When it comes to accessories, pocket squares are among the most elaborate. Although they may not be as practical as your favorite sunglasses or your everyday watch, they can add color, sophistication and an incredibly fashionable touch to your look. However, this dapper little item can also confuse many gentlemen, especially when it comes to folding. But, we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to be an origami master to rock a clutch in style. All you need is expert advice. Below is a complete gentleman’s guide to folding and styling a pocket square.
How to make a pocket square
First of all; make sure your clutch reflects your signature style. Allow your own aesthetic to shine with graphics or colors that you think work great with other basic costumes in your wardrobe. This will come in handy when it comes to pairing your pocket squares with different suit, shirt, and tie color combinations. Think strategically; if you have a lot of classic tones, you can stick with the same traditionalist color palette, but opt for a brighter graphic print to add diversity. To enhance your look more vibrantly, add pops of color with brighter tones to more neutral suits. Navy suits can be warmed up with redder pocket squares, such as scarlet reds or rich burgundies; while gray suits tend to work well with lighter shades of blue.
With some styles, don’t be too precise, the art of folding a pocket square shouldn’t be too formulaic or perfect. The last thing you want is for your cover to look like it was pre-folded. Sometimes the lack of perfection can actually work well to give your clutch a hint of authenticity and dimension to your outfit, giving your outfit a bit of character. Also, be aware that there are different sizes and materials that pocket squares are available in, and these should dictate the type of pleats that will work best for the type of pocket square you are styling. For example, single pleats work best with cotton or linen pouches, while silk versions can handle more intricate pleats.
Pocket Square Colors and Patterns
Pocket squares in basic tones like whites, navy, and black are great to have on hand if you’re looking for something subtle and classic to annotate looks. Pocket squares are also one of the best ways to introduce color into more formal looks, and since they’re just small additions, don’t be afraid to opt for bolder designs. Traditional patterns like ginghams, tartans, polka dots and paisleys are really good at adding diversity to your wardrobe.
Pocket square pleats
There are a hundred ways to fold pocket squares, but it’s best to keep it simple and classic. We tell five of the most classic interpretations of folding pocket squares that are suitable for many occasions. We have also included simple steps to fold these different variations.
Also known as the presidential or classic pleat, this is one of the most subtle ways to style a pocket square. Suited to more dignified and conservative occasions where formality will be observed, this pleat is best suited to linen or cotton pocket squares which will maintain a pleat effortlessly.
- Fold your pouch in half on one side.
- Fold your crease in half again on the other side.
- Determine your pocket width and fold both sides horizontally to fit accordingly.
- Fold once vertically and smooth your pocket square until you are left with a straight, neat rectangle.
- It should just peek into your pocket, providing a minimalist addition to looks.
- Make sure the top of your fold follows the slant of your pocket.
One point bend
A super classic way to interpret pocket squares, the one-point fold flaunts a triangle shape that sticks out of your pocket. This pleat is more visible than the conservative square pleat and is recommended for most looks that feature pocket squares. Higher quality floss is recommended.
- Fold your pocket square in half horizontally.
- Fold it in half vertically.
- Rotate your pouch so that one tip is facing you in a diamond shape.
- Fold it horizontally.
- Flip the pouch over to the other side hiding the edges
- Fold the corners of the longer side of your folded pouch until it looks like an open envelope.
- Turn it over and place it in your pocket, with the triangular shape visible.
Two point fold
A variation of the one-point fold, the two-point fold features two peaks displayed from your pocket. This fold can handle brightness and more detail when it comes to the chosen pattern and works well with silk pattern squares. Think ginghams, plaids and cashmeres.
- Fold the pouch in half horizontally.
- Fold the pouch in half vertically.
- Hold the clutch so that it looks like a diamond.
- Fold the bottom corner up to the left of the top corner.
- Fold the left corner to the middle.
- Adjust the width according to the size of the pocket.
Three point fold
One of the more complicated folds, this style should be tackled when you feel more comfortable with pocket squares. Otherwise known as the Crown Fold, this style works well with simplistic silks as well as deeply colored patterns, adding dimension to your formal looks.
- Spread the clutch like a diamond.
- Fold horizontally forming a pyramid.
- Fold the bottom third up from the left and right.
- Flip the pouch.
- Fold each side of the pouch in half towards the middle.
- Fold the bottom tip to the middle.
Quite simplistic, the bouffant pleat relies on a more traditional and subtle display of your pocket square. This pleat works best with silk pocket squares that are larger so they won’t disappear in your pocket.
- Find the center of the pocket.
- Make a circle with your hand.
- Place the center of the pouch over the circle.
- Push the pocket square through.
- Fold the fabric.
- Pull the center of the pouch through.
- Fold the excess behind.
How to match pocket squares with ties
Don’t match your tie too obviously to your pocket square; it reads without style and boring. Instead, opt for tones and colors that work well together, without being direct matches. Work in the same color families and consider the types of colors featured in printed pocket squares. This will give you a better idea of complementary colors that can work well with your tie. Remember that a pocket square should show more of your personality, so don’t shy away from a bit of bright color, but keep it within reason and somewhat complementary with your tie.
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