Carelessness in dressing is moral suicide. ~Honoré de BalzacLook Squared Away: Every dashing dandy knows the insider’s secret to a spot-on fashion statement is the right pocket square. This Spring, J.M. Dickens’ boldly expressive, “Nickel Dot” pocket square collection is all it takes to add a dashing splash of revved-up color to any suit jacket or sport coat. All silk and available in 12 vibrant color combinations – all high contrast shades that pit the counterpoint of a white, nickel-dot size polka dot against an amped bright – J.M. Dickens of London is available at 200 of America’s finest specialty retailers.  If Dickens’ new Nickel Dot collection is too daringly adventurous, then opt for something tamer from its wide ranging collection of polka dots that starts with the very sophisticated look of Jujube-sized dots, then zooms up to its boldly audacious, Nickel Dots. All boast hand-rolled and hand-stitched edge piping. Whether the elegant look of a mini-dot or dandified Nickel Dot, retail price is in the $75 neighborhood.  Beside pocket squares, J.M. Dickens of London also offers its polka dot collection in four-in-hand ties as well as bow ties, self-tie only.  For more information, contact The British Apparel Collection at 800-451-3985. Website is www. britishapparel.com
“Polka dot fashion craze originated in France in the mid-1850s, then instantly became a sensation throughout Europe, its popularity sped on the heels of Napoleon III’s passion for the Polka Mazurka’s composed by Johann Strauss II.  The Austrian-born Strauss, a frequent guest of Napoleon III’s, was considered France’s unofficial court composer during the Emperor’s 18-year reign (1852-1870). Driven by his passion for Strauss’s Polka-inspired waltzes, Napoleon began importing native polka troupes from Czechoslovakia to entertain the French court.  The peasant Czech polka troupes performed in their native folk fashions:  white cotton cloth accented with sprinkles of either large or small dots.  Hence, “Polka dots.”  Thanks to the musical craze, France’s aristocrats immediately adopted the peasant-inspired, polka dot motif in their fashions, from home interiors to apparel.  The rest of Europe, jumped on the bandwagon, immediately, turning polka dots into one of fashion’s first, pattern-motif crazes. Pulka — which means translates to “half-step”– is the true Czech word for both the dance and the native folk motif.  But “Polka” — which means “Polish girl” in Czech — became the popular, phonetic translation throughout Europe, and consequently, its modern spelling.  The Czech reference to Polish girl, by the way, also explains how the Polka erringly earned its reputation as a Polish folk dance.”
  • Pocket square:  by J.M. Dickens’ boldly expressive, “Nickel Dot” pocket square collection
  • The British Apparel Collection at 800-451-3985. Website is www. britishapparel.com
  • Creative Director:  Joseph DeAcetis
  • Photographer:  Cameron R Neilson
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