Craig of That Dapper Chap reviews one of the new Japanese print pocket squares available from Cravat Club
Until recently The Cravat Club has been more commonly known for its range of top quality, you guessed it, cravats. Following a recent re-branding exercise they have diversified and are now offering gents like you and I a wider range of products which now includes pocket squares.
As you may know I have already carried out a product review of their cravats HERE and this post focuses on their pocket squares, in particular the ‘Midori’ Japanese silk example depicting a beautiful Japanese Maiko going about her daily chores.
|The 'Midori' silk pocket square|
The ‘Midori’ is just one of three individual Japanese designs available from Cravat Club. This particular design is also available in blue and orange, and in cream and blue. They also have Mount Fuji in three colour ways along with Koi Carp, again available in three stunning colour choices.
Each one is made from 16oz ‘extra soft’ 100% silk twill and is designed in London by Japanese Artist Yusuke Aoki. They are printed and handcrafted in England and include hand rolled edges.
This range is larger than the standard sized squares and come in at 42cm x 42cm (16” x 16”)
Priced at £60 this is a more expensive piece and reflects the fabrics, design and manufacture. It’s important that we support British industry and manufacture but this does mean a higher price than their mass produced counterparts, which also come with a larger carbon footprint and the knowledge that 10,000 other guys have exactly the same one jutting from their left breast.
Packaging & Presentation
The square came beautifully packaged at a level expected from a product of this value. The black box with its distinctive gold writing is very sturdy, and the square was lovingly folded so that the lady’s face was immediately presented once it was opened. The box was lined with tissue paper and also included an information card contained in its own wax sealed envelope.
For its journey it was sealed in a durable plastic wallet to avoid knocks and scratches along way across the UK in the British postal system (which can be a traumatic experience for any package)
The square is silk so it doesn't have the same stiffness you'd associate with one made from a thicker man made material. It’s very soft and supple and will flop if you have too much material poking out of your pocket.
While some pocket squares are small and disappear annoyingly in to the depths of your pocket this won’t. There’s ample fabric here to stop this happening but it can feel a little bulky in a very small patch pocket unless you use your origami skills and fold it perfectly.
Because the image is so beautiful you'll want to show it off to its best advantage, so unlike squares with an all over repeating pattern you will need to consider your folds or ‘bunching’ technique.
If you're looking for a cheap disposable accessory this isn’t it. If you're looking for a quality piece of great design which is manufactured in the UK and will last you a lifetime then take a look at the range.
The design is both unusual and individual, so if you're a gentleman who errs towards things less ‘standard’ this could be for you. Just make sure that you position yourself near to a weeping damsel so you may gracefully and skilfully whip it out of your pocket and offer it to her so she may dry her eyes. Let’s just hope that she isn’t wearing one of these fangled new waterproof mascaras as you'll need a trip to the dry cleaners the following morning. Feel free however to use this to your advantage, as if she is a real lady she will offer to pay the bill, that way you get her number. Win, win.
Pros & Cons
The fact that it is designed, printed and crafted in the UK is a huge plus point for me. Its unique design, coupled with the fact that it is available in three different colour ways is another positive. The fabric is high quality and the packaging is of a high standard too.
On the flip side, it may be a little large for those used to the smaller sized squares.
The majority of the team loved the design but one member isn't too keen on Japanese style in general so wasn't a fan. I suppose the distinctive style will result in a ‘marmite’ moment for some and if you don't like this particular design, Cravat Club do also offer other pocket squares in a huge variety of patterns and colours.
Everyone thought the packaging and the new logo were good quality with comments like “classy” and “very swish” They liked the feel of the item and could tell that it was silk.
I very nearly didn't get it back as one lady decided to wear it for the rest of the afternoon as a neckerchief claiming that “it matches my dress, therefore it’s now mine” She reluctantly returned it to me, weeping as she did, which then placed me in an unwanted conundrum (see Pertinency above) as I didn't want my pocket square covered in black gloop, or her number for that matter!
Overall, I'm really pleased with the pocket square. I love the design and the overall quality and feel of it. It’s going to last (mascara permitting) and is a different design to what we're seeing in our stores. In short it gets the T.D.C. stamp of approval.