The Journal is an online collection of articles and essays written and curated by writer & photographer Thomas W Coombs, published bi-annually.

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Issue 9; Meet the Grey Owl

By T W Coombs esq.

With the abundance of street-wear hitting our streets and with the casual attire of Generation X some may think the old is out.  But this is not the case, the dapper generation still want to master the art of the oldest accessory.  Originating from 17th century, during the 30 year war in France, King Louis XIII spread this fashion which he took from some of his soldiers.  But this is not the oldest bit of pea-cocking I know one simple one which can be taken back to the Egyptians.  I am of course talking of the Tie and the Pocket Square.

There is always an elegance held with the Tie and Pocket Square, one of old English sensibilities, but with the introduction of the mass market and machines something was lost.  You can’t scrimp on price if you want quality is the normal thought, but you can be sensible and still get quality goods.  ‘Grey Owl Artisan Stitchery’ is based in Doddington, Kent whom makes handmade Ties and Pockets Squares and are available now online and even have a bespoke service are one of these sensible choices.

With all that is happening across the world it is lovely to buy British, our textile industry has always been one of quality, but this is not just kept to the high end Savile Row stores.  When shopping for Pocket Squares and Ties you are looking for an expression of you, they are an accessory at the end of the day like a watch or jewellery.  So make sure you get something that will last and is not straight from your high street store.  Even though many places work attire is more casual these days, there is still a big call for the tie and now the pocket square has come back in to the fashion market and many glossy spreads include a pocket square to add colour to a suit or jacket.

I was sent this lovely set by Grey Owl Artisan Stitchery and everything screams bespoke and quality, right down to the packaging it comes in.  The finish is just spot on, the material has a nice feel to it, a thickness which means you won’t end up with the annoying thread you get with cheaper materials, we have all had that.  Also it is the simple touches that make the difference, like the fact the lining of the tie matches the pocket square, so even though you as the viewer can’t see it, the wearer knows, like having an awesome jacket lining.

I matched the pocket square up with some skinny jeans, light tan brogues and navy wool jacket from Next Menswear and a simple white shirt from Burtons.

These are a perfect addition to my collection for when I have meetings or a dressier night out on the town.  You can see what delights Grey Owl Stitchery have to offer right here, and also you can follow them on Instagram here.  Or you can hit the link to your right.