasionally benefit from a white linen square, but for our money, there’s nothing quite like a light, solid suit with a touch of brightly patterned tattersall peeking out of the breast pocket. We’re thinking cotton suits, seersucker, and just about anything you’re pulling out of your closet now that the ice has melted. But while you’re matching, remember this: You want the fabric of the pocket square to echo the fabric of the suit. That means nothing too shiny and nothing with too rough a weave.

As for finding the square itself, $20 can get you remarkably far. Our favorite is this Brooks Brothers item, but there’s plenty more where that came from, if you prefer second-hand finds or ridiculously expensive heritage items. Either way, your jacket will get a cheap upgrade, and you’ll never run short of something to wipe your brow with.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom