THE POCKET SQUARE
Often times wrongfully neglected, the pocket square has the ability to fully complete your look and present your style in the best fashion. It is the little detail that distinguishes the suited man from the suited gentleman. There is no definitive rule whether you should wear this accessory or not, but since your jacket has a breast pocket, why not make the most of it and truly stand out?
Here are a few considerations:
- You don’t want to look like a magician about to pull something exceptionally large and bizarre from that breast pocket. The tucked-in pocket square should not create a bulge in the jacket front or flap at the top with every move.
- The pocket square is by no means reserved for formal wear only. It can easily give some charisma to a blazer and jeans outfit and looks great worn casually with a suit without a tie.
- Stay far away from pre-folded and pre-stitched pocket squares. Same goes for clip-on ties for the very same reasons.
- Don’t go overboard with color matching. Ideally, the pocket square should harmonize with a color in your tie or shirt. Nowadays, mismatching is no longer frowned upon and, if you’re bold enough, you can wear just about any pocket square you wish. Just about.
- When in doubt, white cotton or linen is the safest bet. You can never go wrong adding it to the suit and white shirt combo. With the right fold it can look either formal or casual.
- It goes without saying the pocket square needs to be clean and ironed. Nonchalance is good, messiness isn’t.
- If struggling with a fold, don’t try too hard. Your pocket square is not an origami paper crane. It helps to keep in mind the following wise words from the stylish Will Boehlke: "Pocket squares, like hats, must be worn with nonchalance. As if they were employed to wipe spilled champagne off a lady's dress mere moments ago".
The Square Fold
This pocket square fold, also known as the presidential fold, is the ultimate classic and should be your choice for a black tie event. It works best with a white linen or cotton pocket square, as silk will slip and end up looking untidy. To ensure it stays put you can iron the folds.
It looks splendid with a formal suit.
To make it more casual, use a pocket square with a contrasting hem and turn the folded pocket with the hem pointing up. You can ruffle its edges up a bit as well.
The Triangle Fold
This fold can really make a point, which could be one of the reasons they call it the one-point fold as well. It is superb with cotton and linen, but can be a pain getting silk to stay still in that shape.
You can use it to add a dash of color to your outfit.
For a more casual look simply mismatch the edges when folding. That way you will end up with the so-called two-point fold.
The Stairs Fold
If you're after something more challenging, than this fold is just the thing. It requires some patience and dexterity, but the result is really worth the effort. It's easiest to use cotton or linen when attempting it for the first time. Once you get the hang of it, try it with silk.
Once you manage to successfully position your creation into the breast pocket, it should ideally look like that:
The Puff Fold
This fold is the easiest and can work extremely well for both formal and casual wear. Softer fabrics produce better results.
This fold is a great choice for printed pocket squares.
For a more dramatic effect tuck the top of the fold into the pocket and leave the edges out. This is difficult to get right without it looking odd, but comes with practice.
The Winged Puff Fold
This fold looks great with most fabrics and with the right styling combinations can be equally appropriate for the day and the evening.
The winged puff fold looks dashing with solid color pocket squares or ones with fine, subtle prints.