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How to Properly Select and Fold Your Pocket Square

Posted by Craig Schroeder on

Pocket squares are the ideal finishing touch to any outfit, an accessory that drastically changes how you look. It adds a bit of character and style, completing any and every suit you put together. Unfortunately, it also holds the designation of being one of the more neglected pieces in fashion. But like they say, one man’s trash is another man's treasure, and because it's overlooked, it gives opportunistic men a chance to take advantage of an underappreciated accessory.

But having no pocket square isn’t as bad as not knowing how to fold yours properly. So with help from the expert tailors at Commonwealth Proper, we’ll show you how to correctly choose and fold your pocket square to help your outfit stand out — in a good way.

Not Every Pocket Square Fits With Every Outfit

The first tip you must remember is that not every pocket fold fits every outfit. What does this mean? It means that you’ll have to learn a few different designs based on your suit of choice. Certain types of folds add character or emphasize patterns on the suit jacket in your outfit. Others are simplistic and work well to add touch to a more complicated piece. Just remember not to fall in love with one pocket square fold and stick with it no matter what you wear.

Pocket Square Materials Impact the Way They’re Folded

Pocket squares come in a collection of quality materials, especially when you get these accessories from a quality tailor shop. Pocket squares can be cotton, silk, linen, wool, or blends of these materials. There are so many choices, but each option affects the type of fold you can do. More precise folds will require a stiffer fabric and can hold the design. Organic and plush folds require looser and softer materials. Understanding this is crucial to finding the right design.

Emphasize the Pattern on Your Pocket Square

What good is a pattern if it's hidden in your pocket? Pocket squares with colorful or intricate designs deserve the time of day, so make sure your fold gets the job done. Distinguish your folds between ones that emphasize centralized patterns and ones with detailed edges. Folds that primarily show off the pattern can turn a simple outfit into something with a bit more flare.

A Few Ways to Fold Your Pocket Square

Now it's time to get into the nitty-gritty. There are many ways to fold your pocket square, but you can start with some of the more useful and versatile options. We’ll break down square, triangle, winged puff, and stairs folds and how you can maximize them depending on the outfit.

A Square Fold

The square fold, also known as the classic fold, is traditional and meant for more formal events. It’s usually made from stiff linen or cotton and is relatively easy to fold:

  • Lay the pocket square on a flat surface.
  • Fold it into a rectangle.
  • Use another middle fold to make it into a square.
  • Fold it in two once more.
  • Place it in your pocket and use the folded edges for a formal look.

A Triangle Fold

Also known as the one-point fold, triangle folds are a unique twist on the classic fold and work well with cotton or linen. It folds as such:

  • Place your pocket square on a flat surface.
  • Twist it facing diagonally.
  • Fold it into the shape of a triangle.
  • Fold the left side of the triangle toward the center, but don't completely cover it.
  • Fold the right side toward the center of the square.
  • Flip the fold onto the other side and fold the remaining fabric inward.
  • Tuck in the bottom half, so the fold fits within your pocket.

A Winged Puff Fold

Winged puff folds are a twist on the triangle fold, and it looks great with most fabrics. With the right style, you can use winged puff folds during the day or for your nighttime adventures.

  • Place your pocket square on a flat surface.
  • Turn your square over diagonally.
  • Fold it into a triangle facing downwards.
  • Fold the left corner towards the bottom middle corner
  • Then fold the right corner towards the bottom middle corner, creating a four-sided figure.
  • The left and right corners toward the center (exactly like you did in the previous steps) and tuck the bottom into the pocket.

The Stairs Fold

Want a challenging but artistic fold? Stair folds require a bit of patience and flexibility, but they are a great way to stand out from the crowd of other traditional folds.

  • Place your pocket square on a flat surface.
  • Turn your square over diagonally.
  • Fold it into a triangle facing downwards.
  • Fold the top part of the triangle (the flap facing downwards) to create a ripple effect.
  • Repeat the same step to create a second ripple effect.
  • Fold the triangle over on its side to create a smaller triangle while holding the ripples in place.
  • Turn the triangle over to where the ripples are facing the right-hand side.
  • Tuck in the left side towards the center (it should end right before the ripples).
  • Tuck the right-hand side towards the center.

Elegance Extends to Every Piece of Your Suit — Let Commonwealth Proper Show You How It’s Done

The best part about elegant menswear is that every piece matters. From pocket squares to ties, everything has its place, and when it's not where it should be, you’ll notice the difference. For some men, that’s a hassle. But for others, it’s a chance to take your look to new heights.

Commonwealth Proper is here for the latter. We serve men who want to look and feel the best, starting with their pocket squares and all the way to the clothes they choose for their wardrobes. We don’t just call ourselves the best bespoke tailor in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC, for show. We genuinely believe it. Let your suit shine with the proper pocket square and materials from Commonwealth Proper, and learn to value the little things that make every outfit special.

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