Mens Essentials: The Pocketsquare

16 01 2011

Hello everyone,

I like to think for the most part that this blog enriches everyone’s lives at one point or another, but I think today I have some particularly useful information… karma doesn’t exist.

I volunteered at a local charity this morning, using a long squeegee to clean dog kennel floors which is as grim as it sounds and then I had to pick up the excrement of a 7 year old Jack Russell Terrier. After that, I went to the gym for a two hour work out which absolutely wiped me out. I pulled up the house, hands full of gym/volunteer stuff, but I must have left the handbrake off of my car. I got in the house, logged on to my computer and then heard an almighty bang. My car rolled out of it’s parking space and into my neighbor’s house. Not only that, it had rolled down a steep curb and wedged itself precisely in between that and the house so I couldn’t get it out. The recovery lorry had to come out and winch the car out of the horrendous situation I’d caused. The recovery combined with the repair to the bodywork will cost me £300.
Shit.

Before this casserole of misfortune was served to me, I’d put together a nice little article on something I think all men should have in their wardrobe: a pocketsquare. Mad Men is an incredibly popular show, especially the main star (Don Draper pictured middle) and the fifties debonair style is really gaining momentum.

When it comes to the pocketsquare, the key is what materials you are wearing. I’d say plain white silks are for formal occasions, but most popular brands are selling an array of patterns and colours that there’s no reason you can’t wear it with a casual blazer. The presidential fold is the most en vogue at the minute, but to get a fold for any occasion, see my ‘how to’ guide:

Classic & Formal – The “Presidential Fold”

This type of fold is most common for solid white pocket squares. Best are those hankies that are made from a thicker and slightly stiffer fabric. A perfect choice are lightly starched linen pocket squares, or pocket squares made from Thai silk.

Formal-Pocket-Square-Fold
Instructions

  1. Lay the pocket square on a flat surface and straighten it with the palm of your hand
  2. Fold the pocket square in the middle and flatten it to create a fold that stays in place – just like you would when folding a piece of paper.
  3. Now fold the pocket square up on one side. How much you need to fold up depends on the depth of your breast pocket as well as the size of the pocket square. Fold enough up so that ¼ – 3/4 of an inch is showing when tugged inside your breast pocket.
  4. Place the folded pocket square in your breast pocket and style to your preference.

Traditional – The One Tip Up Fold

This type of fold is one of the most common ways to fold a pocket square. It matches most pocket square designs and suits most dress codes. It’s quite versatile and this type of fold is most worn with a solid colour pocket square.

One-Tip-Up-Pocket-Square-Fold
Instructions

  1. Start out by laying your pocket square on a flat, hard, and clean surface.
  2. Fold one side up to create a symmetrical triangle. Make sure to create a solid fold at the edge which will ensure that the pocket square will keep the shape.
  3. Fold one side of the triangle in. Again, create a solid fold that stays in place.
  4. Do the same on the other side. How much you fold in depends on the size of the pocket square and the size of the breast pocket.
  5. Place the folded pocket square in your breast pocket and give it some final styling.

Two Tips Up Pocket Square Fold

Looking for a slightly less formal way to wear your pocket square? Then this type of fold will be a perfect choice. It looks good with solid as well as patterned pocketsquares. It is a fold that’s a little trickier and will require a little bit of practice.

Classic-Pocket-Square-Folds
Instructions

  1. As with all folds, lay the pocket square on a flat and clean surface.
  2. Fold one side over. It should look like two overlapping triangles and two tips should be showing at the top.
  3. Take one side and fold it over.
  4. Do the same on the other side. Again, how much is folded in depends on the pocket square size and the width of the breast pocket.
  5. Place the folded pocket square in your breast pocket and adjust to your preference.

Three Tips Up – The “Crown” Fold

Looking for a more challenging fold? Then the “crown fold” may just be perfect for you. This type of fold looks great with solid as well as patterned pocket squares. It is suited for formal functions (when worn with solids) as well as casual and business attire.

How-to-fold-a-pocket-square
Instructions

  1. Place the pocket square on a flat and clean surface.
  2. Just like you do for the “Two Tip Up Fold”, fold one side of the pocket square in. It should look like two overlapping triangles.
  3. The third “Tip” is created by folding one side over towards the top – right next to the other two tips.
  4. Fold the opposite side over. Make sure to give it a good and solid crease. This is more important than with any other fold since there is no supporting opposite side.
  5. Place the pocket square in your breast pocket and adjust to your liking.

The Casual “Puff” Fold

The loose and relaxed look of this folding technique is ideal for patterned pocket squares. It is a more casual fold and pocket squares with paisley patterns, checks, foulards, and other designs are excellent choices. It is a great fold when wearing a blazer or sports coat.

Casual-Ways-to-Wear-a-Pocket-Square
Instructions

  1. Lay the pocket square on a flat surface.
  2. Pinch it near the center with two fingers and pick the pocket square up.
  3. Slide the Pocket Square through you’re your other hand.
  4. Turn the pocket square over and tug it into your breast pocket. Adjust to your preference.

If that’s wetted your appetite, here are a selection of colours and patterns from a host of contemporary designers:

Navy Pink Churchill Spot Silk Handkerchief, TM LEWIN - was £25.00, now £12.50

Gant Paisley Pocket Square - ASOS £50.00

Simon Carter Silk Dot Pocket Square - ASOS £15.00

Purple Red Rose Camouflage Silk Handkerchief - TM LEWIN - was £25.00, now £12.50

BOSS Black Silk pocket square - was £19.00, now £15.00

Pink and Navy Armscote Spot Men's Pocket Square - Thomas Pink £39.00

Blue Paisley Border Silk Handkerchief, TM LEWIN - was £25.00, now £12.50

Red and Navy Armscote Spot Men's Pocket Square - Thomas Pink £39.00

Bennington Silk Handkerchief - Reiss £16

Pink Silk Handkerchief, Saville Row Company - was £10.00 now £5.00

Blue Gold Paisley Silk Handkerchief, Saville Row Company - was £10.00, now £5.00

Navy Purple Paisley Silk Handkerchief Product, Saville Row Company - was £10.00, now £5.00

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