This guide will answer all your questions about how to wear a pocket square, from folding to coordinating with your tie
The pocket square is an important element of your suit or tuxedo look. If you haven’t worn a pocket square before, just picking the right one for your look can be a bit of a pan, and that is assuming you know how to fold it. But do not worry, this guide will give you a better idea on how to coordinate the pocket square with your other accessories, it will teach you our favorite folds, and generally show you how to wear a pocket square.
HOW TO WEAR A POCKET SQUARE
Pocket squares are meant to be worn in the outer breast pocket of a suit, tuxedo, or blazer. They are purely for decoration; not to be mistaken for the utility-oriented handkerchief.
POCKET SQUARE VS. HANDKERCHIEF
The main difference between a pocket square and handkerchief is heft. Unlike handkerchiefs, pocket squares are not be used to blow your nose. If you stuff a clean hanky in the breast pocket of your jacket it is going to get bulky.
Pocket squares are typically made of lightweight cotton, silk, or even linen, and they are usually a little smaller as well. Handkerchiefs are made of a much heavier cotton to absorb everything that needs to be absorbed.
HOW SHOULD A POCKET SQUARE LOOK?
A pocket square usually looks best if it appears as if you casually placed it in your pocket without too much thought. In reality, you are going to need to learn how to fold it. (more on that in a moment)
HOW TO CHOOSE A POCKET SQUARE
Pocket square designs run from plain white to a simple patter, to an intricate piece of art. Choosing one can seem complicated, mostly because you do not want your pocket square to clash with your neckwear. Ideally, they should support each other. So it would seem that matching your tie and pocket square would be the ideal way to go, but the truth is, that it is actually the wrong way to do it.
Your pocket square should complement your tie, not match it. The should be similar in the color scheme, but shouldn’t be the same.
Here are a few examples;
We will start with an easy black polka dot bow tie. If you are wearing a black bow tie, the event is probably on the more formal side.
First, a white linen pocket square goes well with everything. This one has a black border to complement the black bow tie.
You don’t want to duplicate the pattern of your tie in your pocket square. So a tartan patterned pocket square would also work well. It’s similar, but not the same.
If those to options are too boring for your and you want something a bit more playful, choose a pocket square with a more interesting, outstanding pattern in black and white to support the bow tie.
For this example, we stepped it up with a purple plaid neck tie.
Let’s start with the obvious; the color scheme. Pick a pocket square in the same color scheme as the tie, but again, do not copy the pattern. For this tie, a pocket square with greens, purples, and black tones would make a great match.
If you take a closer look at the neck tie, you will notice a very fine lavender colored line within the pattern of the tie. This means you could match it with a soft blue or grey toned pocket square since it is in the same color family.
Finally, as we mentioned above, a white linen pocket square works well with everything, and it lets the bold tie shine.
These are just a few examples to help you get a better idea on how choose a pocket square for your outfit. As you get more comfortable choosing and pairing pocket squares with your outfit, you will feel more confident taking risks and showing your unique style.
How to Fold a Pocket Square
There are at least 50 ways to fold a pocket square. If you are into variety, go ahead and fold as much as you want. However, the goal of a pocket square is effortless elegance, all these folding varieties are too much. Below, you will find our top folds from easy to difficult, with step-by-step instructions.
THE PRESIDENTIAL FOLD
This is the most classic fold. It represents a clean, powerful look and it is without a doubt very timeless.
- Lay the pocket square flat.
- Fold the left side neatly over the right and align the edges.
- Fold the bottom half about 2/3 of the way up to the top. Place it in your pocket so a half inch of the single top folded layer peeks out.
THE ONE TIP UP FOLD
The one tip up fold is in a similar category as the presidential fold, but you are less likely to see 20 other people at the event wearing their pocket square this way.
- Lay the pocket square flat, tip up.
- Fold the lower tip up to create a triangle.
- Fold the left triangle point halfway across to the right.
- Fold the right triangle point across to the left edge. Arrange it in your pocket so a triangle peeks out from your pocket.
THE PUFF FOLD
This fold has effortless charisma, no two puff folds are going to look the same, and that is why it’s the right move if you want to stand out.
- Gather a bit of fabric in the center of the pocket square with your dominant hand.
- Lift it up and let it hang.
- Gather the hanging end together with your other hand.
- Release the top from your dominant hand, and fold the loose ends of the bottom up. Place the folded portion in the bottom of your pocket, leaving a puff of square blooming from your pocket. How much is up to you, but less is usually more.
THE THREE POINT FOLD
This look is fussier than the puff, but in a similar league, and you’ll definitely have a unique square. Don’t worry about perfection.
- Lay the pocket square flat, point up.
- Fold the lower tip up, slightly overlapping the top tip.
- Fold the left corner point up and across the overlapping tips at the top.
- Fold the right corner straight over to the left. Arrange in your pocket so that the three points peek out of your pocket.
TO WRAP IT ALL UP
If you are taking the time to choose, fold and coordinate your pocket square with your suit, you can’t just wear any suit with it. You need one that fits.
At AlbertGerald, we offer suits and tuxedo with the finest materials available and we customize them for you to achieve the perfect fit.