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Pocket Square 101: A Starter’s Guide to Pocket Square

The smallest things often make the biggest difference. This is especially true when it comes to grooming and dressing. Here at GvS we strive for perfection and consider this article as your pocket square 101 class.

The history of handkerchief dates back several centuries, in fact handkerchiefs came into existence several centuries before modern suits appeared. But we’re not here to discuss history (yeah, let it go, exhale…). However, the pocket square became an essential for the modern man in comparatively recent times. From Presidents to movie stars alike adopted this tiny, yet classy addition in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Cotton, linen, wool and silk are among most common fabrics that come in plain, printed or patterned design. The appropriate pocket square has the power to pull an average suit into a whole new dimension of versatility. So how do you rock this tiny piece of cloth you ask?

Never Match

This may contradict with your preexisting notion for pocket squares but the general rule of thumb for pocket square is to NEVER, EVER match your pocket square with your tie. So steer clear when you see those tie and pocket square combos that come together in their shiny little boxes.

Compliment Tie and Pocket Square

Pocket square is meant to compliment your tie and not to match. By complimenting color and/or pattern of your tie and pocket square you will create some element of interest. You won’t appear blunt rather you’d appear as a vibrant, fashionable man.

Be Creative

You can be as creative as you want when it comes to picking complimentary tie and pocket square. While your possible combinations are virtually endless, it never hurts to have a small personal stocking of pocket squares. You can pick a pocket square with similar pattern as your tie but go with complimentary color.  For example, if your tie comes in light color with a slight hint of royal blue, you can never go wrong with a plain royal blue pocket square.

(Or if you want to play safe…)

While the choices are endless, you can reflect your personality and taste for fashion by picking the right combination. However, if you’re not confident with mix and matching, consider plain, and solid pocket squares without any pattern. A white pocket square can never go wrong, no matter what tie you wear. If you’re wearing a neutral tie, go with a complimenting solid pocket square. If you choose to wear patterned tie, you can pick the same pattern but preferably different size, and of course, complimenting colors.

Fold it Right!

The most common fabrics for pocket squares are cotton and linen. Since both cotton and linen hold nicely and can be tucked easily, go with the traditional square fold. Square folds are more traditional and conservative. If you’re feeling a little adventurous and/or have a silk or woolen pocket square, try the puff pocket square. Puff pocket folds project both confidence and more contemporary approach than traditional square folds.

Hope this article will set you off on the right foot with pocket squares. Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us. Feel free to add to our list in the comment section.