Pocket squares are a fun accessory, and they can quickly take a simple suit or jacket to the next level. They add color, accentuate other accessories and add a touch of sophistication to any outfit. There are three primary folds that every man should know.
- Straight Fold
- The Puff
- The Crown
Top Three Pocket Square Folds
Accessorize using these great classic pocket square folds. Some folds are simple, and some folds are more complex. Folds all come down to personal taste, so play around with what you like best.
The Straight Fold (Presidential Fold 0r TV Fold)
The Straight fold is one of the most classic and simple pocket square folds. This fold is perfect for formal events, because it’s simple and chic. The desired outcome of this look is a slim rectangle popping out of the top of your pocket.
For one-sided pocket squares, start with the pattern down so it faces outwards. If your pocket square is dual-sided, lay it however you would like.
Start with your pocket square flat on the table. Fold the left side of your pocket square about 2/3 of the way towards the right. Take the right side and match it up with the new, folded left hand side. Once you’ve done that, fold it once more in half from the bottom to top, but not all the way. You want to make sure to leave just a little space to show the edges. Depending on how deep your pocket is, you might need to fold up the bottom slightly more. This extra fold will help eliminate the pocket square from rising up or bunching too much.
The Puff is a very casual and simple fold. The final look of this fold is to have a puff of fabric coming out of your pocket.
Start with the pocket square flat on a table with the pattern facing upwards. Pinch the middle of the pocket square, allowing it to create its own folds. While still pinching the square in one hand, gather the dangling fabric into your other hand. Let go of your pinch and flip the pocket square upside-down. Gather the ends to place in your pocket. We like to fold the ends flat so it is easier to place in the pocket. Feel free to play with this fold when it’s in your pocket to create the desired “puffiness.” This look is meant to be casual, and can still come out great when it’s uneven.
The Crown is a more complex fold and has a very formal look. This look gets its name from the three or four tips of the square that will show out of the top of the pocket.
Start with the pocket square out on a flat surface again, making it look like a diamond shape with the pattern facing down. Fold the bottom corner to the top corner but overlapping slightly to make two tips. To make the third tip, fold the left side in on a slight diagonal so it lines up with the other tips. With the remaining corner, you can either fold it straight to the left to create a base, like we did in picture A. Or you can create a fourth tip, like picture B, by folding the right side corner to line up with the top. Either way, fold the sides inward to create a rectangular shape. This makes it easier to place the bottom into the pocket and have just the tips showing out of the top. This is a fold that might take some practice to make it perfect, but will look great when you do.
Other Great Pocket Square Folds
This fold is like the classic straight fold, but flipped upside down! Instead of having the straight hemmed edge at the top, this fold highlights all the work you’ve done. The softer folds of the fabric make this style look similar to the puff.
The Upside-Down Puff
As its name implies, this pocket square fold takes the puff and flips it upside down. This look can also be interpreted as a Crown Fold because it features three to four points upwards. This is going to be a more casual version of the crown because it will be less rigid and much more playful.
The Winged Puff
This is another classic fold but with a twist. Lay the pocket square out flat in front of you like a diamond, with the pattern facing downwards. Take the top corner and fold it to the bottom. Next, take the left and right corners and fold them downwards to meet the other corners at the bottom, making a smaller diamond shape. To finish the look off, fold the left, right and bottom corners inwards to create a rectangular box at the bottom. This bottom piece is what fits into your pocket! This look leaves the top facing outwards showing the two different sides you folded.
Pocket Square Guidelines
Pocket squares differ in both size and quality. You might need to play around with the fold slightly to make it work best in your pocket. Larger pocket squares might need a few extra steps to make the perfect fold.
Remember practice makes perfect. Some folds are more complex than others. You may also decide you like some folds over others. Continue to play with folds to get the perfect look for your outfit and occasion. Don’t be afraid to take risks!
Pocket squares are a great way to coordinate colors and patterns in your outfit. Don’t make things match up exactly, as it can show a lack of sophistication and ingenuity. Instead, use the patterns to coordinate an overall theme. You can match stripes with similar stripes or even plaid. If you decide to focus on color, use a tie as your inspiration, then pair with a fun pocket square with at least one matching color. For example, this teal colored tie has a slight red line through it, which pairs nicely with the red outline of the pocket square. Your outfit doesn’t have to just be limited to ties and pocket squares. You can use them as inspiration for other great accessories such as cufflinks or lapel flowers!
Experiment, Experiment, Experiment!
Pocket squares are supposed to be fun yet formal. Get creative and try new folds with different looks. Try making up your own fold! Try experimenting with colors and using complementary colors to pull the looks together. Not all shades of the same color will have the same effect. Find what works best for your accessories.
Remember, pocket square folds and colors are all about personal style. Wear what you feel comfortable in, regardless of what the “rules” say you should do. If you’re still not sure where to start, our pocket squares are included as part of the Random Dapper Subscription package, here to help you put accessories together.