Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Squares aren’t a Bad thing: The How To of Pocket Squares

Finding the right pocket square can be a very difficult task and with everything fashion you must match but never look like you took “too much time” to think about it. So let’s start with the basics. When, What, and How do I wear a pocket square. So let’s start with these three items.

Timing is everything and when it comes to dressing correctly its even more apparent. A pocket square or handkerchief is only needed when you need to break up your jacket or ad a bit more color. Realistically as long as it compliments your attire you can add in a pocket square but the type of square really sets the tone. The texture and complexity can really set the tone for the vibe and feeling you want to bring to the scenario.

Here we will cover the different types of pocket squares and what they can “say” about you. A shiny silky square is better for a more formal event and a suit that is more slick and shiny as well. This type of square presents a slick and fancy type of appearance and if paired with dull textures can look out of place and cheap. Which then reverses the entire appearance you were going for.

A Flannel or cotton square is paired great with a textured jacket or even a slick to break up the monotony. The key is to match the square closely with a similar texture in your attire then it blends it nicely and brings the outfit together. These types of squares are great for versatility and fantastic for a broadcloth shirt. The texture just matches nicely and brings that formal/informal look. If you add a bit of color it really makes the outfit more relaxed looking and says “I value looking nice and I’m ready for that meeting, but I’m just waiting to grab a nice drink after.” This is very important and useful for bringing the “young professional look” together nicely.

Finally let’s take a look at color and design. Color can say so much about a person and what they bring to a situation. Power colors are a great asset to use, and HERE is a great link that goes into depth of what each color means. When it comes to adding a square it must not clash with your outfit it should compliment it. Although it is easy to buy tie and square sets that match the fabric it just looks cheap and lazy. Simply getting a square that has hints of the same texture, pattern or color to match your shirt or your tie. For a variety of different “matching opportunities” HERE you will find a great asset for guides to matching color, pattern, and texture, because matching doesn’t always necessarily mean showcasing the exact same color.

This is always a great question as there are so many different ways to adjust your square and a multitude of folds that can enhance and change your mood. For a crisper look utilize a sharper pointed or straight edge. These showcase your attention to detail and precision and great for an interview. I use the staircase fold and the crown four point a lot but find that you can simply make this a little more poofy or messy to give a more relaxed feel. I often use the basic square to show the color if I have a solid square. If your square has more of a design, I personally like to take all four ends of the square and slide them into the pocket first and leave a poof to slide out. This is also a great way to add a nice design and flair of color if you’re wanting to ad a bit of creativity yet class to your square. This is perfect for that “I just threw this on and style comes natural” look. I always strive for this look as it should look human, it should be stylized, and it should be timeless.

Finally, just make it your own. Style should be personalized to reflect yourself. So when it comes down to it you should emulate you, but in certain situations take to heart a few of these keys to push forward your strengths and showcase how truly good you really are!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Online Etiquette: New Acquaintances

So you made it to some form of social media site and you’ve finally made contact with another “human being,” or what you hope is a human and not some elaborate cyborg mechanism. The easiest way to evaluate what is polite to start the conversation is to simply imagine you are face to face with this person. Yes, you’re on the Internet and the person can manipulate or lie about themselves, but if you were there in person they most certainly could manipulate their appearance and “adjust” their life story. So treat each person with an equal amount of personal respect just as if they were there right in front of you. Essentially you socialize just as you normally would, and if you have issues with that here hare some do’s and don’ts of basic social interaction.

The key with meeting any new person is interactivity, this doesn’t mean drilling them with questions like an interview and just receiving answers this is where you have a back and forth discussion that progresses forward. That’s the beauty of conversations you draw from common points, situations, you don’t drill basic questions like Name, Age, Location, Orientation, job. These are very personal facts about a person that would be awkward if it were the first words you spoke to someone. Conversation should flow naturally and you can jump around these topics by commenting differently. For example, “Hello it’s a pleasure to meet you my name is William.” Social norms would mandate the person to respond similarly. Think of it as a “Do-As-I-Do” conversational routine. If you feel comfortable revealing things about yourself then by all means you can share. It will only allow the receiver of such information to become more comfortable sharing about themselves. Understand, you should never assume for the receiver to reciprocate the same personal information.

This makes finding common ground between those conversing so crucial. I use relevant or notable movies, entertainment, and everyday occurrences that we all experience to draw from which can lead into such topics as work positions, schooling, etcetera. The key is to really keep it broad in the beginning. Touching on things like working late, doing home work, discussing a new movie you’d like to see, a band coming into town, and etcetera. These types of questions can help encourage interactions, change the course of a conversation, or realistically gather more information without asking direct questions. A great example would be saying, “I’m so excited to have moved so close to Disneyland, I’m getting my season pass tomorrow after work.” This is a simple statement that hits the person with so much information. Look at it closely, I have indirectly informed the listener that I have recently moved, I now live close to the Anaheim area, I enjoy theme parks, I enjoy Disney, I value vacation, and you could even assume that I normally work on Sundays. This allows for the listener to gather the information themselves. It allows for interaction within the conversation and leads your audience to inquire within a multitude of topics. You can singlehandedly maneuver a conversation on a course and maintain almost complete control while allowing for the other person to feel as though it is a normal everyday conversation. Its an art form that has been diluted with the use of online mediums and needs to be brought forth for real emotional connections to be made, or better yet…felt. In this article you will find greater detail in the power of what people don’t say.

Its all in how you transition from topic to topic that makes the experience so much smoother for both parties. We’ve all seen movies with jump cuts, and although they are sometimes used to invoke a specific emotion, that emotion is always a sense of disorientation or discomfort. Just as in films a poor conversational transition disorients our audience just the same. Its an art that simply requires repetitive practice. You will get better and you will find key phrases, specific words and topics that you can easily utilize to transition through easily.

The key with etiquette and conversational skills is simply real world practice, so get out there and start right now.

Friday, February 5, 2016


Hello and welcome to The Art of Etiquette. In this blog we'll be looking at proper etiquette for the everyday person. Specific and broad situations, clothing options, personality types, cultures, and many more. I hope to help you improve yourself and find a reliable place to reference in times of customary or behavioral ambiguity. You can also check out my Tumblr, or my LinkedIn for a more personal look on my own endeavors. I hope you enjoy