How to Fold a Pocket Square: A Step-by-Step Guide to Perfecting Your Look


If you want to add an elegant finishing touch to your suit or dress shirt, a pocket square is the way to go. Pocket squares are a classic accessory that have been popular for centuries, but can be intimidating to those just starting out. In this article, we will guide you through the art of folding pocket squares, from the classic fold to unique and creative styles. We will also explore matching pocket squares to different outfits and discuss the cultural significance of this timeless accessory.

Step-by-Step Guide to Classic Pocket Square Fold

The classic pocket square fold is a timeless style that is simple and elegant. Here’s how to do it:

1. Lay the pocket square flat on a surface, with the corners pointed upwards to form a diamond shape.
2. Fold the bottom corner up to the top corner, creating a smaller triangle.
3. Fold the left and right corners of the triangle towards the center, creating two smaller triangles beneath the first one.
4. Fold the bottom of the pocket square up, so it fits snugly into your pocket.
5. Adjust the square so that it sits neatly in your pocket, with the top edge peeking out.

The key to a great classic fold is getting the size and shape of the pocket square right. If your pocket square is too small or too large, adjust the folds accordingly. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with different fabrics and colors!

Different Types of Fabric for Pocket Squares and How to Fold Them

Different fabrics require different folding techniques to achieve the best look. Here are some tips for folding the most common pocket square fabrics:

– Silk: Silk pocket squares are ideal for formal occasions and offer a luxurious sheen. To fold a silk pocket square, use delicate, smaller folds to avoid damaging the fabric.
– Cotton: Cotton pocket squares are perfect for casual and everyday wear. They are also thick and durable, making them easy to fold. Try a more relaxed fold like the “puff” style for a casual look.
– Linen: Linen pocket squares can be both casual and formal, depending on the fold. They are also lightweight and breathable, making them ideal for warmer weather. Try a “three-point” or “one-point” fold for linen, as it allows for a looser, more relaxed appearance.

Unique and Creative Ways to Fold a Pocket Square

Now that you’ve mastered the classic fold, it’s time to explore some unique and creative styles! Here are some of our favorite folding techniques:

– The “presidential” fold: This style is best for formal occasions and offers a clean, crisp appearance. To achieve this fold, create small, even folds until the square is the width of your pocket.
– The “puff” fold: The puff is a relaxed, casual look that works well with cotton or linen pocket squares. To create a puff, pinch the middle of the square and scrunch it up, then fold the corners inwards.
– The “crown” fold: This fold creates a regal, crown-like effect. Fold the pocket square in half diagonally, then fold the left and right corners up and outwards to create a crown-like shape.
– The “flower” fold: The flower fold adds a touch of whimsy to any outfit. Follow similar steps as the crown fold, but continue to fold each remaining corner inward to create a layered flower effect.

Remember, don’t be afraid to experiment with folding styles and fabrics to find what works best for your personal style.

The History and Cultural Significance of the Pocket Square

Pocket squares have been a staple accessory for men for centuries and have an interesting history. They first appeared in ancient Greece and Rome as a way to carry perfumes and functioned as a practical accessory until the 18th century when it began to be seen as more of a fashion accessory.

Different cultures have different meanings associated with pocket squares, but the most common tradition relates to the colors and patterns of the squares. For example, in China, red is considered a lucky color and often worn during ceremonies and celebrations, and in the Western world, pocket squares with polka dot designs were once associated with the wealthy.

Matching Pocket Squares to Different Outfits

When choosing a pocket square to match an outfit, it’s important to consider colors, patterns, and folds. Here are some tips on how to match a pocket square to different outfits:

– For a classic, formal look, match a white pocket square with a dark suit and a solid tie.
– For a more casual look, try a cotton or linen pocket square with a plaid or striped button-down shirt.
– Matching the pattern of the pocket square to the tie or the shirt can be a great way to create a cohesive look.
– When pairing a pocket square with a patterned jacket or shirt, opt for a solid colored pocket square or a pocket square with minimal design.

What to Do (And Not Do) With a Pocket Square

Finally, let’s discuss some common mistakes people make when wearing pocket squares:

– Don’t overdo it. A pocket square should complement your outfit, not overwhelm it.
– Avoid matching your pocket square exactly to your tie or shirt- this can create a distracting, busy appearance.
– Don’t fold your pocket square too perfectly- a slightly imperfect fold can add a touch of character to your outfit.
– As a general rule, when wearing a patterned suit or shirt, it’s best to stick with a solid colored pocket square.

Remember, the most important thing when wearing a pocket square is to feel confident and comfortable in your style.


Folding pocket squares is an art that can be mastered with practice and experimentation. Whether you opt for a classic fold or a unique style, pocket squares are a timeless accessory that can add sophistication and style to any outfit.

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