How to Style a Pocket Square in 2023: Expert Tips for a Polished Look

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how to style a pocket square

1. Different Ways to Fold a Pocket Square

Folding a pocket square is an art form that allows you to add a touch of elegance and personality to your outfit. There are several different folding techniques you can use, each creating a unique look. Here are three popular ways to fold a pocket square:

Straight Fold

The straight fold is the most classic and timeless way to fold a pocket square. To achieve this look, simply fold the pocket square in half horizontally, then fold it in half vertically. This creates a neat and symmetrical rectangular shape that can be easily inserted into your jacket pocket.

Puff Fold

The puff fold is a more relaxed and casual way to wear a pocket square. To create this look, start by pinching the center of the pocket square and allowing the fabric to naturally gather. Then, use your other hand to gently wrap the fabric around the pinched center, creating a puffy shape. Adjust as needed and insert into your pocket.

One-Point Fold

The one-point fold is another classic option that adds a subtle touch of sophistication. Start by folding the pocket square in half diagonally, creating a triangle shape. Then, take one corner of the triangle and fold it towards the opposite corner, creating another smaller triangle shape with one point sticking out. Adjust as needed and insert into your pocket.

2. Choosing the Right Pocket Square for Your Outfit

Choosing the right pocket square can make all the difference in completing your outfit and adding that finishing touch of style. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a pocket square:


When choosing a pocket square, consider the color scheme of your outfit. You can opt for a pocket square that matches or complements the color of your tie or shirt. Alternatively, you can choose a contrasting color to add a pop of color and create visual interest.


The pattern of your pocket square should also be considered. If you’re wearing a patterned tie or shirt, it’s best to choose a solid-colored pocket square to avoid clashing patterns. On the other hand, if you’re wearing a solid-colored tie or shirt, you can experiment with patterned pocket squares to add some texture and visual appeal.


The fabric of your pocket square can also impact the overall look and feel. Silk pocket squares are popular for formal occasions as they have a luxurious sheen and drape well. Cotton and linen pocket squares are more casual options that work well for everyday wear or during warmer seasons.

3. Traditional Rules and Guidelines for Wearing a Pocket Square

3.1 Matching the Pocket Square with the Suit

Traditionally, the pocket square should complement or match the color of your suit. If you’re wearing a navy suit, opt for a pocket square in shades of blue or white. For a gray suit, consider a pocket square in shades of gray or silver. This classic approach creates a cohesive and polished look.

3.2 Choosing the Right Fold

Another traditional rule is to choose the fold style based on the formality of the occasion. For formal events, such as black-tie affairs, opt for a crisp and elegant straight-fold or presidential fold. For more casual occasions, experiment with puff folds or one-point folds to add some flair to your outfit.

Traditional Rules Checklist:

  • Match the pocket square with the suit color
  • Select fold style based on formality
  • Avoid overwhelming patterns if wearing patterned suits
  • Ensure the pocket square is neatly folded and positioned in the pocket

4. Step-by-Step Instructions: Folding a Classic Straight-Fold Pocket Square

The classic straight-fold is one of the most popular ways to fold a pocket square due to its simplicity and versatility. Follow these step-by-step instructions to achieve this timeless look:

  1. Lay out your pocket square on a flat surface.
  2. Fold it in half diagonally to form a triangle shape.
  3. Fold one corner up towards the center of the triangle.
  4. Fold the opposite corner up towards the center as well.
  5. Adjust the width of the fold to fit your pocket size.
  6. Place the folded pocket square in your jacket pocket, ensuring the pointed end is visible.

5. Modern and Creative Ways to Style a Pocket Square

5.1 The Two-Peak Fold

The two-peak fold adds an interesting twist to the traditional straight-fold. Follow these steps to achieve this modern look:

  1. Start with a flat pocket square.
  2. Fold it in half diagonally to form a triangle shape.
  3. Fold one corner up towards the center of the triangle, but slightly off-center.
  4. Fold the opposite corner up towards the center, also slightly off-center.
  5. Tuck in any excess fabric at the bottom.
  6. Place the folded pocket square in your jacket pocket, adjusting for desired height and symmetry.

5.2 The Flower Fold

If you’re looking for a more whimsical and creative style, try the flower fold. Here’s how you can achieve this unique look:

  1. Lay out your pocket square on a flat surface.
  2. Fold it in half diagonally twice to form a smaller triangle shape.
  3. Starting from one end, roll up the triangle tightly towards the pointed end.
  4. Curl one side of the rolled-up triangle inward to create petal-like folds.
  5. Tuck any excess fabric at the bottom and adjust for desired shape and fullness.
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  7. Place the folded pocket square in your jacket pocket, allowing the petals to peek out.

6. Best Colors and Patterns for Different Occasions or Seasons

Choosing the Right Color

When it comes to selecting the best color for a pocket square, it is important to consider the occasion or season. For formal events such as weddings or black-tie affairs, classic colors like white, ivory, or silver are always a safe choice. These neutral shades complement any suit color and exude elegance. On the other hand, for more casual occasions or during warmer seasons, vibrant colors like pastel blues, pinks, or yellows can add a pop of personality to your outfit.

Picking the Perfect Pattern

In addition to color, patterns can also play a significant role in enhancing your overall look with a pocket square. For formal events, solid-colored pocket squares are timeless and sophisticated. However, if you want to add some visual interest and depth to your ensemble, consider opting for subtle patterns like polka dots or stripes. These patterns can effortlessly elevate your style without overpowering your outfit. For more casual occasions or during spring and summer seasons, floral prints or paisley patterns can bring a touch of playfulness and freshness.


– When in doubt, stick to classic colors like white or ivory for formal occasions.
– Experiment with bolder colors and patterns for casual events or during warmer seasons.
– Consider coordinating your pocket square with other accessories like ties or bowties for a cohesive look.

7. Tips on Matching a Pocket Square with Ties or Bowties

Coordinating Colors

When matching a pocket square with ties or bowties, it is essential to coordinate the colors effectively. One option is to choose a pocket square that complements the dominant color of your tie/bowtie. For example, if you’re wearing a navy blue tie, you can opt for a pocket square with hints of blue or a complementary color like silver or gray. Another approach is to select a pocket square that contrasts with the tie/bowtie color. This contrast can create visual interest and make your accessories stand out.

Playing with Patterns

Matching patterns between your pocket square and ties/bowties can add an extra layer of sophistication to your outfit. If you’re wearing a solid-colored tie or bowtie, consider choosing a patterned pocket square that incorporates similar colors. For instance, if your tie has subtle stripes, you can pair it with a pocket square featuring small dots in matching hues. On the other hand, if you’re sporting a patterned tie or bowtie, opt for a solid-colored pocket square that complements one of the colors in the pattern.


– Coordinate the colors of your pocket square with your tie/bowtie by either complementing or contrasting.
– Experiment with patterns by matching similar colors or opting for solid-colored pocket squares when wearing patterned ties/bowties.
– Don’t be afraid to mix and match different textures and materials for added visual interest.

8. Achieving a Casual or Relaxed Look with a Pocket Square

Selecting Casual Fabrics

To achieve a casual or relaxed look with a pocket square, it’s important to choose fabrics that are less formal than silk or satin. Cotton and linen are excellent options as they have a more laid-back vibe and offer texture to your outfit. These fabrics also tend to hold their shape well when folded into various pocket square styles.

Looser Folds and Styles

When aiming for a casual look, opt for looser folds and styles when folding your pocket square. The puff fold is an easy yet stylish option that adds volume and a relaxed touch to your ensemble. Another option is the casual two-point fold, which creates a slightly asymmetrical look that exudes effortless charm. Avoid overly precise or structured folds like the presidential or square fold, as they tend to appear more formal.


– Choose cotton or linen fabrics for a casual pocket square.
– Experiment with looser folds like the puff or two-point fold for a relaxed look.
– Embrace imperfections and avoid overly neat folds for a more laid-back vibe.

9. Popular and Recommended Materials for Pocket Squares


Silk is undoubtedly one of the most popular materials for pocket squares due to its luxurious appearance and smooth texture. It adds an elegant touch to any outfit and drapes beautifully when folded into various styles. Silk pocket squares are available in a wide range of colors and patterns, making them versatile options for both formal and casual occasions.


Cotton pocket squares are favored for their versatility and ease of maintenance. They offer a more casual look compared to silk but can still elevate your outfit when styled appropriately. Cotton is breathable, making it suitable for warmer seasons or events where comfort is essential. These pocket squares often come in solid colors or subtle patterns, allowing you to experiment with different styles.


Linen pocket squares are perfect for achieving a relaxed yet refined look. The natural texture of linen adds depth and character to your outfit while providing breathability during hot weather. Linen pocket squares often come in earthy tones or pastel shades, enhancing their casual appeal. They pair well with lightweight suits or blazers, making them ideal choices for summer events.


– Consider silk pocket squares for formal occasions.
– Opt for cotton pocket squares when aiming for versatility and easy maintenance.
– Choose linen pocket squares for a casual and relaxed look, especially during warmer seasons.

10. Celebrities and Fashion Icons Who Regularly Wear Pocket Squares

David Beckham

David Beckham, the renowned former professional footballer and fashion icon, is often seen sporting pocket squares with his impeccably tailored suits. He effortlessly combines different colors and patterns to create unique and stylish looks. Beckham’s ability to experiment with various folds and styles showcases the versatility of pocket squares in elevating a formal ensemble.

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling, known for his impeccable sense of style, frequently incorporates pocket squares into his red carpet outfits. Whether he opts for a classic white silk pocket square or adds a pop of color with a patterned one, Gosling demonstrates how this small accessory can make a big impact on overall appearance. His attention to detail and ability to coordinate pocket squares with other accessories highlight his fashion prowess.

Tom Hiddleston

Tom Hiddleston, the British actor celebrated for his role as Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is often spotted wearing pocket squares at various events. Hiddleston’s choices range from bold patterns to more understated solid-colored options. His ability to effortlessly pair pocket squares with ties or bowties showcases his understanding of color coordination and adds an extra touch of sophistication to his outfits.


– Look to celebrities like David Beckham, Ryan Gosling, and Tom Hiddleston for inspiration on incorporating pocket squares into your own style.
– Pay attention to their color choices, patterns, and folds when observing their outfits.
– Experiment with different styles based on their examples while adding your personal touch.

In conclusion, mastering the art of styling a pocket square can elevate any outfit to new heights of sophistication and elegance. By following these simple guidelines and experimenting with different folds and patterns, you can effortlessly add a touch of personality and flair to your ensemble. So go ahead, embrace this timeless accessory and make a fashion statement with your pocket square!

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