How to Wear a Handkerchief with a Suit: Ultimate Guide 2023

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how to wear a handkerchief with a suit

Traditional Ways to Wear a Handkerchief with a Suit

When it comes to wearing a handkerchief with a suit, there are several traditional ways to do so. The most common and classic style is the “presidential fold.” To achieve this look, simply fold the handkerchief into a square shape and place it in the breast pocket of your suit. Make sure that about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the handkerchief is visible above the pocket for an elegant touch.

Another traditional way to wear a handkerchief is the “one-point fold.” This style involves folding the handkerchief diagonally in half to create a triangle shape. Then, fold one corner up towards the top point of the triangle and tuck it into your suit pocket. This creates a neat and stylish look that adds dimension to your outfit.

Traditional Ways to Wear a Handkerchief with a Suit:

  • Presidential fold: Fold into a square shape and place in breast pocket.
  • One-point fold: Fold diagonally in half, then fold one corner up and tuck into pocket.


  • Choose a handkerchief that complements your suit color or pattern.
  • Avoid overstuffing your pocket – keep it flat and smooth for a polished appearance.

Matching the Handkerchief to the Suit: Color or Pattern?

Considering Color

When it comes to matching a handkerchief to a suit, color is an important factor to consider. The general rule of thumb is to choose a handkerchief that complements the color of your suit rather than exactly matches it. For example, if you’re wearing a navy blue suit, you could opt for a handkerchief in a lighter shade of blue or even a contrasting color like burgundy or yellow. This adds visual interest and prevents the handkerchief from blending in too much with the suit.

Exploring Patterns

In addition to color, patterns can also play a role in choosing a handkerchief for your suit. If your suit has a solid color, you have more freedom to experiment with different patterns on your handkerchief. Stripes, polka dots, paisley, and floral prints are all popular choices that can add personality and style to your outfit. However, if your suit already has a pattern such as pinstripes or checks, it’s best to opt for a solid-colored handkerchief that complements one of the colors in the pattern.


– Consider using the same color family for both your suit and handkerchief for an elegant and cohesive look.
– Experiment with different shades and tones within the same color palette to create depth and dimension.
– Don’t be afraid to mix patterns, but ensure they are complementary rather than clashing.


– A charcoal gray suit paired with a light gray handkerchief with subtle white polka dots.
– A navy blue suit paired with a burgundy paisley-patterned handkerchief.
– A light brown tweed suit paired with an olive green herringbone-patterned handkerchief.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Folding a Handkerchief for a Suit Pocket

Classic Square Fold

1. Lay the handkerchief flat on a clean surface.
2. Fold it in half diagonally to create a triangle shape.
3. Fold the bottom corner up towards the top corner, leaving about an inch of space at the top.
4. Fold the left corner towards the right, again leaving about an inch of space on the right side.
5. Fold the right corner towards the left, tucking it slightly under the previous fold.
6. Adjust and shape the handkerchief as needed before placing it in your suit pocket.

Puff Fold

1. Start by laying the handkerchief flat on a clean surface.
2. Pinch and lift it from the center to create a puff-like shape.
3. Use your other hand to gather and hold the fabric at the base of the pinch.
4. Gently slide your suit pocket over this gathered section, allowing the puff to sit on top of your pocket.


– Practice folding different styles of handkerchiefs before wearing them with your suit to ensure you achieve your desired look.
– Experiment with different folds to match various occasions and personal preferences.


– A classic square fold is suitable for formal events or business settings.
– A puff fold adds a touch of casual elegance and works well for social gatherings or weddings.

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Rules and Guidelines for Choosing the Fabric of a Handkerchief for a Suit

Consider the Suit Fabric

When choosing a handkerchief to complement your suit, it is important to consider the fabric of your suit itself. Ideally, the handkerchief should be made from a fabric that complements or matches the suit fabric. For example, if you are wearing a wool suit, opt for a wool or silk handkerchief. This will create a cohesive and polished look.

Choose High-Quality Fabrics

Investing in high-quality fabrics for your handkerchief is crucial. Look for materials such as silk, linen, or cotton with a high thread count. These fabrics not only look more luxurious but also hold their shape better when folded and provide a refined touch to your overall ensemble.

Consider Patterns and Colors

While choosing the fabric, also pay attention to patterns and colors that will complement your suit. Solid-colored handkerchiefs are versatile and can be paired with various suits, while patterned options can add visual interest to your outfit. When selecting patterns, ensure they do not clash with other elements of your attire.

Some recommended fabrics for different occasions include:
– Silk: Ideal for formal events and adds an elegant touch.
– Linen: Perfect for summer weddings or outdoor events due to its lightweight and breathable nature.
– Cotton: A versatile option suitable for both casual and formal occasions.

Remember that ultimately, personal preference plays a significant role in selecting the fabric of your handkerchief. Experiment with different options to find what suits you best.

Adding Personality and Style to Your Suit with a Handkerchief


Appropriate Occasions for Wearing a Handkerchief with a Suit


Different Types of Folds and Styles for Wearing a Handkerchief with a Suit


Tips for Adjusting Length and Positioning of the Handkerchief in the Suit Pocket


Coordinating Tie, Pocket Square, and Outfit When Wearing a Handkerchief with a Suit


Alternative Ways to Wear a Handkerchief with a Suit Beyond the Breast Pocket


In conclusion, incorporating a handkerchief into a suit ensemble can add a touch of sophistication and style. By following the appropriate folding techniques and coordinating colors, one can effortlessly elevate their formal attire with this simple accessory.

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