How to wear your pocket square ?

What is a Pocket Square?

A pocket square, though purely decorative, is an essential accessory to complete your attire. This small square of fabric, placed in the front pocket of your suit jacket or blazer, draws attention and adds a touch of elegance to your outfit. 

When Did the Pocket Square Originate?

Surprisingly, the pocket square dates back to antiquity. In Egypt, 4,000 years ago, linen handkerchiefs were used during ceremonies. In ancient Greece, notables would perfume their handkerchiefs for personal use.

By the 4th century, the handkerchief had become a liturgical accessory worn on the left arm by the Roman clergy. In the 14th century, King Richard II of England perfumed silk handkerchiefs to mask unpleasant odors, thus popularizing their use among the nobility.

In the 17th century, the pocket square became more widespread in Western Europe but was still considered an unhygienic accessory, often kept in trouser pockets. It was not until the 19th century, with the advent of the two-piece suit, that the hygienic function shifted, as trouser pockets were already filled with various items.

Thus, at the beginning of the 20th century, the pocket square emerged as a fashion accessory and a symbol of masculine elegance, on par with the tie or bow tie.

What Color Should You Choose for a Pocket Square?

There are no strict rules for matching your pocket square to your outfit, but it is important to follow some guidelines to ensure perfect elegance.

For simplicity, choose a white pocket square: classic yet elegant for any occasion.

If white does not convince you, you can turn to neutral colors such as gray or brown. However, ensure it harmonizes with your tie and the tone of your jacket.

For a monochromatic scheme, select different shades of the same color to create a subtle contrast.

If more contrast is desired, choose analogous colors with a strong hue, such as yellow and red. This combination will create harmony and a pleasant visual effect.

For the more daring, opt for complementary colors, such as an orange pocket square paired with a navy blue jacket.

Can You Choose a Patterned Pocket Square?

If a solid-colored pocket square does not satisfy you, you can create an interesting contrast and opt for patterns! However, make sure the colors of your patterns harmonize with your suit and tie.

For example, a striped or polka-dotted pocket square can stand out against a plain suit. It is also possible to pair a patterned tie with a patterned pocket square. Polka dots, stripes, checks, paisley, or floral patterns are all possibilities! Ensure that the patterns of the pocket square are not the same size as those of the tie or shirt.

What is the Best Fabric for a Pocket Square?

After choosing the color and pattern of your pocket square, it is time to choose the fabric. Three options are available:

Silk, a common and luxurious fabric, is ideal for formal events.

Cotton, less sophisticated but perfect for everyday wear.

Linen, light and pleasant, is suited for summer outfits.

For instance, if you are wearing a wool suit, it is preferable to pair it with a silk pocket square. Conversely, if your suit is made of a finer fabric, opt for a rougher pocket square, such as cotton or linen.

How to Fold a Pocket Square?

There are six distinct methods to fold a pocket square, each with its own characteristics and suitable occasions.

The flat fold is the most commonly used method, particularly recommended for cotton or linen pocket squares, as these fabrics easily retain their shape.

The one-point fold is considered the most formal, combining elegance and simplicity. It is crucial that the pocket square aligns perfectly with the lapel of the blazer.

The two-point fold stands out for its originality while maintaining a certain elegance.

The three-point fold is bold and adds an extra touch of character to the outfit. In this case, the pocket square can slightly extend beyond the lapel of the jacket.

The puff fold, often done with silk pocket squares, is seen as more casual.

Finally, the winged peak fold is a subtle blend of the one-point and puff folds, bringing a touch that is both classic and innovative to your attire.