How to Fold a Pocket Square: 5 Ways to Add Flair to Your Fit

A pocket square inside the pocket of a suit jacket.

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You know the importance of tying a tie. You might even know how to tie a bowtie. However, do you know how to fold a pocket square?

A pocket square is a stylish accessory that can elevate your outfit. It may be a small part of your whole look, but how you fold it can make a lot of difference. 

If you’re new to all this, don’t sweat — it’s easier than you think. You can learn some simple folding techniques in time for your next event.

What is a Pocket Square?

A pocket square is a classic men’s accessory and a perfect way to dress up an outfit. It is a small fabric folded and inserted into a jacket’s breast pocket. Small but impactful, it adds a touch of sophistication to formal and semi-formal wear.

Pocket squares are typically made of silk, cotton or linen. They come in a wide array of colors and patterns, allowing you to express your style. 

A close up of a man's dotted navy blue pocket square

Pocket Square Tips

You have a lot of freedom when wearing these elegant accessories. However, there are some tips you can follow to help you create the best look.

  • When choosing a pocket square, ensure that the colors complement your tie. The two don’t necessarily need to match. Some might recommend it, but it’s an outdated style. You should instead match your pocket square with one of the secondary colors of your tie or vice versa.
  • Choose a fabric that is at least 16 x 16 inches in size. Otherwise, your pocket square fold might not be visible from your pocket at all.
  • Don’t go for too many patterns. If your pocket square is patterned, don’t wear a patterned suit and tie. Leave at least one article of clothing in a flat color to make your pocket square stand out.
  • You should match the fold style with the formality of the event. A classic, subdued fold will better suit formal or business events. Meanwhile, more playful styles can be better for social events.
A close up showing a man's pocket square in a presidential fold

How to Fold a Pocket Square

Now, here comes the fun part. Here are some of the most common pocket square folds you can master:

1. Presidential Fold

The presidential or square fold is perhaps the simplest one you can do. It’s a great fold for when you’re going to a business or black tie event. You can go for this fold if you’re aiming for a formal, elegant look. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place your fabric unfolded on a flat surface.
  2. Fold the fabric in half vertically. 
  3. Fold the bottom side up depending on the depth of your breast pocket. There should be at least a fourth of an inch of fabric visible once you place it in.

2. One Point Fold

Another simple yet popular fold is the one-point fold. It is understated enough for businesswear but has a relaxed air that’s also good for casual wear. Follow these instructions to do this fold:

  1. Start by placing your unfolded fabric on a flat surface.
  2. Fold it in half in such a way that it creates a triangle.
  3. Position the triangle so that the widest side is at the bottom.
  4. Fold the left and right sides of the triangle inward until the width is the same as your pocket’s.
  5. Place the pocket square in your pocket point-side-up. The only visible part should be the triangle on top.

3. Two Point Fold

The two-point fold is a unique style that can help you stand out. It has more of a dressy, stylish flair rather than formal. It’s an easy fold that creates impact without going overboard. Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Lay out your fabric on a flat surface.
  2. Fold the fabric in half so that it forms a triangle. However, don’t make it a perfect fold. Fold it slightly askew so that there are two points on top.
  3. Position the widest side of the triangle at the bottom.
  4. Fold each side of the off-center triangle inward until it reaches the same width as your pocket.
  5. Insert the finished fold into your pocket until only the two-point triangle can be seen.

4. Scallop Fold

The scallop fold is stylish and sophisticated. It’s unique and detailed, but it’s quite easy to do. It’s a great choice for social celebrations like weddings or cocktail parties. You can get playful with more colorful and glossy fabrics for this fold. Here’s how to do the fold:

  1. Lay the unfolded fabric on a flat surface.
  2. Fold the pocket square diagonally to make a triangle shape. 
  3. Fold the fabric in half diagonally, creating a smaller triangle.
  4. Hold the triangle with the wide side up and the point at the bottom.
  5. Gently fold the upper left side inward with a slight downward angle.
  6. Do the same with the upper right side.
  7. Fold the bottom point backward.
  8. Gently insert the finished fold into your jacket’s breast pocket. Only the layered scallop shape at the top should be seen.

5. Puff Fold

The puff or casual fold has a playful and relaxed vibe to it. You can express yourself by using fun and uniquely patterned fabrics. Want to rock some paisley or polka dots? This is the fold for you. The puff fold is best for more casual events where style is at the forefront.

  1. Lay your fabric down flat.
  2. Carefully pick up the fabric by pinching it in the center.
  3. While still holding on to the center, slide your other hand from the top to almost the end to create a narrow “puff” shape.
  4. Now, fold the edges behind the puff.
  5. Insert the pocket square into your jacket pocket until only the round top of the puff is visible. 
  6. Don’t worry too much about making it look formal. It’s supposed to have a casual air. 
A close up of a man's red pocket square

Add Elegance to Your Ensemble

As menswear evolves to be increasingly casual, you can take steps to add sophistication and elegance to your outfits. Mastering different pocket square folds can help you stand out among the crowd. Whether going to a formal event or a social function, you can express yourself and your style with a pocket square.

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