The most frequent question I get asked in my consultations and fittings here at ASTF is ‘What is the correct way to wear a pocket square? or ‘What is the use of a pocket square?’
Believe it or not, The origin of the pocket square goes all the way back to the ancient Greeks. Wealthy Greeks carried around perfumed hankies as early as 500 B.C. English and French noblemen carried perfumed and embroidered hankies in order to cover their noses from the stench of the streets and other people.
In the early 1900′s, a dapper gentleman would never leave the house without a pocket square tucked neatly into his suit’s breast pocket.The pocket square began to go the way of the hat. It’s high time we bring both back.
A pocket square can be patterned or solid. The general guideline is that your pocket square colour should compliment some colour on your tie. So, if your tie has a bit of red, rock a solid red pocket square or a patterned pocket square with some red in it. However, avoid matching the colours exactly. It looks like you’re trying too hard. A white pocket square can be worn with any colour tie, making this color handkerchief an essential part of every man’s collection.
You have several options on how to fold your pocket square. Some are super simple and others are complex. It all comes down to personal taste. I’ll discuss three simple folds that every man should follow!
The Straight Fold is the most simple of the pocket square folds. What you’ll end up with is a small rectangle peeking out of your suit pocket. Here’s one way how to fold it:
1) Lay your pocket square flat.
2) Bring the left side to right side
3) Bring the bottom towards the top, but don’t fold it all the way.
4) Fold the fabric in thirds horizontally so that it will fit your suit pocket.
With the One Corner Fold, you’ll have a small peak of fabric coming out your pocket. This one is probably my favourite of the three. Here’s how to fold it:
1) Lay your pocket square on a flat surface, with one corner facing up and one corner facing down so it looks like you have a baseball diamond in front of you.
2) Bring the bottom point to the top point so that you create a triangle.
3) Bring the left corner of the triangle to the right corner, and the right corner to the left corner.
4) You should end up with a long rectangle with a point at the top.
5) Fold the bottom towards the top, but not all the way.
6) Place it in your suit. Adjust until you get the desired amount of point coming out of the pocket.
The Puff Fold is probably the simplest of the folds. The desired result is to have a small puff of fabric coming out your suit pocket. Here’s how to fold it.
1) Lay the pocket square flat.
2) Pinch the middle of the fabric, allowing the folds to come in naturally.
3) With one hand firmly holding the pocket square, use your other hand to gently gather it together.
4) Now gracefully gather up the bottom of the pocket square.
5) Place it in your suit. Fiddle with it until you get the desired puffiness.