How to Wear a Pocket Square: 3 Questions You’ve Always Wanted Answering
Mastering the art of dressing sharply is all about understanding the nuances of accessorising, and one classic accessory guaranteed to elevate any ensemble is the pocket square. Essential for adding a welcome pop of personality to a plain suit or sports jacket, the square is a piece of fabric, usually around 33cm x 33cm in size, that fits either neatly or with flair into your top outer breast pocket.
This stunning yet simple outfit addition is an excellent way to introduce interest to your wardrobe, and with such a variety of colours, patterns and fabrics to mix and match, pocket squares make daily dressing exciting and fun.
But, if you're feeling flummoxed about how to wear a pocket square, don't fear! In this guide, we answer the questions you've always wanted to ask, explaining everything from the most straightforward pocket square folds to matching them with your tie.
1. How Do You Pair Your Tie and Pocket Square?
You might think choosing accessories in matching fabrics is a safe bet, but the overall aesthetic can end up looking a little amateur. Instead, if you want to consider yourself a truly dapper gent, be brave and remember contrast is key.
A fool-proof combination for matching your tie to your pocket square is to pick two hues on opposite sides of the colour wheel, with one forming the base and the other, the accent. For example, a navy tie with a yellow square makes a particularly striking match, or go all out and pair forest green with deep burgundy to really make a mark.
Once you're confident with contrast, experiment with patterns and prints. As a guideline, stick to only one or two different designs to avoid becoming a walking eyesore and pick items with a similar colour palette.
2. What Colour Pocket Square Should You Choose for an Occasion?
When suited and booted in your finest formal attire, pocket squares are fantastic for adding a touch of flamboyancy. In general, subtle patterns and lighter shades with looser folds are best for casual wear, while sharply folded squares adorned with dark colours and bold prints are ideal for classy events.
If in doubt, a white pocket square carefully positioned in a conservative presidential or puff fold (more on these further down!) is a firm favourite, especially when wearing a black tuxedo. But don't be afraid to differentiate yourself — accessorising with a vibrant square against a solid-colour jacket will certainly make you stand out from the crowd.
3. What’s the Best Way to Fold a Pocket Square?
Rather than just shoving it in your top pocket and hoping for the best, learning to fold your silk square correctly takes time and patience. With a bit of online research, you'll discover hundreds of different pocket square folding techniques to play around with, some more suited to formal occasions and others best for office or weekend wear. However, do remember the golden rule; never let any insignia or labels peek into view as this will give you a messy and unfinished appearance.
Here are three classic folds to get you started:
The Presidential: also known as the square, simply fold in half, then vertically and finally double it over and tuck the hem underneath.
The One Point: fold the square in half diagonally to form a triangle and, with the longest side facing you, fold the left corner to the right and vice-versa.
The Puff: pinch the centre of the square and twist. Then place it in your pocket, so the corners face the bottom and the design projects from the top.
Alexandra Wood is a Savile Row tailor with a difference. We put the same level of craftsmanship and attention to detail in our silk pocket squares and all our other accessories as we do our made to measure suits. If you would like to make an appointment with us, please call 020 3369 8969, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our booking form.