When it comes to accessories, pocket squares are one of the most hard-working. Although they’re not as practical as your favourite sunglasses or everyday watch, they can add colour, sophistication and an incredibly fashionable boost to your look. However, this dapper little item can also confuse many gents, especially when it comes folding. But, we’re here to tell you that you don’t need to be a master of origami to rock a pocket square with style. All you need is some expert advice. Below, you’ll find a complete gentleman’s guide to folding and styling a pocket square.
Pocket Square Rules
First things first; make sure your pocket square reflects your signature style. Allow your own aesthetic to shine through with graphics or colours which you feel work really well with other staple suits in your wardrobe. This will be beneficial when it comes to pairing your pocket squares with a different suit, shirt and tie colour combinations. Think strategically; if you have a lot of classic tones, you can stick within the same traditionalist colour palette, but opt for a brighter graphic print to add diversity. To lift your look more vibrantly, add dashes of colour with brighter tones to more neutral suiting. Navy suits can be warmed up with redder pocket squares, like scarlet reds or rich burgundies; whilst grey suits tend to work well with lighter shades of blue.
With some styles, don’t be too precise, the art of folding a pocket square shouldn’t be too formulaic or perfect. The last thing you want is for your pocket square to look like it came pre-folded. At times, the lack of perfection can actually work well to give your pocket square a hint of authenticity and dimension to your outfit, lending a bit of character. Also, be conscious that there are different sizes and materials that pocket squares come in, and these should dictate which type of folds will best suit the type of pocket square you are styling. For instance, simple folds work best with cotton or linen pocket squares whilst silk versions can handle more complex folds.
Colours & Patterns
Pocket Squares in basic tones like whites, navies and blacks are great to have on hand if you’re after something subtle and classic to annotate looks. Pocket squares are also one of the best ways to introduce colour into more formal looks and because they are only small additions, do not feel scared to opt for bolder patterns. Traditional patterns like ginghams, tartans, polka dots and paisleys are really effective in adding diversity to your wardrobe.
How to Fold Pocket Squares
There are a hundred ways to fold pocket squares, but it is best to keep things simple and classic. We recount five of the most classic interpretations of folding pocket squares that are appropriate for a range of occasions. We also have included easy steps to folding these different variations.
Also known as the presidential or classic fold, this is one of the subtlest ways to style a pocket square. Suited for more dignified, conservative occasions where formality will be observed, this fold is best suited for linen or cotton pocket squares that will hold a crease effortlessly.
- Fold your pocket square in half on one side.
- Fold your fold in half again on the other side.
- Determine the width of your pocket, and fold the two sides in horizontally to fit accordingly.
- Fold once vertically and smooth out your pocket square until you’re left with a straight, clean rectangle.
- It should just peek through your pocket, offering a minimalist addition to looks.
- Ensure the top of your fold follows the slant of your pocket.
A super classic way to interpret pocket squares, the one-point fold displays a triangle shape peeking out through your pocket. This fold is more noticeable than the conservative square fold, and is recommended for most looks featuring pocket squares. A higher quality silk is recommended.
- Fold your pocket square in half horizontally.
- Fold it in half vertically.
- Spin your pocket square so that a point is facing you, in a diamond shape.
- Fold it horizontally.
- Flip the pocket square on the other side, concealing the edges
- Fold the corners of the longer side of your folded pocket square until it resembles an open envelope.
- Flip over and place in your pocket, with the triangle shape peeking out.
A variation on the one-point fold, the two-point fold features two peaks displayed from your pocket. This fold can handle brightness and more detail when it comes to your chosen pattern and works well with silk pattern squares. Think ginghams, plaids and paisleys.
- Fold the pocket square in half horizontally.
- Fold the pocket square in half vertically.
- Hold the pocket square so it looks like a diamond.
- Fold the bottom corner up to the left of the top corner.
- Fold the left corner into the middle.
- Adjust width according to pocket size.
One of the more complicated folds, this style should be approached when you feel more comfortable wearing pocket squares. Otherwise known as the Crown Fold, this style works well with simplistic silks as well as deeply coloured patterns, adding dimension to your formal looks.
- Lay the pocket square out like a diamond.
- Fold horizontally forming a pyramid.
- Fold the bottom third up from the left and right.
- Turn the pocket square over.
- Fold each side of the pocket square in half towards the middle.
- Fold the bottom point into the middle.
Quite simplistic, the puff fold relies on a more traditional, subtle display of your pocket square. This fold works best with silk pocket squares that are larger, so that they do not disappear in your pocket.
- Find the center of the pocket square.
- Make a circle with your hand.
- Place the center of the pocket square over the circle.
- Push the pocket square through it.
- Fold the fabric back.
- Pull the centre of the pocket square through.
- Fold up the excess behind it.
Matching Pocket Squares with Ties
Do not match your tie to your pocket square too obviously; this reads unstylish and boring. Rather, go with tones and colours that work well together, without being direct matches. Work within the same colour families and consider the types of colours featured in printed pocket squares. This will give you a better idea of complementary colours that can work well with your tie. Do not forget that a pocket square should show more of your personality, so don’t fear a bit of vivid colour, but keep it within reason and somewhat complementary with your tie.
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