Have you ever worn a suit and felt there was something missing? That you just needed something else to pull the whole outfit together? Enter the pocket square, a small piece of fabric which you insert into the breast pocket of your blazer. The pocket square or “handkerchief” is an often-overlooked accessory, but any true gentleman who knows how to dress knows they need one of these. However, not everyone knows how to properly use it, and we’ll admit, this task can seem rather daunting sometimes. We’re here to help though, and if you follow these 3 simple rules, you’ll be rocking a pocket square like a pro in no time.
- Picking the Color
- Picking the right color that will complement your attire is obviously the most important rule. Here, everything depends on the color of your entire ensemble. You want to be sure that it matches and plays along with the rest of your outfit. Usually, the major player here is your tie or bowtie. Selecting one that shares some colors with your tie is usually a good way to go.
- At the same time, you do not want to match it perfectly to your tie, this just makes you look boring and unoriginal. For example, if you are wearing a red tie, a checkered pocket handkerchief with some red will match your tie well, but in addition, also add some other color to round out your suit. A must-have in any collection, the quintessential pocket square to always have at your disposal, is plain white. This will go with any colorway you choose, while still adding that missing element.
- Picking the Pattern
- Picking the perfect pattern can be a bit more difficult than the color. Most of the rules mentioned above apply here. You must match the colors, and you must not, ever, have the same pattern as your tie (this bears repeating). You also do not want to get too crazy, like having a plaid tie and a paisley pocket square. This combination just has too many lines and shapes clashing together and can take away from your look.
- Having a plain tie allows you to go pretty wild with the pocket square as far as patterns go, so there is no need to worry there. Polka dot ties are also pretty forgiving when it comes to patterned handkerchiefs. One of our favorite combinations is a pink tie with white polka dots, and a pocket square with a white base and pink flowers. You can try out some different combinations though, compare and contrast some patterns and see what looks good.
- Picking the Fold
- People would be surprised to find how many different kinds of folds there are for a pocket square. Each kind of fold really does add something different to your outfit. The pattern can also determine the fold you utilize. A simple plain option with a colored border warrants a fold that will show off that colored border. Most importantly for folds, the type of event you are going to will tell you how to wear it. For business, you do not want to be too flamboyant, so it is best to stick with the classic square fold.
- For a more elegant occasion, go with a two- or three-point fold. This allows you to show it off without making too much of a statement (these folds are perfect for that bordered pocket square). If you are attending a wedding, and want to show off a bit, the puff fold is the way to go. This fold really sticks out and adds some serious pop. Other honorable mentions that will fit just about any situation, if you’re feeling adventurous, are the angled peak and stair folds. These are a little tricky and may take a few tries but look really fantastic.
Pocket squares are a simple addition that can accentuate your entire outfit. Whether you choose to be bold or more refined, this dress accessory is a must for any gentlemen. Be creative and have fun with them! If you stick to these three pocket square rules, you can’t go wrong.