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3 point crown style pocket square

How to Fold a Pocket Square

A well-folded pocket square is a symbol of refined style that traverses generations. Whether you pair it with a crispy wooled suit, a lined blazer or a sports coat, the sartorial accessory screams elegance and charm, but only if you know how to fold a pocket square correctly. This guide details the perfect way to achieve crisp edges on your suit accessory, outlining the other important elements in your pocket square perusal. Everything from material to texture to patterns can influence a firm impression about who you are from a sartorial perspective, so it’s worth doing your research.

How to Fold a Pocket Square Instructions

It might sound simple enough at first, but folding a pocket square is just as much about finding your personal aesthetic as it is mastering the process. While Australian fashion designer Christian Kimber reveals it can be as simple as “Flattening it out, pinching the middle, pulling it upwards, and then folding it once in your hand and stuffing it in”, there is a lot more to folding a pocket square. In other words, there’s more than one way to fold a pocket square. With that in mind, here are a few styles that never fail:

A grey suit with Puff Pocket Square
Inverted Puff Pocket Square | Image: Poszetka

Inverted Puff Pocket Square

  1. Spread the pocket square flat and grab it by the centre.
  2. Hold the pocket square at its centre with the four corners facing down.
  3. Turn the pocket square upside down while preserving the shape. The corners are facing up now.
  4. Fold the pocket square at the centre to create a small puff at the bottom.
  5. Rotate the pocket square and put it in your pocket.
  6. Tinker with the corners or points so that they form a leafy pattern.

Perhaps the most iconic of all the pocket squares on this list, the Inverted Pocket Puff Square is big, bold and best reserved for the true style hounds. According to Brian Liu, founder and creative director of The Filtered Fit, this style of pocket square adapts well, giving you an aesthetic that stands out just enough to be fabulously ostentatious.

“My absolute favourite pocket square fold is the ‘Inverted puff’ – an imperfect fold really stands out and compliments your perfect look,” he tells us. “I would opt for patterned pocket square for a plain suit/ solid pocket square for a patterned suit.”

A man in a grey suit with Puff Pocket Square
Puff Pocket Square | Image: Rampley & Co

Puff Pocket Square

  1. Spread the pocket square flat and grab it by the centre.
  2. Hold the pocket square at its centre with the four corners facing down.
  3. Run the pocket square through the thumb and pointer finger on your free hand.
  4. Grip the pocket square at the centre.
  5. Fold the pocket square so that the bottom is behind the front.
  6. Place the pocket square in your pocket and adjust accordingly.

One of the more contemporary pocket square options, the puff style tends to look good with patterned squares. Often squares will have a different coloured edging to the reverse puff, which gives added volume and colour. As model and Man of Style blogger Sam Wines explains to us, there are also variations of this fold, such as the winged puff and the rolled puff, that provide opportunities for personalisation and individuality. Often squares will have a different coloured edging to the reverse puff gives added volume and colour.

“I wouldn’t say I have a favourite, however, I tend to use the puff fold quite a lot with my suiting, purely due to its simplicity and the fact that no two folds can really be the same,” Wines explains.

A suit with a Classic Pocket Square
Classic Pocket Square Fold | Image: Supplied

Classic Pocket Square Fold

  1. Spread the pocket square flat, face down.
  2. Fold the pocket square in half from right to left.
  3. Fold the pocket square in half from top to bottom.
  4. Fold the pocket square in half from left to right.
  5. Fold the bottom of the pocket square behind the front.
  6. Place the pocket square in your pocket and adjust accordingly.

By far the most traditional of all the pocket square options, the Classic Pocket Square Fold offers a refined and crisp aesthetic that is best suited to American and British tailoring. The balanced proportions give a relaxed and professional silhouette that fashion expert Larry Lim says is perfect for more ‘dapper’ outfits.

“There’s two main pocket square folds I always go back to,” he says. “For simplicity, I always go for a square fold and a puff fold for a more dapper outfit. It all depends on the type of pocket square and the details you want to showcase.”

A man in a navy suit with Easy Pocket Square
Easy Pocket Square | Image: Rampley & Co

Easy Pocket Square

  1. Spread the pocket square flat and grab it by the centre.
  2. Place the pocket square in your pocket and adjust accordingly.

As Lex Mak, creative director of Mr Gumbatron explains, the best pocket square fold is “the one that takes the shortest amount of time to fold, one that looks relaxed and effortless”. When it comes to high style, simple can really be best and that’s where the Easy pocket Square shines.

“Well the one thing that everyone has trouble with and most of the time I just stuff it in, give a couple of twerks and hope for the best,” Josh Azzi from The Distinguished Gentleman tells us. “But most probably want the easiest and quickest way so by laying it flat and pinching the middle bit then picking it up and then placing it in your pocket either way you’re set for a sharp look.”

When to Wear a Pocket Square

Some say it was England’s King Richard II who first started carrying a pocket square, largely for hygienic reasons–he used it to wipe his nose when he had a case of the sniffles, or to clog his nostrils when someone with horrendous BO crossed his path. Functional origins aside, the pocket square soon became a fashion statement unto itself, synonymous with dapper gentlemen and true trendsetters.

To this day, the pocket square signifies style among fashionable men. As to when you should wear one, our answer is fairly straightforward: every time you wear a suit or blazer, even if you’re not wearing a tie. Doing so will not only spice up your appearance using the sparsest of fabrics, but further exhibit yourself as a man of classic distinction.

Navy suit pocket with white pocket square
Pocket Square Colours, Materials and Textures | Image: The Nordic Fit

Pocket Square Colours, Materials and Textures

Here’s a quick pointer that might as well be dubbed an official rule: never directly match your pocket square with your tie. While you don’t want the patterns or colours to clash, you also don’t want it to appear as though the two accessories came from the same set. Instead, find colours or patterns that complement each other and match them accordingly. It will show others you’re no pocket square amateur.

When it comes to coordinating colours, the easiest place to start is with neutral colours because they more or less go with everything. From there, you can begin to experiment with different patterns and schemes. For reference, use a colour wheel to see which colours go best with which. When ready, you can begin to play with contrasts, eventually adding multi-colour or triadic colour schemes to the mix.

Likewise, the pocket square should typically differ in material and texture from the jacket itself. For example, if you’re wearing a cotton suit, then pair that with a silk or linen pocket square. The idea is to create a sense of diversity from the jacket’s uniform appearance, aiming for subtle contrasts over loud gestures. By using the pocket square to inject a new tier of texture, fabric and colour into the outfit, you’re strutting your sartorial flair in subtle manner. Despite the immediate differences, however, you must maintain a sense of harmony between the suit, tie and pocket square.

Pocket Square Brands

In the world of menswear, pocket squares are the easiest form of taking an outfit to the next level. So we decided to provide you with a sartorial “cheat sheet” into the world of pocket squares. Here are our top picks for designers that offer high-quality materials and impeccable designs that can ultimately make your outfit one of a kind.

Product image of Alexander Olch makes round shaped pocet squares
Alexander Olch makes round-shaped pocket squares | Image: Alexander Olch

Alexander Olch

Filmmaker and designer Alexander Olch started his line of men’s neckwear and pocket square accessories in 2009. Balancing old-world craftsmanship with the freshness and style of modern-day New York City. Creating a cult following with his circular-style cut of pocket ‘squares’, Olch creates refined pieces with an unexpected assortment of fabrics. Each piece is made in New York City by hand.

Product image of Drake’s pocket square
Drake’s pocket square | Image: Drake’s


Founded in 1977 by Michael Drakes, the quality of Drake’s is legendary. The brand’s style, beginning with a refined English discrimination, has evolved with a touch of consummate French chic and a nod to the Italians for their abundant sense of style and colour. This aesthetic represents a vision of how English style is perceived to be, rather than the reality which today is all too often less inspiring. Designed in Haberdasher Street and manufactured in the UK & Italy, Drakes’ pocket square accessories are synonymous with style and quality leading the way in the world of menswear.

Product image of Boglioli pocket square
Boglioli pocket square | Image: Boglioli


Not just one of Italy’s leading men’s tailors, Boglioli also likes to be characterised as a family, indicating the traditional approach and rigorous standards maintained by the company. Based in the Brescia province of Italy. Crafted from soft, fine silk, this Boglioli pocket square makes an instant impression. The graphic design and clean colour palette ensure an Italian-made piece that looks incredibly stylish whichever way you fold it.

Product image of P johnson Tailors pocket square
P. Johnson Tailors | Image: P. Johnson Tailors

P. Johnson Tailors

Australian born, English educated, Italian influenced, P. Johnson makes way for the local man. Surfacing in Sydney in 2008, with an impeccable social media presence and winner of the 2015 Woolmark Prize, P. Johnson Tailors are as much of a menswear creator as it is a lifestyle brand. The brainchild of Patrick “PJ” Johnson and his creative partner Tom Riley, the result has become an offering of bespoke suits and shirts individually crafted for each client. With an emphasising notion of being in the position as a luxury lightweight specialist for the Australian climate, P. Johnson has built an identity out of it.

Owing to such, it’s bright pocket square range of motifs and geometric shapes is designed to complement not only its own garments but the broader wardrobe of the modern gentleman.

Product image of Turnbull And Asser pocket square design
Turnbull And Asser is famous for its unique pocket square designs | Image: Turnbull And Asser

Turnbull And Asser

Founded in 1885 by Reginald Turnbull and Ernest Asser, they made a name for themselves as bespoke shirtmakers. In keeping with tradition, all Turnbull and Asser shirts are still made in the United Kingdom. With flagship stores on Jermyn Street in London and in New York City, Turnbull and Asser are regarded as not only one of the best shirtmakers in the world but in creating truly unique accessories to accompany their shirting.

This Turnbull & Asser pocket square is patterned with a kaleidoscopic geometric print, picked out in earthy shades of red, terracotta and brown. Pops of cobalt-blue further the eye-catching effect.

Product image of Christian Kimber pocket square
Christian Kimber pocket square | Image: Christian Kimber

Christian Kimber

British born, Melbourne based design God. Christian Kimber’s selection of pocket squares has a heavy influence on the scenes that surround the man himself. Whether he is directly printing an actual sketch of iconic building from major cities or infusing the colour palette from different emotions felt in particular regions. Christian Kimber has a place in the hearts of The Gallant Army. We look forward to seeing more exciting design by one of our favourite local icons!

Product image of Richard James Saville Row icon pocket square design
Pocket square from Saville Row icon Richard James | Image: Richard James

Richard James

One of Savile Row’s greatest and arguably also one of its saviours. Richard James sits as one of the traditionalist rogues along “The Row”. He has gone against traditional Savile Row standards and brought it into the 21st century by offering an array of ready to wear garments spanning suiting, neckwear and even the cherry on the sartorial cake, the pocket square.

Richard James’ pocket squares blend traditional British tailoring influence with direct injection of Italian flair. Whether it’s through his brighter summer selection or his more winter-oriented balance of function and form. Richard James delivers time and time again with his playful designs.

Richard James Brunello Cucinelli pocket square
Brunello Cucinelli pocket square | Image: Brunello Cucinelli

Brunello Cucinelli

Mr Brunello Cucinelli or better known as “The king of cashmere” has an innovative vision, inspiring the designers of today. The company is headquartered in a 14th-century castle on the top of a hill in the middle of Umbria, Italy. Mr Cucinelli himself is a man of great stature, a true man of impeccable ethics, donating 20% of his worldwide profits to charity and treating his employees like family. Although Cuccinelli represents some of the highest quality in menswear, it comes at a cost, almost alienating the majority of the market, leaving only the wealthiest elite can truly experience his creations. Today the company represents the pinnacle of Italian luxury.

Pocket Squares FAQ

What is the point of a pocket square?

The purpose of a pocket square is purely aesthetic, designed to complement your suit jacket or blazer, allowing you to embellish your outfit.

What are the rules for pocket squares?

As a general rule of thumb, your pocket square should never match yur tie. Instead, focus on neutral colours that complement all suit styles and designs, or go for direct opposites on the colour wheel.

Can you use a handkerchief as a pocket square?

While a traditional pocket square is silk or linen, in a pinch you could certainly use a cotton handkerchief. Folded neatly and with crisp lines, the accessory makes for a decent alternative when you are caught without the proper attire.