“A Stylish Way Of Life” – How We Started
As a kid growing up in New Orleans in the early 1970s, I was always fascinated with the city’s relaxed elegance and culture that was seen through its music, food and French architecture. These elements not only created a unique city but also influenced the way men of the city dressed. With tropical temperatures often above 90 degrees, it was very customary for me to see gentlemen dressed in linen suits, dress shirts and ties and loafers with no socks. There were two main accessories most gentlemen wore, the classic Panama hat and a cotton pocket square in their breast pocket. I remember asking my grandfather what was the purpose of the pocket square. He explained that it was used as an accessory to complete and enhance the look of a man’s attire when he was formally dressed. He further noted that its purpose was different from that of the handkerchief which was and in many cultures still is used to wipe sweat from the forehead. From that day forward, every time I wore a suit or blazer, I made sure to wear a pocket square; usually white cotton. As I continued to learn more about the importance of dressing and behaving like a gentleman, I became heavily influenced by one of my relatives. In the mid to late 80s he was a sales representative at Rubenstein Brothers in New Orleans and was one of the city’s most stylish gentlemen. His designer of choice was Giorgio Armani. This relative taught me how to properly wear clothes. He educated me on the importance of fit and fabrics, but most importantly he taught me the importance of personal style and knowing what works and does not work for your body. In my opinion he is a true style icon and I credit him with influencing my early style development.
During my high school years I did not wear pocket squares as I often was not in a suit or sport coat. However, all of that changed in college. Majoring in Political Science and interning at law firms, I was required to dress up and always remembered what my grandfather said about the purpose of a pocket square. The only difference was now pocket squares were not only being worn in simple white cotton, but in various colors, patterns and fabrics. Following college and law school, I entered into my current career as a Federal Lobbyist in Washington, DC. During this time I met a Master Tailor who further enhanced my understanding of Made-To-Measure, Semi-Bespoke, Bespoke and the true art of tailored garments. With so many of my garments being handmade by this Master Tailor I desired to also have my “Pocket Squares” handmade with the same level of craftsmanship and detail as the garments I was wearing. This desire inspired me to start designing my own pocket squares and brought about the creation of “A Stylish Way Of Life”.
Of course, my collection included linen, light weight wools and cashmeres. While English King Richard II may be credited with starting the trend of wearing pocket squares, “A Stylish Way Of Life” is credited with revolutionizing them. Each pocket square is handmade using fabrics from some of the world’s finest mills. Not only will my collection of pocket squares enhance your sartorial wardrobe, but they are also a piece of art. The level of detail and craftsmanship that goes into each square is unmatched. My collection allows you to express personal style with elegance and grace while at the same time setting you apart from the ordinary. These beautiful squares will get you noticed, either for their subtle elegance, or their flamboyant shades and embroidery. Turn the right head and your life might take a very different turn, as well.
“Style is a way of life and should be embodied in everything you do.”
-James A. Williams
President & CEO