Gentlemen, chances are you don’t have a clue about the last time you wore a pocket square. But sometimes the occasion calls for them, and there are some complex social rules for wearing a pocket square correctly.
A pocket square is a square-shaped piece of cloth that goes in the front pocket of a jacket or shirt and is generally decorative. It’s small enough to get into your pocket without causing a bulge but big enough so it won’t keep slipping down into your pocket.
A pocket square is typically worn for fancy occasions, such as proms, dinner parties, weddings, and any occasion where you are getting dressed up. If you are putting on a shirt or a jacket with a front pocket, then you need to have a pocket square ready to go.
The purpose of a pocket square is purely decorative and should complement the rest of your outfit. Some basic rules to follow is that the pocket square shouldn’t match your tie, but instead help bring it out. Even just a simple white pocket square can bring out a brown or black jacket, so you don’t always need a flamboyant pocket accessory. In fact, you should always have a white pocket square for almost every occasion.
A colorful pocket square can be best if it complements your outfit, namely by choosing a secondary color from the same pallet. Then you can fold in one of two ways, either in a flat fold where it remains neat, or a puffier fold, which can really bring out the colors. The etiquette of a pocket square can be confusing for your first time, so you might need to go to a clothing store and get some help.
But remember, it’s only a decorative piece, so have fun with it.