9 Tips How to Wear a Pocket Square

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Red Floral Print Pocket Square

The pocket square as a decorative addition to a blazer or suit jacket is a fairly recent revival.

A pocket square (or what was previously known as a handkerchief) was once a utilitarian piece of cloth, but is now a symbol of a well-dressed man. It’s meant to add more elegance and style to a gentleman’s look, but to achieve that, it must be worn properly.

1. There are many styles of pocket squares. Most commonly they are made of linen, cotton, wool, and silk — with an average size of a 12” by 12” piece of fabric. However, any fabric can be used as a pocket square as long as it is thin enough to fit in the breast pocket when folded and not bulge out of your blazer.

2. Not all pocket sqaures are square in shape. There are pocket squares that are, in fact, not square, but round. Ultimately it doesn’t matter because it’s all in how you fold and place the square in your breast pocket.

3. Solid colors are easiest for most men, because they don’t have to worry about matching a pattered square with their outfit. On the other hand, a patterned square gives a lot more life to a man’s look.

4. Basic white or blue squares are ideal for beginners. Lavender, pink, and grey tend to pair nicely with almost anything as well. When you are feeling a little more adventurous, try a white or colored squared with contrasting edges.

5. The fabrics of pocket squares are seasonal. Silk is appropriate year-round and all times of day but linen and cotton should generally be worn in the spring and summer, or if you live in an area of the world with a warm climate all year long. It’s the same for a tweed, wool, flannel, or cashmere; they should be reserved for the fall and winter.

6. Do not match you pocket square to your tie, and do not purchase a jacket with a premade square sewn into the breast pocket. The color (or colors) of a pocket square should complement your shirt, tie, or jacket.

7. A sqaure fold is the most professional. This fold works best with a cotton or linen fabric. Fold into a square and have the folded edge stick out of the breast pocket about one inch. That’s it.

8. A puff fold is the most casual. It is best to achieve this look with a silk or woolen square. This is where you fold the fabric over into a semi-ball and tucked it into your breast pocket leaving about 2” or more billowing out. Make sure the puff is neat and balanced.

9. Skip the tie. For less formal occasions, you can always skip the tie and go with an open collared shirt or polo and wear a pocket square to act as your accessory. You will maintain a smart, casual, and styled look.