How to Fold a Pocket Square

To be clear, this article will deal with a whole lot more than how to fold a pocket square. That’s not to say that learning how to fold a pocket square isn’t important, rather that there’s so much more to the stylish accessory than proper presentation. Everything from material to texture to patterns ends up making a firm impression about who you are from a sartorial perspective. Hence, consider the following overview a brief tribute to the almighty pocket square in all its glory. And yes, we’ll also go over how to fold a pocket square. After all, we did put it right there in the title.

This article is part of our Suited and Booted Series


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folding pocket square guide men with different

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.

folding pocket square different style

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 like a fox as opposed to say an elephant. In spite of the immediate differences, however, it’s essential that you maintain a sense of harmony between the suit, tie and pocket square.

folding pocket square with blue suit view

How to Fold a Pocket Square

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. 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:

folding pocket square with inverted puff

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.

puff folding pocket square

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.

folding pocket square guide classic

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.

folding pocket square easy

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.

 

This article is part of our Suited and Booted Series

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How to Wear a Men’s Suit in Summer
A Guide to Men’s Dress Codes
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