Our 5 Minute Guide to the Essential Pocket Square Rules

In this post we cover some of the key elements of wearing a pocket square so you will have a complete understanding in under 5 mins. In this post we will cover:

  • How to pair your pocket square and tie
  • The +2 Rule
  • General pocket square rules
  • Some simple folding guides

Matching A Tie And Pocket Square

Should you be directly matching your tie and pocket square? The short answer is no. Although it might seem like an easy way to coordinate your outfit, matching your pocket square and tie or bow tie is a definite no-no. Instead, the pocket square should complement the rest of your look: either by harmonising or contrasting with your other accessories. Some stores even offer matching tie and pocket square sets, but our advice is to steer clear of these if you want to be seen as a master of your style game.

If your pocket square has a pattern or print, pick a colour from that palette and match it to a primary colour in your tie such as in the image below. The burgundy in the tie is reflected in sections of the pocket square design.

Matching tie and pocket square

The +2 Rule

One thing that we would strongly advocate with your pocket square is what we call the +2 Rule. If you think of a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the most conservative and 10 being the most flamboyant, then for your colours or fold you should go for something that is +2 above what you would normally choose for yourself.

Let's assume on the above scale you would normally be a 3, we would fully encourage you to be a little bolder and go for a 5. The reason for this is a pocket square elevates your overall appearance and demonstrates that you care about how you look. However, to truly benefit from it, you need to go just a little further up the scale from your normal dress level. 

Think of it this way, have you ever been to a more formal event, perhaps you’ve worn a pocket square, bow tie or tie that is not normally part of your everyday attire. As you’re ready to leave your home your partner/friend/housemate comments on how well dressed you are. You leave the house feeling full of confidence, get to the event and find that... nobody notices, not one person compliments your outfit! And the reason for this is everyone is well dressed, you blend into the crowd... 

Taking this into your everyday attire, trust us when we say, you probably don't want to be a 10, but if you choose colours or a fold that are +2, you will be rewarded with compliments, and it is truly amazing the effect this has on your self confidence.

Pocket Square Rules

Below we have set out a number of general rules of thumb around wearing pocket squares.

  • Choose a secondary colour from your shirt or tie as the primary colour for your pocket square
  • Don't overdo the patterns, ensure some flat colours such as your shirt which will accentuate the colours/patterns in your pocket square or tie
  • Don't directly match your tie and pocket square
  • If you are wearing a silk pocket square make sure it is over 40cm x 40cm (16 inches) as anything smaller, the fine material is likely to slip down into your pocket
  • Match your fold to the occasion. For formal occasions stick to the flat fold or one or two point folds, for more casual occasions use some more flare with the classic puff fold or one of the more flamboyant folds as set out in our folding guides.
  • Only choose hand rolled pocket squares, as the edges give the pocket square structure to achieve many different folds.

How To Fold A Pocket Square

Below are three classic folds, from the most conservative to the most flamboyant. Click on the image to go through to our folding guide for that particular look.

 

Buy Quality

As we always use the finest materials, you may of course expect that we would then advocate you stick to buying the best quality available. However, think of it this way...if you buy a high quality pocket square, it's no exaggeration to say that when looked after properly, it will absolutely last you a lifetime. As it doesn't suffer the rigours of most clothing pieces, it can also often be handed down to the next generation as well. One of the highest compliments we receive and something we always love to hear from our community is when they say they intend to hand down our products to family members in the future.

See our video below for why we believe we create the world's best pocket squares. You can view our full range here: Pocket Square Collection.