The pocket square is a charming accessory that has seen a huge surge in popularity over the past decade. The roots of this once functional piece of fabric can be traced back thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, a cloth akin to a handkerchief was commonly carried by the working man. These were used to stay clean and dry during a long day of labor. Eventually the handkerchief spawned a similar but functionally different sibling—the pocket square. Unlike a modern handkerchief which is carried in the inside jacket pocket and generally used for blowing noses, a pocket square is worn in the front breast pocket, for aesthetic purposes only.
When it comes to styling your pocket square, there are very few definitive rules. However, we recommend avoiding matching your tie and pocket square too closely. Instead, opt for a pocket square that complements and contrasts with the rest of your look. When in doubt, a simple white pocket square (with or without a colored edging) is a smart choice.
If you’re looking for a simple, no-nonsense fold, start with The Classic and Presidential folds. The Puff and Reverse Puff are equally simple to style but add a bit more organic, unpredictable flair. If you’re into precision, peaked folds like The Three Peaks, The Winged Peak and the Angled Peaks will serve you well. If you’re looking for more of a challenge, The Rose and The Stairs folds will help take your pocket square to the next level.