How To Properly Rock A Pocket Square

by Brett & Kate McKay on June 15, 2008 · 86 comments

in Accessories, Dress & Grooming

For the past four decades, if American men regarded the breast pocket on their suit at all, it was as an extra place to store sunglasses or business cards. Some men don’t even undo the stitching in the pocket that comes with a new suit.

However, men are once again rediscovering the art of sporting a pocket square. Peyton Manning rocks a pocket square with his suit, as well as George Clooney and Diddy. Hell, even Saddam Hussein rocked a pocket square when he was on trial–a man should never defend his war crimes without one.

The pocket square is a small accessory that when added to an outfit, allows men to express themselves and vary their look without having to buy a whole bunch of different suits. It can add a bit of interest to your appearance without it looking like you’re trying to hard.

The History of the Pocket Square

The origin of the pocket square goes all the way back to the ancient Greeks. Wealthy Greeks carried around perfumed hankies as early as 500 B.C. English and French noblemen carried perfumed and embroidered hankies in order to cover their noses from the stench of the streets and other people.

In the early 1900′s, a dapper gentleman would never leave the house without a pocket square tucked neatly into his suit’s breast pocket. Yet by the latter half of that century, the pocket square began to go the way of the hat. It’s high time we bring both back.

Pocket Square Guidelines

Don’t leave your suit naked. Trent Bridges, a friend of mine at law school, refers to suits without pocket squares as “naked suits.” He argues that a suit just doesn’t look complete without one. I agree. The addition of a pocket square adds some finishing panache to a good suit. So, the first guideline of pocket square usage is to always wear one when you wear a suit or sport coat. It just looks better.

Color co-ordinating. A pocket square can be patterned or solid. The general guideline is that your pocket square color should compliment some color on your tie. So, if your tie has a bit of red, rock a solid red pocket square or a patterned pocket square with some red in it. However, avoid matching the colors exactly. It looks like you’re trying too hard (so never ever buy a tie/pocket square set at your local department store). A white pocket square can be worn with any color tie, making this color handkerchief an essential part of every man’s collection.

How to fold a pocket square

You have several options on how to fold your pocket square. Some are super simple and others are complex. It all comes down to personal taste. In this post, we’ll discuss three simple folds that every man should master. I’m proud to present the Art of Manliness’ very first video which features my ugly mug demonstrating how to fold them. Below, you’ll find written directions.

The Straight Fold

The Straight Fold is the most simple of the pocket square folds. What you’ll end up with is a small rectangle peeking out of your suit pocket. Here’s one way how to fold it:

  1. Lay your pocket square flat.
  2. Bring the left side to right side
  3. Bring the bottom towards the top, but don’t fold it all the way.
  4. Fold the fabric in thirds horizontally so that it will fit your suit pocket.

The One Corner Fold

With the one corner fold, you’ll have a small peak of fabric coming out your pocket. This one is probably my favorite of the three. Here’s how to fold it:

  1. Lay your pocket square on a flat surface, with one corner facing up and one corner facing down so it looks like you have a baseball diamond in front of you.
  2. Bring the bottom point to the top point so that you create a triangle.
  3. Bring the left corner of the triangle to the right corner, and the right corner to the left corner. You should end up with a long rectangle with a point at the top. It looks sort of like a fence slat.
  4. Fold the bottom towards the top, but not all the way.
  5. Place it in your suit. Adjust until you get the desired amount of point coming out of the pocket.

The Puff Fold

The Puff Fold is probably the simplest of the folds. The desired result is to have a small puff of fabric coming out your suit pocket. Here’s how to fold it.

  1. Lay the pocket square flat.
  2. Pinch the middle of the fabric, allowing the folds to come in naturally.
  3. With one hand firmly holding the pocket square, use your other hand to gently gather it together.
  4. Now gracefully gather up the bottom of the pocket square.
  5. Place it in your suit. Fiddle with it until you get the desired puffiness.

{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

1 R June 16, 2008 at 5:26 am

Any article of clothing that doesn’t serve a purpose is pretty far from manly. The pocket square is a perfect example.

Handkerchief’s have a purpose, so do shoes, socks, suit jackets, hats, watches, gloves, etc.

Ties are a borderline case, they served a purpose until relatively recent, so we can treat it like a pinky toe… evolution just hasn’t quite caught up with it yet.

Wearing articles of clothing purely for aesthetic purposes, even if they have no material benefit is really an feminine thing. It’s hardly masculine.

Pocket squares served a purpose at one point, but those days are long gone.

I love the site, and read it daily… but couldn’t help but laugh at this one.

2 Marshall June 16, 2008 at 5:50 am

R, I get what you’re saying, but I beg to differ: attire can be applied in a masculine fashion, just like it can be applied incorrectly (resulting in a laughable non-manly appearance).

Just ‘cuz it doesn’t serve a purpose doesn’t mean it isn’t manly — ever heard of a Cummerbund? My understanding is that the original use was to catch crumbs as men ate at formal dinners. Now it’s just for looks. Still unmanly? Not to thousands of guys who still wear them.

Clearly it’s a matter of opinion.

The manly angle here is how to do it *correctly* so you don’t look like a buffoon. In closing, I leave you with this evidence of a pocket square’s manliness:

3 Nesagwa June 16, 2008 at 6:53 am

Is it bad manners to actually use these as handkerchiefs (should a nasal emergency present itself)?

Always kind of wondered about that.

4 Andrew June 16, 2008 at 7:19 am

R, I can’t understand your point. If it is only “manly” to wear things that are functional, guys everywhere should be walking around in jumpsuits and steel toed tennis shoes. A suit, useless. A college class ring, useless. A t-shirt with any logo or slogan, unmanly. Your attempt to define something as unmanly because women have their own version is pretty silly.

5 Phil June 16, 2008 at 7:35 am

Carry two; one in your pants pocket to use and the pocket square for looks.
I prefer to starch the hell out of mine, and then fold it with multiple points. It will stay folded and pointed like that for many months if you don’t abuse your jacket.

6 Novel June 16, 2008 at 7:40 am

Do any of the three styles of folds have a more appropriate situation for use? Is one more formal than the others? Is one for dinner, one for business? What’s the etiquette on that?

7 Mike Wall June 16, 2008 at 9:30 am

The pocket square’s presence on a well dressed man is a signal that he is ready at a moments notice to “whip it out” and come to the aid of a lady, or gentleman, in need of a hanky. It is a courtesy and not simply for aesthetics. The chivalrous man can seize the perfect opportunity to impress and accomodate IF he is prepared. All the other comments about meaninglessness are pure bunk and I have a lovely prize to prove it!

8 Jordan June 16, 2008 at 11:45 am

R, to say that an article of clothing or accessory that does not serve a specific purpose is not manly is pretty ridiculous. If that were the case, men in warm enough climates would only be wearing underwear…or perhaps nothing at all.

Part of being a man is looking presentable, and tradition dictates what articles of clothing may be worn…not pure functionality. Pocket squares look good, and are as legitimate as any other accessory. In fact, a handkerchief is a perfectly acceptable pocket square…there you go; functional AND aesthetically pleasing.

9 Jordan June 16, 2008 at 11:48 am

@Novel: Generally speaking, any style is acceptable. However, there are some differing schools of thought on pocket squares and I, personally, am of the school of thought (and no, I’m not alone on this) that the square fold is the only acceptable option no matter the occasion. This is mostly personal preference (for example, I don’t mind other people wearing other styles) but for me, a square fold is the only pocket square that will ever be in my suits. Choose the style you like, and go for it.

10 Jordan June 16, 2008 at 11:50 am

@Nesagwa: you may use it as a handkerchief, (which is one reason to only use a white cotton pocket square instead of flamboyant designs), but once used as a handkerchief it is typically not replaced into the suit as a pocket square until it has been laundered.

11 LtCook June 16, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Good article. I think that a man should look his best, and the pocket square really adds a bit of class.

Good job with the YouTube video too, that will for sure help bring some people to the site. Make some more!

12 Novel June 16, 2008 at 5:09 pm

A pocket square should be separate from a handkerchief.
If a gentleman chooses to wear a pocket square, he should also carry two handkerchiefs. One for himself and another for a lady.

13 mr classic June 16, 2008 at 10:52 pm

I agree with your law school friend that suits without pocket squares look naked.

As far as wearing which fold when goes: a straight fold is never wrong, since it’s really subtle. If you worry about appropriateness, just use this one.

The one point and puff folds are also not very flamboyent so they can be worn most of the time. If you want to get really festive a multiple point fold looks nice, you just pinch the middle, wrap your other hand around and slowly push downwards. It’s kind of like an upsidedown puff fold and will look pretty natural.

If you want more defined points, place the square flat like a diamond, fold the bottom tip up to the top one, then fold the left tip up towards the right side (about half way) and the right tip up towards the left which should give you three points.

14 Alex V June 17, 2008 at 6:01 am

Ummm – please tell me that picture of James Bond was meant to be used sarcastically…

15 Brett June 17, 2008 at 6:10 am

Alex- What picture of James Bond are you talking about? That’s Gary Cooper, star of such films like Pride of the Yankees and High Noon.

16 Danny June 17, 2008 at 8:53 am

While getting outfitted for a wedding a 2 years ago, I was introduced to the pocket square. I felt like it was an easy way to stand out above and beyond the average suit (much like suspenders). It allows for you to show a little bit more of you in an otherwise cookie cutter setting. I prefer the three stair pocket square ( When I bought the suit, the store set me up with two squares set up in a 4 stair arrangement with alternating colors…its a shame it lasted about 45 seconds before I destroyed it while trying out how to do it.

With that said, I think there are times for pocket squares (at least certain colors). I removed my ice blue square during my grandmother’s funeral, and would probably feel a bit weird wearing it to a job interview.

17 Tyler June 17, 2008 at 11:02 am

Important Point:

The pocket square should always (with the exception of the straight fold) be angled towards the LEFT shoulder. Notice in the picture of the corner fold, as well as the titular picture of this post, the point of the square is pointed to the left shoulder. The idea is it makes your shoulders look broader. Pointing the pocket square inward looks weak and weird.

18 Lau June 17, 2008 at 2:21 pm

@ Alex V – If you think a picture of James Bond is a joke, then you’re probably at the wrong website. Mr. Bond is probably the most accessible example of the kind of manly style that’s being brought back, and if he’s ridiculous to you, then there’s not going to be much for you here.

Besides, that wasn’t even James bond. It was a picture of Daniel Craig at a movie premiere, dressed as a gentleman should for an important occasion.

19 Eddie C. June 17, 2008 at 5:40 pm

While I can get behind you on hats and pocket squares (can a guy say dashing? Fuck it, I’m saying it’s dashing), I just can’t get behind the 3-piece suit. Except for a tuxedo, because cummerbunds are dumb.

20 Lau June 17, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Eddie, Where would you use a pocket square besides with a 3-piece suit? If I’m not mistaken the three pieces are: jacket, waistcoat (or vest), and trousers. A cummerbund is a totally separate piece.
I agree that it’s dumb.

21 mr classic June 18, 2008 at 1:08 am

@ Lau: “Where would you use a pocket square besides with a 3-piece suit?”

With a two piece suit?

22 Lau June 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm

Heh, good call.

23 Dave June 19, 2008 at 1:12 am

That’s not a very good picture of a cumberbund. It’s supposed to be worn with a tuxedo (i.e. with a tuxedo, which is then not intended to be worn closed). The guy on the photo looks weird.

Brett – Alex V was talking about the picture Marshall put in his comment. I think D. Craig looks very smart like that.

24 Andrew June 19, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Great post and video! I had the misfortune of going to a Men’s Warehouse recently to rent a tuxedo and they attempted to sell me a $6 dollar “pocket square” that was four pointed pieces of fabric tacked to a piece of plastic. :P Needless, to say my business went elsewhere.

Brett, while you definitely don’t have an ugly mug, what’s with the lack of a dimple in your tie?

25 Steve Dogiakos June 21, 2008 at 1:58 pm

This article came out in time! I was in attendance at the Montana GOP Convention this weekend and had to wear suits all weekend. I rocked the pocket square all weekend and got a lot of positive comments!


26 Kevin Conder July 1, 2008 at 12:40 pm

So what’s the proper care and maintenance of a silk pocket square? I have one that I’ve worn several times and it has many creases. I don’t want to directly iron silk. What do I do?

I’m a fan of the two point fold:

27 Tim B July 28, 2008 at 2:55 am

For those men who choose a 3-piece suit, besides a hat and pocket square as accessories, it is the most ideal clothing for a pocket watch too, which I enjoy because sometimes I don’t like wearing my wrist watch when wearing cufflinks.

As far as cumberbunds go, I wouldn’t say that I am fan, but they also serve(d) a purpose as well. One, was to “catch” the crumbs of food while eating, but more importantly was style. Back when gentlemen dressed up in formal evening attire, the dress codes were much more diverse…ie, White Tie, Black Tie, etc. as well as the time of year that the gentleman was dressing up at. A cumberbund is worn during late spring throuh early fall season, with a 1-2 button tuxedo jacket; then a vest should be worn with a tuxedo the remaining parts of the year, with a 1-3 button tuxedo jacket.

28 closetmess August 6, 2008 at 6:58 pm

I like the sturdy white linen handkerchief as a “versatile” pocket square. I rock the TV fold with it, and then if it is needed if I spill something or a lady friend is in need, it is equally functional as it is stylish. And doesn’t cost much to replace either!

29 Cooper August 21, 2008 at 12:30 pm

the ‘purpose’ of the square, or any kerchief, is to have on hand in the event that a lady begins to cry, and you can hand it to her to dry her tears. She says thank you, dabs, hands it back.

30 Baniz September 6, 2008 at 1:09 am

That guy in the picture is cool

31 J. B. September 14, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Kevin, on pressing your silk pocket square, don’t iron directly, rather use a pressing cloth — a clean cotton tea-towel (no terry cloth) or fabric diaper (also clean!) works well. Put the cloth over your pocket square and press gently with a low-heat iron. Not very manly, perhaps, but it’s what I was taught amd ot works

32 J.J. September 25, 2008 at 5:29 pm

A tip for those of you in a pinch:

A very manly pocket square can be made out of a pair of women’s panties. Apparently my grandfather has been doing this for years, but only told me about it this summer. Gross to think of being mere inches away from my grandmother’s underwear at times, but a great idea nonetheless.

33 L.G. October 9, 2008 at 5:24 am

Caring for your silk square:
Place it on the ironing surface, place a plain cotton fabric over it(one that is just thin enough to transfer heat through. Or, the best way–use a steamer. You can get a handheld steamer for around $20 if you don’t feel like going the industrial route.

A cumberbund, unlike a pocket square, should only be worn with a tux. Pocket squares can be worn with a one, two, or three button suit, two and three-piece suits, and can even look good with a sportcoat(if you are daring.)

As for making your own pocket square, drop into a fabric store. Besides getting the edges finished, it’s about that simple.

Carry a extra cotton square if you are going to be chivalrous. You should see the look a woman gives you when you hand her a silk pocket square to dab her eye. The look says, “You aren’t thinking clearly, are you?” Or she may just indulge you — and give you what you deserve by smearing your silk square with her mascara. If you want your square to be functional, use a cotton square. Unless you don’t mind ruining a $60++ silk square.

34 James A. October 12, 2008 at 7:19 pm

I think the pre-folded pocket squares are really nice. However I did not see any comments about them. Are they unmanly? I know the come in a variety of designs from a web site call

The prices were much better than regular handkerchiefs and they have custom colors. They will even match up your ties for you.

I have many of their items. But my question is, am I less than a man because I save time not folding, ironing and starching my pocket squares? What is your take on this matter?

James A.

35 Deedub October 16, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Nice article. Pocket squares set you apart, especially if they coordinate and not match your tie.

May I suggest collar stays for your shirt, sir? Details and all that. One poster said he wouldn’t feel comfortable with a pocket square going to a job interview. I respectfully disagree. On at least one occasion, I got the job because I was the best dressed. If all things are equal, your appearance will put you over the top!

36 S. Gray October 17, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Curious: For a tweed jacket with leather elbows, would one were a pocket square.
If so, I do not think that white silk (or faux) would do the trick..

37 Emilia October 25, 2008 at 9:19 pm

@S. Gray

I’m just a girl but I say that it depends on a few things:
-What color the suit is (which should also in someway influence…)
-The color of your shirt (and…)
-The color of your tie

They should all COMPLIMENT each other. A pocket square will look good with any suit, it just depends on whether you wear it well or not. Don’t try to MATCH everything, you don’t want to look goofy and monochromatic.

38 Teresa November 8, 2008 at 2:26 pm

Does anyone know where I can learn to tie a bow tie. My husband really needs the help. One website is selling a book on how to. However I need to know sooner than later. It seems like a nice book though. FYI it was on

39 Corey November 12, 2008 at 11:07 am

@R – Of course pocket squares have a purpose….Women like them, and we like women. Remember, a good-looking guy is an average guy who dresses well. Why not present yourself at your best?


40 midas November 16, 2008 at 9:16 pm

Can I wear a pocket square with a gold or silver buttoned navyblue Blazer?

41 Bush December 5, 2008 at 4:05 am

I think prefolded pocket squares are much better due to there large variety. For the man on the go, it takes less time to dress and therefore saves money.

42 Glenn December 18, 2008 at 11:44 am

Eddie C – without a waistcoat then if you are a GENTLEMAN you are unable to take off your jacket in public. Of course Gentlemen are few and far between these days.

43 Erik December 22, 2008 at 3:39 pm

In the good ole days if a Lady needed a handkerchief and you gave her your
good one(with a nice scent) . She kept it for the night. She usually cleaned
and pressed it and returned it to you next time you both met. Usually the
man’s handkerchief was monogramed to aid the Lady in returning it.

44 Travis January 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm

As Will Boehlke said in his blog “A Suitable Wardrobe”, it’s not acceptable to be insecure about when it’s OK to wear a pocket square. It’s always OK. If a man is wearing a jacket with an open breast pocket, the pocket should have a square in it.

A well dressed man should always have a pocket square, generally complimenting the colors of his outfit, but never repeating a pattern. A white linen or silk square (depending on the texture of the rest of our outfit) almost always looks stylish, and a good quality pocket square helps the wearer achieve that elegant look between flamboyant and plain.

A gentleman would not use a pocket square as a handkerchief and would never put it back in his pocket if he did. A second cotton handkerchief carried in an inside pocket can answer for any such functions.

45 David Valenta January 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Did you put your hat on by holding the pinch of the crown!!!


46 PocketSquareZ com February 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm

The is a new site that makes custom made bow ties. It is worth a look. Their slogan is “Have it your way!” However it still seems to be under construction.

47 KC March 3, 2009 at 9:31 pm

The cumberbund should also be worn with the pleat openings up. I have been told that this is so the gentleman can hold theater tickets in the pleats. The standard size pocket is too small to hold the larger format tickets and invitations that were customary in the times when going to the theater was considered a formal evening event.

Also, depending on the event, a gentleman should carry a handkerchief (or two) as well as wearing a pocket square. The square should never be given to anyone to use as a tear or nose wiper. That is why inexpensive cotton handkerchiefs are made. If attending a funeral or wedding, it is quite acceptable to carry a small packet of facial tissues as well. And do not ask, or expect, to have a used handkerchief returned. Thats just gross.

48 KC March 3, 2009 at 9:37 pm

P.S. The prefolded squares are acceptable. Just don’t forget to have them laundered. They will get dirty over time. So you might as well learn to make the folds yourself. The carded squares, IMHO, are like wearing a clip on tie. For an extremely lazy bastard or a man who doesn’t care what he looks like. If you have a suit coat with a strait line pocket you can probably get away with it. But, with the slash style of most suit breast pockets, its just too obvious that its there.

49 Wes March 6, 2009 at 11:12 am

I truely enjoy “The Art of Manliness” news letters , and after receiving my first one have passed them on to many of my friends and turned them on to it as well.
The video of the pocket square was a great one. You should use vedio for as many manliness lessons as you have time and energy for.
Keep up the good work.

50 James March 27, 2009 at 3:54 am

In response to K.C. Time is money! Their is nothing lazy about not spending minutes each day, therefore hours each month: folding, ironing and primping throughout the day or pinning up the pocket square to make it stay.

I think many of them are unique. I rather spend my time making a statement that sets my look apart from the rest.

51 dlee April 25, 2009 at 9:36 pm

For the square fold, how does one get it to stay in the pocket so that it continues to be ‘angled’ at the same angle of the suit pocket? Otherwise, it sits square while the line of the pocket is angled…

52 Panamahat April 28, 2009 at 11:06 am

Travis wrote:

As Will Boehlke said in his blog “A Suitable Wardrobe”, it’s not acceptable to be insecure about when it’s OK to wear a pocket square. It’s always OK. If a man is wearing a jacket with an open breast pocket, the pocket should have a square in it.

A well dressed man should always have a pocket square, generally complimenting the colors of his outfit, but never repeating a pattern. A white linen or silk square (depending on the texture of the rest of our outfit) almost always looks stylish, and a good quality pocket square helps the wearer achieve that elegant look between flamboyant and plain.

A gentleman would not use a pocket square as a handkerchief and would never put it back in his pocket if he did. A second cotton handkerchief carried in an inside pocket can answer for any such functions.
To which I would add: A true pocket square is only about half a big as a standard cotton handkerchief. This so that it doesn’t push out the breast pocket
as originally worn. Originally in this case being “as a complimentary accent and not as a formal addition to the ensemble. Thus: Place the pocket square fully opened upon a flat surface. With the first four fingers of the right hand, gather (pinch) the material in the center of the square, lift the square off the surface and allow to hang down. Now turn the hand palm up while continuing to allow the square to hang down. Now thrust the gathered end of the square into the breast pocket all the way to the bottom. Arrange the displayed ends of the square in a pleasing and nonchalant manner and voila!, your ensemble is complete.
Translated from “The Boulevardier” Henri Ruchard, Paris 1903

53 Jade June 22, 2009 at 2:02 pm

James, one plug for your business was sufficient, but four is just too much. Obviously you are not familiar with the underlying statements of Brett’s fine articles, in that taking those extra few minutes to add a touch of genuine personality to your appearance separates the gentleman from the guy wearing a clip-on tie. It is the reason why we choose the traditional wet shave over ta quick scraping with a 5-bladed vibrator.

Or, just think of all those precious minutes lost as you tend to such trivial matters as hygiene, while you could be making money. That’s the real motivator, isn’t it?

54 Mike West August 19, 2009 at 6:43 am

“without it looking like you’re trying to hard.” < — Consider the foregoing; I, myself, graduated from law school almost 20 years ago. A pocket square, much like a tie, can make a statement to your audience about yourself and your mission. That includes a general audience of people we may pass on the street, or a more targeted group such as a jury (of readers – for instance). Moreover, it bespeaks of your attention to detail, an important statement in every occupation. So too does editing speak to that commitment. While you may try to lend an impression with your clothing that you're "not trying to (sic) hard", that's never the proper message when your very job is communication by written word. Words and their proper useage can be the sharp point which will set us apart from the dullard, much like the proper use of a pocket square may.

55 D.B. November 6, 2009 at 9:14 pm

How do you fold a pocket square that looks like a rose in your pocket, and is this too feminine for a man? What do the different folds say about the wearer?

56 Brett Fassbind November 20, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Hey, Good article! What I really want to know though is where’d you get the tie you are wearing in the video? That is gorgeous.

57 PocketSquareZ com November 20, 2009 at 7:49 pm

The pocket square should never be given to anyone to use as a tear or nose wiper. They are strictly for show. The reversible, double sided ones we sell are custom made by us to your specification. Even though they can be worn in 3 different ways, they should never be used for wiping, only for showing.

58 colm o'k March 18, 2010 at 9:44 am

for what it’s worth i believe the old adage is one for showin’ and one for blowin’

59 JW April 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm

wearing a ring on any finger than a ring finger is perilously close to leaving the manly area.

60 Rodney Hampton April 4, 2010 at 11:42 am

I’m wearing a pocket square for my third mock trial today. I wanted a bit of panache since my opposing counsel is wearing cufflinks and I’m stuck with barrel cuffs right now.

Can’t wait to graduate. I take the bar next July.

Thanks Brett,


61 Jerry April 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Many of the respondents to this article seems to be like everyone else on today’s world – pushing their own opinions off as relevant and AUTHORITATIVE. But, opinions are like a**holes – at the “end of the day” they’re only relevant to the person who has to live with them.

I have worn pocket squares with my jackets and suits (two and three-piece) from High School through college (undergrad and two different grad bus schools), in my CPA Practice, as an International Financial Management Trainer – we’re talking 40 years here! I also visit high schools in my area to speak with High Schoolers about the importance of practicing sound personal personal budgeting/financial managenent so I am always in amotivational mode. Also, I am a BIG Guy (former college football player, 6′ 3″ and 238 #s) and the pocket squares help to lighten-up/”spruce-up” my appearance since I wear a lot of shades blue, gray and other dark suits and am before the public a great deal!

I have gotten nothing but COMPLIMENTS for DECADES from Clients, Seminar Attendees, Students, professional trainers, other athletes, Church Members, fraternity members, people in foreign countries, etc. on how my pocket squares give me a professional and well-groomed look!

So, for those who feel that pocket squares, as articles of good grooming, provide no function and are NOT manly, please go back to my “opinions are like a**holes” point at the beginning of my post and try to get their heads out of their own.

62 Robbins88 April 17, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Great tips….

63 Drail April 21, 2010 at 2:26 am

Hey just a quick question-
If you are wearing a black tux, white shirt, black bow tie and vest, is it acceptable to match your pocket square to your dates dress?

64 Willy May 10, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Great article… for those who think this is not “manly”… I always get compliments from the ladies about my folded pocket square ;-) …

65 dpmason May 11, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Pocket squares can really dress up a suit. Avoid the phony stitched down pocket squares, they make you look like a fool. A matched tie and pocket square can be rally nice looking but you must be extra careful that it is a good match to your suit. My favorite fold is with all four points (corners) of the square showing.

66 Michael Carper June 2, 2010 at 4:34 pm

I liked the video. Though I think a “bushier” puff fold is better. I guess if you want to play is semi-conservative, your method could work.
What I mean:

67 Robert June 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I was taught by my mother that a man never removes his jacket, never in front of a date and especially not in front of a client or superior. Her comment, which I have always lived by is…”if you leave the house wearing a suit, then wear a suit. Once you taken off the jacket you are wearing trousers with a dress shirt and tie which is never done.” This has served me well. To those that ponder when to wear a pocket square, I have never been denied a compliment when wearing a pocket square. Women love them and see you as a man who is attentive, detail oriented and impressive. Go for the square.

68 Bob June 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Robert, your mother is a wise person. My dad always wore pocket squares, cuff links and a hat. I didn’t for too many years, but now I can’t leave the house with out a hat and three-five days a week I wear a suit or a sport coat and tie. The square is once again becoming popular just as are hats. Thanks for the quick tutorial on “foldage”. Perhaps you show us other folds via youtube.


69 Bobby June 8, 2010 at 3:27 am

For years I have always worn a pocket square with my suits/sport coats. I use different folds depending on my mood. I think they make the suit look “finished”.

70 James June 11, 2010 at 2:32 am

If you have to wear something like a name tag, or something that clips onto the pocket like a security clearance, is it still acceptable to have a pocket square? I feel that it might look too out of place when there’s a piece of plastic hanging underneath it.

71 Dave June 12, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Always wear a pocket square instead of a tie whenever I can (and that’s almost always). Just a suit, open collar white shirt and a pocket square. Finishes off the “C-level” look and keeps me from having to wear a tie. Still formal enough for a business meeting and no change needed for drinks after work. Much better than a tie..especially here in the sunny, humid south!

72 Jeremy June 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Yeah, wonderful information, just want to say one thing,… the unintelligent fool who decided that a dark burghandy background with a midnight blue font should be summarily executed for their stupidity. Seriously, reading this page was both painful and infuriating.

73 A September 21, 2012 at 12:51 am

I don’t know who this “R” guy is, but anything that Frank Sinatra or FDR did is as manly as you can get. Even Peyton Manning wears one, and he’s the best player at the most important position in the most manly game in America. Pocket squares are classy, I wear one and you should too because it shows that you know your roots, and you show respect. It’s not about functionality, or else we wouldn’t wear suits anymore, its about class, and being the man that puts the bread on the table, his hat on the rack, and a square in his pocket. I mean,cigars would be gone if we didn’t stay true tothe manly essentials.

74 Tyler December 6, 2012 at 9:14 am

Does anyone have any advice on making the folds in a square stay flat? I’ve just started wearing them, but whenever I try to fold one, the silk just won’t stay in place, and it ends up looking like a mess.

75 Dan Olson December 29, 2012 at 1:33 pm

For those of you that don’t think the pocket square is manly or stylish, I direct you to this link of Daniel Craig in Skyfall:

76 Ed White January 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm

It ‘finishes’ a suit and should always be worn. Function? What function does a tie have? The pocket square needs no reason other than adornment and being a finishing detail. And details count.

77 David June 1, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Do you sell clip-on ties as well? Hahahahahahaha.

78 Professor August 25, 2013 at 7:24 am

The function of the square was for emergency use like you would a normal handkerchief. Granted, it’s better to have one or two hankies in your pocket at the ready (one for you, one for someone who might be ‘left defenseless’). But when all else fails, the pocket square is considered the gentleman’s ‘last defense’ and should be treated so: buy the nicest squares you can still afford to ‘sacrifice’. If one has been offered to someone in an emergency, never ask for, or accept one back.

79 hugh December 29, 2013 at 10:18 am

Funny. I came here to learn how to fold a pocket square that I’m planning to wear with my Scottish Kilt. Talk about pushing the boundaries of manliness!

Anyway, in an effort to avoid overmatching red accents (cufflinks and hose flashes), I purchased a white linen pocket square with a red edging rather than a solid red or predominantly red patterned square.

The problem is that most traditional folding styles cause the red edging and white center to appear as though I stuck a “Hello My Name is:” sticker in my pocket.

I’m going to try the “three point fold” that is not mentioned here in the hopes that people will presume that no sane person would fold up a “Hello My Name is:” sticker like origami and stick it in his pocket.

80 Joe DiBello February 26, 2014 at 9:15 am

Just as an aside.. A “Hello My Name Is” sticker should never go on the lapel on the pocket side of a coat or jacket.. it disappears when you’re shaking hands, defeating the purpose.
So, any worldly or aware person would never even think about the concern expressed above.

Never blame a tiger for having stripes. A man who thinks a pocket square is a useless and unmanly affectation simply shouldn’t wear one. Those of us who consider said square to be an appropriate fashion statement ought to relish the opportunity to express ourselves.

81 Ams April 13, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Great topic! I couldn’t agree with you more! More and more men should learn how to dress well, whatever look you’re going for, it’s the attention to detail that counts.

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