From the vanity files, for the latest issue of The Rake I was asked to empty my pockets for a section called Pocket Guide, which profiles what the world’s most irrepressibly elegant men [sic] carry in their pockets and on their person. Click here for a PDF of the layout.
I donned duds by Haspel, Brooks Brothers, O’Connell’s and Alden. Forgive the Deco-inspired, un-trad necktie; I was pandering to my audience.
Now here’s an anecdote about the only item I really do carry in my pockets, a handkerchief. I was on assignment once with a photographer who needed to shoot three businessmen I was writing about. We were outdoors and some issue of dirt or something came up, and I took care of whatever it was (something on a guy’s shoe? Something on the chair so he couldn’t sit down? I don’t remember), and the businessmen and photographer were all amazed that I carried a handkerchief with me, with one of them remarking “how gentlemanly.”
To me the remark could hardly have been more ironic. A handkerchief is just about the most utilitarian item a man can carry, used for wiping smudged iPhones, sneezing into, and as a breathing apparatus when passing a smog-spewing vehicle. How in the world that passes as something gentlemanly these days is beyond me. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD