How do you wear a pocket square? The short answer is to fold it and put it in your pocket. The long answer is a bit more complicated. In a crowd of suits and neckties, small details like a pocket square or lapel pin help your outfit stand out.
There are many different types of pocket square folds, from the showy three-point fold to the minimalist straight fold. Pocket square folding is mostly a matter of personal preference. We favor the elegant one-point fold, or triangular fold, since it’s easy to learn and appropriate for almost any occasion.
Pocket squares are worn in the pocket of a suit jacket, blazer, or dinner jacket. It’s also appropriate to tuck a pocket square into a vest pocket, as long as you’re not wearing a jacket over it. You may occasionally glimpse a pocket square peeking directly out of a shirt pocket, but that look is generally reserved for streetwear, not formal occasions.
Pocket squares don’t need to be worn with a necktie. In fact, adding a pocket square to your jacket pocket is an easy way to elevate a more casual, open-collared look. Many outdoor or summer weddings incorporate pocket squares into their groomsmen’s outfits for just this reason. Pocket squares add a dash of color and style without the formality of a necktie.
Solid pocket squares are a popular look for wedding parties, especially when matched to the bridesmaid dress colors. Solid pocket squares also work well to reign in a loud tie – or vice versa. Our Upcycled White Pocket Square With Accent Thread is another popular look for weddings, since it adds a subtle pop of color.
Pocket squares come in every pattern imaginable, from classic stripes to exuberant paisleys. Polka dots and florals are also popular pocket square patterns. Once you start wearing pocket squares, you may find yourself collecting several different colors and patterns.
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone! Because folded pocket squares are so small, you can get away with bright colors and bold patterns that might feel too distracting on a larger scale.
If you only own one pocket square, we might suggest our Upcycled White Pocket Square with Accent Thread. It’s made from white fabric that would otherwise go to waste, and neatly edged with colorful accent thread to add an understated pop of color. The white fabric works with all jacket colors, and looks especially clean and crisp against white shirts. We offer 28 different accent thread colors, so it’s easy to coordinate with almost any outfit.
All of our pocket squares come in a versatile 12” x 12” size that’s not too big or small. This pocket square size works for a wide variety of folding styles, and looks fantastic on men and women.
Silk pocket squares are still common, but today’s more informed customers often choose recycled polyester for ethical reasons. Our pocket squares are made from a versatile recycled polyester twill fabric that is appropriate for any occasion. It feels like a luxurious semi-matte silk, so it can hold its own on formal occasions like weddings. Unlike silk, it’s not too stuffy for casual wear, and it won’t slide down to the bottom of your pocket. It also doesn’t wrinkle like cotton or linen.
Unless you’re part of a wedding party, matching your necktie to your pocket square is a fashion faux pas. You don’t want to look too matchy-matchy – you want to look stylish and put together.
Instead of trying to match your necktie, choose a pocket square that compliments it, along with the rest of your outfit. If you’re wearing a patterned tie, consider a solid pocket square in one of the tie’s accent colors.
It can also be fun to mix patterns. However, keep a few guidelines in mind:
In addition to complimenting your tie, your pocket square should also compliment the rest of your outfit. Your jacket and shirt form the canvas for your tie and pocket square.
The plainer the suit and tie, the more dramatic your tie and pocket square can be. A classic black suit and solid white shirt can hold its own against a dramatic play of colors and patterns. On the other hand, a pinstriped jacket and bright shirt require a more subtle tie and pocket square to keep from looking clownish.
If you’re wearing a black or a navy suit, consider opting for a light-colored pocket square that will pop against the darker fabric. On the other hand, a dark pocket square will nicely compliment a pale gray suit.
Pocket squares and handkerchiefs are both made from squares of fabric, and both items go in your pocket. However, that’s about where the similarities end. Handkerchiefs are made for utility – wiping sweat, blowing your nose, or offering to damsels in distress. Because handkerchiefs are meant to get dirty, they’re made of durable fabric like cotton or linen that can stand up to frequent washing. They are also often larger than pocket squares. While handkerchiefs are usually carried in a pocket, they aren’t intended to be visible. Pocket squares, on the other hand, are fashion accessories. Their only purpose is to complete an outfit. Pocket square sizes can vary, but they are typically smaller than handkerchiefs. Most pocket squares will never get washed, and that’s a good thing, since they’re often made of delicate fabric like silk. Even our recycled polyester twill is dry-clean only. Please don’t blow your nose with a pocket square, or offer one for wiping messy mascara tears. Remember: pocket squares and handkerchiefs are not interchangeable.