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How To Fold & Wear A Pocket Square Like A Pro

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1 of 19|Al Duca D'Aosta 1902|Linen and cotton blend is the perfect fabric for this earthen khaki paisley. Match with a cream unstructured blazer and navy chinos.
2 of 19|Alexander McQueen|Punk up a houndstooth or tartan blazer with a black and red pocket square with McQueens skull logo. Pick your skull-face to feature and then go wreak some style havoc.
3 of 19|Armani Collezioni|Expertly cut from pure silk, the jacquard triangle pattern will lend your top pocket modern but elegant touch. It's barely print in a very wearable blue.
4 of 19|Brioni|Classic houndstooth pattern gets a dandy makeover with teal green and blue. The perfect choice for the distinguished gentleman, this accessory will ensure your look remains a uniquely sharp one.
5 of 19|Canali|Get the knit-effect with this cashmere blend in wine-y marsala, the perfect alternative to navy. Pairs well with a black jacket and white shirt.
6 of 19|Dolce & Gabbana|Can't decide in you're more polka dots or stripes? Do both with this superluxe silk square from D&G. Monochrome lets you make a splash with the tie or shirt.
7 of 19|Drakes|This wool-silk pocket square from Drake's will add visual interest to classic tailoring. Burned orange with metallic detail, the old-world style comes decorated with an elegant paisley print.
8 of 19|Duchamp|In jacquard, Duchamp's navy silk square is for the man who wants a point of difference - that is, texture, without a bold print.
9 of 19|Etro|Creators of paisley, the lilac blue and white Etro cloth is a light-hearted rendition of the intricate floral print. Stick to two tones for a more subtle finish. Looks great with a light neutral jacket.
10 of 19|Gucci|Geometric prints shimmy along to a retro riff with Gucci. Hot colours, orange and red, add warm to a blue suit or make more passionate a black jacket. This print looks great with an open collar silk button-up.
11 of 19|Hawes & Curtis|The navy trim on this mini-print pink cloth keeps the essence masculine. Pink pays amazingly with grey. Just change the shade - light or dark - as day turns to night.
12 of 19|Hugo Boss|A formal pocket square bordering on patter, take this navy blue and white line style from the office to weekend. Switch out out the pinstripe suit for a light grey jacket and paisley shirt.
13 of 19|Kiton|If you're gonna go bold, go Kiton. Yellow and green are gardenia shades with a graphic floral print. Fold the square to show as little or much flower power as you like.
14 of 19|Lanvin|This silk square in cobalt is every-occasion appropriate. Work, rest or play. Inject red tailoring for something nautical, grey for a corporate cool, or white for a Euro holiday.
15 of 19|M.J. Bale|Sophisticated enough for the office, pair this oceania-hued pocket square with charcoal suit and brown shoes.
16 of 19|Paul Smith|Palm trees can only mean one thing: summer nights. Pair the sundown square with white chinos and taupe jacket.
17 of 19|Salvatore Ferragamo|Yellow is this season's standout colour. Powder hues keeps it sensible with flecks of navy giving it some depth. A navy jacket puts this square in ship-shape
18 of 19|Ted Baker|White is exceptional for a black tie event. Opt for a jacquard print, getting more texture for your silk money.
19 of 19|Topman|Did someone say colour? This micro-floral pocket square is the perfect bloom to a pastel garden party blue.

Not to be confused with the common handkerchief, the pocket square is the sartorial panache you’ve been looking for, to give your suit look a lift. So, how to wear a pocket square? And, which one is the most acceptable and versatile? Welcome to your official guide to pocket squares, gents.

Why Wear One?

Pocket

Pocket squares really took off in 1920s with men flaunting the glorified handkerchief in their breast pockets, pride of place for all the other flappers to see. Nowadays, the pocket square is very much back in fash – just take a look at Pitti Uomo and trackside at race day. But for some, it’s considered more an optional accessory to a suit, casual blazer or sports jacket, while others don’t even know what it is. To get you in the sartorial mood, here are the smart reasons to invest in one today:

  • Pocket squares style up a stoic suit, taking it from business smart to weekend chic – instantly.
  • Changing pocket squares can give the illusion that you own several suits and separates, without even changing your shirt.
  • Pocket squares inject personality and individual style into a look, which can be difficult with the formal constrictions of tailoring. The whole idea is to play around with fabric, colour and pattern, leaving your suit and shirt as the canvas.

How To Style It

Now that we’ve run you past the nuts and bolts of the pocket square, it’s time to master the art of styling and folding the pocket square. First thing, avoid matching your tie and pocket square; it’s kitsch and looks overdone. Instead, match your tie to just one of the colours in the your pocket square, or go for a complete contrast colour. Mixing prints? Just make sure the patterns are on scale and your shirt and jacket are plain.

Here are the five main folds to nail, choosing the one that best reflects the dress code and your personal style. Just don’t fold it too precisely, otherwise you’ll have a Japanese paper swan sitting pretty in your pocket.

The Straight Fold

straight

Perfect for: formal occasions such as black tie and a corporate office.

Best with: cotton fabric squares as the cloth tends to fold sharper on the edge, compared to silk. A white pocket square is a classic that all men should own. Blue, navy or pastel, black and a flecked neutral pattern look dapper for sophisticated soirees.

How to fold: start with the pocket square laid flat. Fold in half from left to right, then fold the bottom up the meet the top, but only three-quarters of the way. Then fold the whole shape in thirds, so the middle section will fit in your suit jacket pocket.

One Corner Fold

Onpeak

Perfect for: semi-formal occasions such as cocktail attire or adding a smart edge to casual tailoring.

Best with: all fabric types, just base your choice – silk, wool or cotton – on slant of your look. Play around with sartorial prints when going cotton – checks, stripes and dots – and silk – in a saturated block colour or sark neutral – to make the most of the sheen.

How to fold: lay the pocket square in a diamond shape. Fold upward in half. Bring the left and right bottom corners to meet in the middle (it should ressemble an envelope). Fold the square bottom up toward the top, but not all the way, leaving a peak.

Two-Peak Fold

Two

Perfect for: those wanting a stand-out fold that’s relatively easy to manoeuvre.

Best with: silk squares, as the two-point’s poignant points means you go let loose with the fold. Accentuate the artistry with a flashy colour and pattern: checks or geometric prints fair well with the angular peaks.

How to fold: start with a diamond shape. Bring the bottom corner up to the top corner, but slightly to the side, to create the twin-peaks shape. Then, cross the left hand side corner over the right side corner meeting past the middle. Now, fold the new square shape bottom to the top, but not all the way.

Three-Peak Fold

Twinsy

Perfect: business attire and men who want to show-off their pocket square repertoire.

Best with: Cotton squares to accentuate the fold lines or ‘crown’ effect achieved with this style. Opting for a pattern? Keep in gingham check or polka dot the print doesn’t get lost in the folds.

How to fold: start with the diamond square. Fold the bottom corner up to the top just to the left of the top corner. Fold the left side towards the right, and up to the right of the middle point of the crown. Turn the pocket square around and adjust the points of the crown. Tuck as needed and place your pocket square in your jacket pocket so all three points are visible.

The Casual Fold

Puff

Perfect for: lazy people and for men who want the sprezzatura look; like all this just happened naturally.

Best with: silk squares, as they are more fluid to move and create volume. Again, accentuate the artistry with colour and pattern, this time going crazy for florals or a graphic print.

How to fold: lay the pocket square flat. Pinch the middle of the fabric, and elevating the cloth off the table and letting the corners fall naturally. Then, hold the middle of the pocket square with your index finger and thumb, folding the bottom upward so it ressembles a bunched flower. Stylishly shove it in your pocket.

What To Look For

Pocsq

Fabric
You basically have three fabric choices with the pocket square: cotton, silk and wool/cashmere. Or a blend of two. Polyester exists but its a cheap alternative to silk. Cotton should be considered for the straight fold, offering a crisp edge when pressed, appearing elegant with squared off finish, perfect for a tuxedo. Silk offers a subtle sheen to a matte cotton jacket, and plumps up nicely for a casual square fold. Wool and cashmere add a wintry texture to a mohair suit, very English countryside.

Construction
Most pocket squares – like the name suggests – are flat square pieces of cloth, not oblong like a neckerchief. If you want hand-made craftsmanship, opt for a square that has rolled edges. Unlike machine-sewn edges, these are hand-rolled for a seamless finish and are void of exposed stitching, which can look casual. And like silk and cashmere, come at a higher price.

Colour & Pattern
Kick off your pocket square collection with plain colour styles first for simplicity and ease into your current tailoring (you needn’t go buy a suit because your pocket square doesn’t match). White, navy and burgundy are great starting points, in a block colour  – one silk, one cotton.

Also venture into print, sticking to timeless tailoring patterns such as checks, paisley and pinstripes as well as polka dots. Look to saturated jewel tones – turquoise, jade, sapphire and ruby – as well as black, grey and white – perfect for the office.

Now, flick your eyes above for the 20 best pocket square brands for men this season.

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