D.C. Squares

Washington, D.C., never known for its sartorial splendor, has shown a surprising alacrity in (re-)adopting an until-recently-forgotten men’s fashion accessory: the pocket square.

The decorative silks and linens have been growing in popularity for years, after a decades-long abandonment, but the ease with which they’ve caught on in D.C. is notable because of that city’s traditional resistance to decoration. An abundance of brightly colored pocket squares raises eyebrows in a town which spent eight years debating American flag lapel pins.  D.C. web blog Politico wordily notes a “small group of politicians who dare to wear the square in a town where flair is rare.”

Rutgers University professor Ross Baker finds no anomoly in the trend: “The pocket square is sort of symbolic of Congress,” he explains, “in that it’s decorative but not necessarily functional.”

Pocket square advocate President Ronald Reagan.

Pocket square advocate President Ronald Reagan.

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