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How to Wear a Pocket Square The Correct Way

February 03, 2022 4 min read 1 Comment

How to Wear a Pocket Square The Correct Way

A pocket square adds instant class and sophistication to any suit. It's dapper, formal, and always on-trend.

However, it can also be a little confusing.

How do you fold the thing, much less incorporate it into your ensemble? Should you choose colors that complement or contrast the others you're wearing? Are there any specific etiquette rules you need to follow?

Today, we're breaking it down into simple steps. Read on to discover the quick guide on how to wear a pocket square the right way, every time.

Folding a Pocket Square

Before we launch into the ins and outs of wearing a pocket square, let's start from the beginning. While it would be ideal if there were one, straightforward way to fold a pocket square, this isn't the case. Instead, there are around seven different options!

We've broken each one down, step-by-step, in this detailed guide.

If you just need one go-to style, stick with the flat fold, or presidential fold. Versatile enough to rock at any formal event, it's also among the easiest to master.

Start by simply laying your pocket square out flat in front of you, in a square position. If it's on the smaller side, fold it in half. Bigger ones may require folding into thirds. The key is to make sure it fits snugly in your pocket at this point.

Next, fold it in half again, and tuck in the bottom portion so it doesn't show. That's it! Now, let's work on how to style it.

Style Tip #1: Color-Coordinate With Your Tie

Your pocket square will be on the same eye level as your tie. As such, the two accessories should coordinate with one another. However, resist the urge to match them precisely.

The tones should flow well together, but shouldn't be exactly the same. This can cause the pocket square to become visually overwhelming and drown out any other accents you're wearing.

To get it right, consider creating a match with secondary colors.

These are hues created when you mix two or more primary colors together. For instance, purple is a secondary color, created by a blend of blue and red. Orange and green are also secondary colors.

Let's use a real-world example. Say you're wearing a dark red tie. You wouldn't necessarily wear a matching red pocket square, but you could don an orange one with confidence. Orange is a secondary color of red, created when it mixes with yellow.

Thinking of wearing our Knitted Dijon Tie to an upcoming event? Thick and well-constructed, it's a solid bet. Green is a secondary color to yellow, and would look great next to this piece. Pair it with our Geometric Green Pocket Square, and you're set.

Style Tip #2: Avoid Clashing Patterns

It's no secret that we love patterned menswear accessories. You can see it in our floral ties, flowered lapel pins, and paisley bow ties. However, the key to acing this trend is to keep it minimal and let the pattern shine.

If your tie is solid, you're free to go all-out with a patterned pocket square in a corresponding color. We have plenty of checkered, floral, paisley, polka dot, plaid and striped options to choose from! There's no hard rule on which pattern to use, so feel free to pick one that appeals to you and feels appropriate for the occasion.

However, if you're already bringing the swag with a busy tie, then it's best to leave your pocket square solid.

Consider our Polka Dot Blue Linen Bow Tie, for instance.

This is one fun accessory, and it needs all the room you can give it to shine. If you pair it with a suit, stick to a crisp white pocket square. You can always find one with a simple, colored border if you want just a little embellishment. Referencing the rule of secondary colors again, our Lavender Border Pocket Square would be a great match with this one!

Style Tip #3: Use a Fold That Matches the Occasion

In terms of pocket square etiquette, you may wonder if there's ever an occasion where a pocket square will feel out of place. In short, no! Once you know the right way to wear one, you'll find that they blend beautifully with almost any type of formalwear.

However, the folds you choose do matter.

As mentioned, a flat fold is the most traditional and formal. It's ideal for weddings, corporate events, or any occasion where you want to look beyond polished. One-point and two-point folds also work in these environments.

On the other hand, if you simply want to elevate a more laidback look, you can use a classic puff fold instead! There are also other, more elaborate folds that add plenty of flair.

Style Tip #4: Strategically Show Off the Design

While occasion should be your ultimate deciding factor, also consider which folds will showcase your pocket square design. In general, there are three different designs to choose from. These include:

  • Solid, flat-colored pocket squares
  • Repeat, patterned pocket squares
  • Printed pocket squares

Printed squares are the most complex in nature. They can represent works of art, geometric shapes, or other non-repeating patterns. Regardless of the one you choose, take the time to see how each different fold shows off the design of your square. If the most impressive, visually interesting part of the piece is hidden beneath your pocket, no one can see or appreciate it.

Style Tip #5: When In Doubt, Stick With the Basics

Still unsure how or when to wear a pocket square? You can't go wrong with a basic, classic white one. Our Herringbone White Pocket Square is a smart choice for any occasion, from an Uber-fancy wedding to a college graduation.

Classic without being stuffy, this one piece should be a staple in any gentleman's closet.

How to Wear a Pocket Square With Confidence

You know that your suit needs a little something extra, but a pocket square might intimidate you. The good news? This time-honored menswear accessory is easier to navigate than you might think.

With the five tips above, you're now well-versed in how to wear a pocket square! We have plenty of different kinds available in our online shop, and feel free to browse our full inventory while you're here. Along the way, reach out to our team with any questions!


1 Response


May 09, 2022

It seems that most of your ties are skinny,do you have regular size ties

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