What’s in a Pocket Square?

Once a utilitarian piece of cloth but now a symbol of style and a signifier of a well-dressed man; this small but mighty fashion accessory is an age old gentleman’s trick to scoring a 10 out of 10, every single time. Any guesses to the item in question? Hint: it’s a little piece of cloth that packs a stylish punch. It is also not to be confused with a handkerchief although it often is. Bingo, we’re talking about the pocket square!

Today, thanks to the resurgence of sartorial styles and tasteful menswear, this little gem has returned full-forced. From editorial styling to red carpet events, it seems that men everywhere has once again started incorporating this dapper little accessory whenever a suit is worn. Here are a few essential things to know on what makes a pocket square, a pocket square.

The first is the obvious in that a pocket square is traditionally a square piece of cloth that when folded, fits neatly and ever-so beautifully in the top pocket of men’s jackets. The second is that contrary to popular belief; pocket squares aren’t only made of silk though they are by far the most popular material used besides cotton, linen and wool. Other fabrics are also used as long as it’s thin enough to be folded without bunching up — cashmere pocket squares anyone?

That said, solid coloured pocket squares were more popular in the past but the present day sartorial flair is to embellish with unique prints that speak volumes to truly exemplify one’s personality. Hot tip: silk pocket squares in canon yellow works incredibly well in refining and completing a look with luxurious splashes of colour. Another hot tip: stay clear of pre-sewn pocket squares on a jacket and avoid matching them to your tie.

And finally, know that the fold to a pocket square is just as much of a decorative addition as the actual accessory where different techniques have different panaches. For instance: a Presidential (square) fold is the most formal, a Cooper (puff) fold is the most casual, the Astaire (puff with point on either side) fold is the most laid-back fancy while the reverse puff, the diagonal shell, the Weston four point and the four-point fold are the most eye-catching.