How To: Pocket Squares

Written by A.M.C. on . Posted in Basic style

There is a huge difference between looking good and looking damn good. It’s the small things that make or break something. This exact same philosophy can be applied to your outfit.

One of the small accessories that will give you that difference in looks is the pocket square.The versatility the square pocket offers to your suit is rather significant and can change the look of your otherwise plain suit. It’s a cheap accessory that complements your suit, and gives it a touch of your own personal taste. Though it’s not as easy as it sounds to get the perfect combination of the right material, style and fold to match your suit.

The baby steps

Before you start folding, there are two aspects you should take into consideration. First and foremost don’t be boring when choosing your colour or pattern. Never choose the same colour as your tie or jacket. The easiest method of choosing a proper colour is to match it with your tie, or even socks for that matter. Secondly, there is no universal rule about the fabric though men mostly go for silk handkerchiefs for its practicality and style. If not, go for linen or fine cotton.

Folding your pocket square

We are not the type of men to decide for you which options are the best, or make a top 10 list for you to choose out. However, as there are ridiculously many different types and method of folds, we’ll just list the most useful and popular ones that are always acceptable.

Square Fold (Presidential fold)

This is probably one of the easiest and most versatile folds out there for you. You can never go wrong using this fold for formal attire. It gives a simple yet elegant look.

  1. Lay your pocket square horizontally flat on the table just like.. A square.
  2. Fold the left side to the right, or the right to the left.. Whatever floats your boat.
  3. Now fold the bottom ¾ up to the top.
  4. Tuck the pocket square away in your pocket.

It should look something like this.

 square fold 2


Puff Fold

I find the puff fold to be the jolly one out of the group. Whilst the others have a sensible style, this is the only one that “looks” different and you can actually permit to make it look a bit raggedy.

  1. Pocket square, horizontal on the table.
  2. Pinch your pocket square right from the middle and lift it up.
  3. As the 4 corners meet on the bottom, fold the sides so they form a star shape.
  4. Hold your pocket square from the middle with your other hand.
  5. Now slightly adjust the “puff” so it doesn’t look like a pointy tip.
  6. Tuck away in your pocket with the “puff” up.

Editor’s tip: coincidentally I think it would also look good when you tuck away the puff and show off the 4 corners in a natural fashion. It’ll look like a more vibrant/casual version of the multipoint fold.

Look and behold, the Puff...

 Puff fold


Point fold (1-tip fold)

The point fold is the first one in line where we’ll be having a lot of pointy folds. In my opinion these are for more formal or simple styles.

  1. Place your pocket square with 1 corner pointing up.
  2. Fold the bottom half completely up so the 2 corners meet each other.
  3. Now fold the left corner to the right and do the same for the right corner.
  4. You should now have a nice point fold.
  5. Slightly fold the bottom up and tuck it away in your jacket pocket.

Easy result, the point fold.

 point fold


Two Tips up

Hold your breath, we’re not having 1 tip... But 2!

  1. Once again place the pocket square with 1 corner pointing up.
  2. Fold the bottom half completely up, but this time place the two corners next to each other to get… 2 corners pointing up!
  3. Now fold the left corner to the right and vice versa for the right corner.
  4. You now have two corners pointing up.
  5. Fold the bottom and tuck it away in your jacket pocket.

If you've done it right, it should look something like this.

 two point fold


Crown Fold

Otherwise known as the three-point pocket square. You should know the drill by know.

  1. Place your pocket square with 1 corner pointing up.
  2. Fold the bottom half just like the two tips fold, placing them next to each other.
  3. This time around, fold the left corner to the right and place the corner next to the two tips. Now you should have 3 tips up.
  4. Fold the right corner straight across to the left.
  5. Tuck it away in your jacket pocket.

A royal look.

 crown fold


Multipoint fold

Can you guess? The multipoint is also known as the 4-tip fold.

  1. Follow steps 1, 2, and 3 from the crown fold.
  2. Instead of folding the right corner straight across to the left, fold it so the corner is placed to left of the 3 tips.
  3. Now you have a multipoint fold.
  4. Tuck it away.

You should end up with something like this...

 multi point fold

Now you have 6 different ways to liven up your look with just a simple cloth piece. The nice thing about the pocket square is that you can, practically, use it any given time as long as you’re wearing a jacket.

Pro-tip: Don’t just go an skip the puff fold as it is shown here, it has many varieties whereby you can get slightly different looks, go try and experiment with it a bit. Also, don’t think too much about it when making, it has to look natural. Oh, and as a last note you should always use a pocket square that is perfectly ironed. Trying to fold one with wrinkles in it won’t work.

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