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How To Fold A Pocket Square

(scroll down for “how to” guide w/ illustrations)

It’s a simple piece of cloth that can elevate your style from bland to stylish. If worn well, at the appropriate times, it will speak volumes about your fashion sense. Like the tie, it is one of those small details a man has to add accent and personality to his outfit.

Some of you may be thinking…

Pocket square!? Why would I ever wear a pocket square?

Here’s the thing: just because you don’t normally wear a pocket square doesn’t mean there aren’t occasions where your outfit could supremely benefit from one. If pocket squares are a new thing for you, take a chance and try it out. The next time you’re wearing a suit, a blazer, try adding a quiet color/pattern pocket square with a subtle fold like the Flat Pocket Square Fold.

People will notice. Women will notice.

(If you own a suit and don’t own a pocket square, go pick one up at the suit/tie section of any department store. You don’t necessarily have to be wearing a suit to wear a pocket square. You don’t need a tie to wear a square. They’re more versatile than you think and definitely essential to every man’s wardrobe.)

Now, given that many men out there don’t even wear pocket squares, it follows that many are lost when it comes to folding one. Here are a few of my favorites folds:

Flat Pocket Square Fold 

(see above picture)

The square fold is the simplest fold of them all. It’s also the most versatile and subtle way to wear a pocket square. To fold, simply fold into quarters and insert into your jacket pocket.

Puff Pocket Square Fold

This is another common fold that allows the square to “puff out” of the pocket. Here is a step-by-step illustration of how this “puff” is achieved:

Step 1: Lay your pocket square flat with the two top corners horizontal. Pinch the middle of the pocket square and pick it up.

Step 2: As you pick up the pocket square, tuck the sides in as in the diagram.

Step 3: With one hand firmly holding the pocket square, use your other hand to gently gather it closed.

Step 4: Now gracefully gather up the bottom of the pocket square

Step 5: Tuck as needed and place your pocket square in your jacket pocket

Now for one that’s a bit more complicated:

Dunaway Pocket Square Fold

For the first part, follow Steps 1, 2, & 3 of the Puff Pocket fold. From there, this is where it gets fun:

Step 4: Now gracefully roll the top of the pocket square in the direction of the arrow.

Step 5: Carefully lift the bottom points up.

Step 6: Flatten the points.

Step 7: Tuck as needed and place your pocket square in your jacket pocket

Three Stairs Pocket Square Fold

The next one is rather complex, reminiscent of origami. However, the end result is a subtle, yet elegant look.

Step 1: Lay your pocket square flat with one corner facing up and one corner facing down.

Step 2: Fold the bottom corner up to meet the top corner

Step 3: Fold the front fold partially down so that it goes past the bottom of the pocket square.

Step 4: Now take the same fold and fold it back up towards the top of the pocket square.

Step 5: Now fold back towards the bottom of the pocket square. Be sure and keep your folds neat.

Step 6: Fold a small fold twards the top of the pocket square.

Step 7: Pause, and take a look at your pocket square folds so far. It should look basically like the illustration

Step 8: Now this is a little tricky: fold the right half of the pocket square behind the left side. If done correctly, you will still see the folds.

Step 9: Now rotate the righthand corner of the pocket square 90 degrees. Then fold the left side to the right.

Step 10: fold the right side to the left and we are done.

Step 11: Tuck as need and place your pocket square in your jacket pocket.


If you really want to peacock
, here’s something you won’t find at your local department store…

Introducing:

The Shibori Pocket Square.

You must be thinking… what’s so great about a wrinkled pocket square?

Exhibit A:

Sak’s Fifth’s Terron Schaefer.

He picked one up abroad in Japan, and learned the art of folding one of these unique pocket squares. The end result is what you see in the above picture. The floral effect of this pocket square is achieved through shibori, the Japanese process of manipulating fabric to add shape and dimension.

Peacocking. Down to the pocket square.

You can pick one up at the Moma store for around $20. As for folding it, you’re on your own…

Stay Sharp,

Theory

Articles you may also enjoy:

» How To Tie A Tie: The Pursuit Of The Perfect Knot
» Finding the Perfect Suit
» The Elusive Perfect Shave
» What Asia Taught Me About Casual Style

 

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  • Carlos

    How about a hankerchief?

    I don’t have a pocket square.

    Or is that too trashy?

  • Blippy

    Cool, thanks for the article.

  • http://www.therawness.com T.

    You already had me at pocket square, but that Japanese one just pushed me over the edge. NICE!

  • KoNg

    This is a perfect way to help give life to a plain blazer. SWEET!

  • w.w. scagel

    Now you just save some dough and go over to the Salvation Army or GoodWill store and pick up a bunch of pocket squares. Most of mine are already folded and are sewn to a little piece of cardboard. Don’t nobody have to know,right?

  • mel

    I thank you for the informative info on tying different squares. In the future when using an example for the “first timer”, try using a pocket square that is simple and stylish. Also use a model without three chins and a little more in shape, I don’t care how rich or important he is!

  • Constantine

    Just received my shibori square. Any idea how Terron Schaefer achieved that floral appearance?

  • http://www.gentlemanjoe.com/ Stavros Tosounidis

    Thanks for the good information
    Appreciate it.