How to Wear a Pocket Square: Pocket Square Guide

The pocket square, a quintessential suit accessory in men’s fashion, plays a pivotal role in enhancing and personalising your look. Understanding how to wear a pocket square can transform a standard suit into a statement of style and sophistication. Whether you’re aiming for a subtle touch of elegance or a bold splash of colour, the right pocket square can elevate your ensemble to new heights.

However, knowing how to wear a pocket square can often feel like a sartorial minefield. This article will explore how you can wear this elegant statement piece with style and aplomb.

Pocket Square Rules

Mastering how to wear a pocket square involves understanding some key rules that can help you make the most of this versatile accessory.

1. Coordination Over Matching

One of the most common mistakes is perfectly matching your pocket square with your bow tie or necktie. While it might seem like an easy solution, it’s much more stylish to coordinate rather than match. Choose a pocket square that complements the tie, perhaps by selecting a secondary colour from the tie as the main colour of the pocket square. This subtle coordination adds depth and sophistication to your look.

2. Patterns and Colours

When it comes to patterns and colours, balance is crucial. Avoid overdoing it with bold patterns if your tie or suit already features a strong design. If you’re wearing a patterned tie, opt for a solid or subtly patterned pocket square, and vice versa. This rule helps to ensure your ensemble remains elegant and not overly busy.

3. Fabric Choices

The fabric of your pocket square can dramatically change the look and feel of your outfit. Here are some popular options:

  • Silk: Perfect for formal occasions, silk pocket squares add a touch of luxury and sheen.
    Cotton: Ideal for more casual settings, cotton is versatile and easy to fold into various shapes.
    Linen: A great choice for summer suits, linen offers a relaxed yet refined look.
    Wool: Best for colder months, wool pocket squares provide texture and warmth.

4. The Timeless White Pocket Square

A plain white pocket square is a staple that every man should own. Its versatility and timelessness make it suitable for almost any occasion, from formal events to casual outings. The white pocket square, often made from cotton or linen, can be folded in numerous ways to fit the mood and formality of the event. It’s the perfect go-to accessory when in doubt.
By following these pocket square rules, you can confidently add this understated yet impactful suit accessory to your outfit. Remember, it’s all about balance and coordination when it comes to making a statement with your pocket square.

How to Fold Your Pocket Square

Knowing the different ways to fold a pocket square can significantly enhance your style. Here are step-by-step instructions for four classic folds:

A. The Square Fold

Simple and classic; perfect for formal occasions.

  • Start by laying your pocket square flat on a clean surface.
    Fold the pocket square in half horizontally.
    Fold it in half vertically, creating a smaller square.
    Adjust the fold to fit the width of your jacket pocket.
    Place the folded pocket square into your pocket with the edges facing up. Adjust until it sits flat and even.

B. The Triangle Fold

Adds a touch of sophistication without being overly flashy.

  • Begin with the pocket square laid flat.
    Fold it in half diagonally to form a triangle.
    ring the two corners at the base of the triangle towards the top corner, but not all the way.
    Adjust the fold to match the width of your pocket.
    Place the folded square into your pocket with the single point facing up.

C. The Stairs Fold

For those who want to showcase their creativity.

  • Lay the pocket square flat.
    Fold the pocket square in a zigzag pattern, creating multiple layers.
    Fold the pocket square in half horizontally, maintaining the zigzag.
    Adjust the layers to resemble a staircase.
    Place the pocket square into your pocket with the stair steps facing up and adjust until the layers are evenly spread out.

D. The Three-Point Fold

A stylish choice for semi-formal and casual events.

  • Start with the pocket square laid flat.
    Fold it in half diagonally to form a triangle.
    Bring both corners at the base towards the top, slightly offset from the centre to create three points.
    Fold the sides inwards to match the width of your pocket.
    Place the folded pocket square into your pocket with the three points facing up.

These different ways to fold a pocket square allow you to adapt your style to various occasions, from formal events to casual outings. Each fold adds a unique flair to your outfit, ensuring you look polished and sophisticated.

When to Wear a Pocket Square

A pocket square is a versatile accessory that can elevate your look for various occasions. Understanding when and how to wear a pocket square ensures you present yourself with style and confidence.

1. Formal Events

For weddings, black-tie events, and other formal gatherings, a pocket square is an essential accessory. It adds a touch of refinement and completes the overall look. Here are some tips for formal events:

Conservative Approach: Opt for a solid colour, typically white or a subtle shade that complements your suit. The Square Fold is a classic choice, providing a clean and elegant appearance.
Fabric Choice: Silk is the preferred fabric for formal events due to its luxurious sheen and smooth texture.
Coordination: Ensure your pocket square coordinates with your tie or bow tie, but avoid exact matching to maintain a sophisticated look.

2. Professional Settings

In professional and business settings, a pocket square can enhance your outfit without being overly flashy. Here are some guidelines:

Subtle Elegance: Choose muted colours and simple patterns that add a touch of style without drawing too much attention.
Classic Folds: The Triangle Fold or Square Fold are ideal for professional environments. They offer a polished look that conveys confidence and attention to detail.
Fabric Choice: Cotton or linen pocket squares are excellent choices for the office, providing a crisp and clean look.

3. Casual Gatherings

For casual events, you have more freedom to experiment with colours, patterns, and folds. This is your opportunity to express your personality and creativity.

Bold and Playful: Don’t be afraid to use bright colours and bold patterns. They can add a fun and playful element to your casual outfits.
Creative Folds: The Stairs Fold or Three-Point Fold are perfect for casual settings, showcasing your unique style and creativity.
Mix and Match: Feel free to mix different fabrics and textures, such as a linen pocket square with a tweed blazer. Just ensure that your overall look remains cohesive.

By understanding when to wear a pocket square and choosing the right fold, colour, and fabric for each occasion, you can enhance your style and make a lasting impression. Whether formal, professional, casual, or everyday wear, a well-chosen pocket square is the perfect accessory to complete your Savile Row shirt, made-to-measure trousers, and overall look.

Complement Your Bespoke Suits With Pocket Squares

By mastering the different ways to fold a pocket square and understanding when to wear it, you can effortlessly enhance your look for any occasion. Whether you prefer a classic square fold for formal events or a creative three-point fold for casual outings, the right pocket square can make all the difference.
At Hidalgo Brothers, we pride ourselves on crafting bespoke suits that reflect your unique style and personality. Our expert tailors are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality garments, ensuring you always look your best.
Are you ready to elevate your style with bespoke tailoring and the perfect pocket square? Contact us for a personalised consultation and let our experienced tailors help you create a look that is truly your own.

Common Questions:

What are the ways to fold pocket squares?

There are four common ways to fold: The square fold, the triangle fold, the stairs fold and the three-point fold.


What is the correct way to wear a pocket square at weddings and formal events?

We suggest you go wear a solid colour and use a square fold for such circumstances.