The pocket square has a long and venerable history, evolving through the centuries from scented handkerchiefs and elaborate status symbols to become the modern style icon it is today.
Handkerchiefs were a functional part of a man’s outfit until disposable tissues became the norm in the 20th century, after which these fabric squares purely decorative (though still useful in an emergency).
For the modern man, pocket squares are the key to putting personality into an outfit. Take your everyday work suit and introduce a bright block colour or print that complements or matches your tie, and you immediately lift the overall look to be something much more stylish and suave.
For successful coordination, take inspiration from the suit itself; the lining, thread colour, buttons – any detail can provide the foundation for your colour palette. The colour of the suit fabric itself is also an essential component to consider, naturally, though this shouldn’t cause any extra work unless it’s a particularly bright or unusual hue.
A patterned pocket square can introduce colour without going too bold with a single shade, making it easier to match with a range of different looks. It can also help avoid that matchy-matchy effect. An exactly matching tie and pocket square should also generally be avoided in favour of complementing colours and patterns.
Once you’ve got the style of pocket square nailed down, the next question is how it should be folded. There’s a whole range of possible options involving varying numbers of points, twists, and bunches, but for any modern look it really comes down to three.
Flat – As the name suggests, this style is just a simple fold that gives you a clean, flat line, essential for black tie looks, and a good general option for a sharper and more understated look.
Point – This could be a single point or a double point, a good all-round option for formal looks or smart casual looks. Many pocket square designs also feature decorative edges that lend themselves perfectly to this style of fold.
Puff – This is ideal for a smart casual look, as it basically involves gathering the pocket square into a bunch for a relaxed style. It retains all of the suave while looking effortless.
Check out the collection of pocket squares at Suit Direct here.