To help celebrate the launch of our new white collection, in todays journal we explore exactly why a classic white pocket square is so versatile and can complement any tailored jacket. Alongside the history of the white pocket square, we will also explore the different fabric bases used within our white pocket square range and their key benefits.
Below we will discover:
Does a white pocket square go with everything?
Can you use a white handkerchief as a pocket square?
What material pocket square is best?
Can you wear pocket square without tie?
What fold works best for a white pocket square?
Perhaps the most classic of all is the men's white pocket square. From the grainy white pocket square, black suit photo's from the early 20th century, this simple square has an illustrious history. The key reason being that this square works with every jacket and pattern combination, there are no real white pocket square rules to take into account when selecting your chosen outfit.
The classic understated look with any white pocket square is the flat fold . This is the most formal look and works for any situation or event you may be attending. Our advice would be that this simple square can be elevated with just a touch of colour, whether that be evidenced coming through in your fold or by having a coloured edging to your square.
HISTORY BEHIND THE CLASSIC WHITE POCKET SQUARE
The white pocket square is a subtle yet sublime menswear accessory that suits any type of tailored jacket, no matter the fabric, pattern or colour. The white pocket square can be the perfect accent piece to finish an outfit.
The original purpose of a pocket square or piece of cloth was to mop up sweat or other messes. It didn’t become the smart fashion accessory we know and love today until the late 14th century where King Richard I of England, who was often mocked for his dress-sense, was ridiculed for commissioning pieces of cloth used to wipe his mouth and nose.
Within a century, nobles and royals all across Europe like Caterina de’ Medici and Elizabeth I were seen sporting ornate handkerchiefs on their person. And as part of his efforts to standardise manufactured goods, King Louis XVI of France even mandated that the official size for a handkerchief be 16 inches square.
Because these new items were so fine and valuable, most people actually tried to avoid using them to wipe their faces. This is where the distinction between the pocket square and the handkerchief started to develop.
With the rise of the modern suit in the 19th century, gentlemen settled on putting their fine pocket squares in their suit jacket breast pocket and reserving their inner jacket pocket or trouser pockets for their handkerchiefs. Creating the classic jacket and pocket square combinations we know and love today.
Differences Between Handkerchief vs Pocket Square
As explained, a pocket square is usually made from finer fabrics such as silk or wool, so is mainly used for fashion and visual appeal, having no practical purpose besides making you look stylish.
The handkerchief however, is meant for more practical uses such as wiping sweat or blowing your nose. A good rule of thumb to follow is this simple rhyme; one for blow, one for show.
WHAT FABRICS DO WE OFFER OUR WHITE POCKET SQUARES IN?
Our collection of premium white pocket squares is available across three classic fabric basis, all with their own benefits and unique natural properties.
Linen is a beautiful and high-end fabric that provides a superior step up on classic cotton. Linen is a lightweight, soft and highly absorbent fabric, making it perfect all year round but especially suitable as a fabric base in the warmer months. Our white linen pocket square will complement brighter lightweight summer jackets, but will still work with darker jackets in the cooler months.
Within our printed pocket square collection we mainly use silk to highlight print and colours, but it always works superbly on white clean pocket squares. With its unique sheen and soft feel, silk is particularly popular for white pocket squares. We use the finest mulberry silk with our silk pocket squares, meaning the quality of the fabric can be seen in the texture and vibrancy of the finished product.
Wool and cashmere is a popular blend to ensure texture within the fabric but with a soft finish and hand-feel. In white, they have a subdued and understated appearance and pair well with a range of tailored jackets or suits in flannel or other heavier-weight fabrics such as tweed. The main benefit of wool blend pocket squares is the durable nature of the fabric which means they can hold folds very well.
WHAT FOLDS CAN YOU USE WITH A WHITE POCKET SQUARE
The answer is simple, all types of folds work perfectly with a white pocket square due to its versatility and clean colour, creating a neutral palette. The use of different fabrics such as linen or wool can add unique textures within the pocket square that can totally transform the look of a jacket.
How you fold a pocket square determines whether it adds a subtle accent, or can be a flamboyant addition of shape, which becomes the focal point of your outfit.
We have created a step-by-step visual guide on our website to help guide you in your pocket square folding adventure. Additional, below are three images of the different types of folds you can use with our white pocket square collection.
Read Further: How to Fold Your Pocket Square Guide
With the latest wedding season about to begin, purchasing a new white pocket square will help you look dapper and stylish at any upcoming ceremonies.
Below, as part of our YouTube pocket square fold series, Alex explores how to fold a pocket square for a wedding.