How To Buy A Pocket Square [PORTABLE]
If your pocket square has a pattern or print, for example, then pick a colour from that palette to bring your look together 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.
how to buy a pocket square
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.
Lets say on the above scale you would normally be around a 3, we would fully encourage you to be a little bolder and go for a 5. The reason for this, is the best thing about a pocket square is it elevates your overall appearance and demonstrates that you care about how you look and will get you noticed. However, to truly benefit from it, you need to go just a little further up the scale from your normal dress level.
We are often asked what are our most popular pocket squares are, so we thought we'd put a short video together highlighting our top 5 best selling pocket squares of the last year. In the video we outline why these particular squares work so well from a colour and design perspective. All the squares featured can be found in our store here: Pocket Squares.
There are some classic colour combinations when pairing your pocket square with your jacket colour that will always look immaculate. But why do some colour combinations look more harmonious than others? This is explained by colour theory, where particular colours are more complementary to each other and are therefore more pleasing on the eye. As an aside, colour theory is derived from the colour wheel that was devised by Sir Issac Newton in 1666, showing the relationships between colours.
Utilising the colour wheel, there are some basic rules to follow that will ensure your outfit always looks harmonious. Below we've paired some of our pocket squares with some classic jacket colours to illustrate the theory.
Paisley is a popular design print and one of fashion's oldest patterns used across all types of clothing, but is mainly seen across dresses, ties and pocket squares. So if you are wondering, where does paisley come from? The paisley shape originally stems from Persia. But in Europe, it got its name from the Scottish weaver's town that produced magnificently colourful shawls.Many people get confused over precisely what is the paisley pattern. Many have likened the design features to feathers, tadpoles, mangos, and even Chinese symbols. However, a traditional paisley pattern is an ornamental textile design using a teardrop-shaped flower motif with a curved upper end.
However, the main reason we use silk for the majority of our pocket squares is the incredible detail that can be achieved when working with a quality fabric. Silk provides the perfect canvas to provide both the sharpness of image and vibrancy of different shades. You can see an example of this here, with our Pollice Verso Pocket Square.
Our Abduction of Ganymede pocket square is a good example of the vibrancy that working with silk provides. The yellows and golds contrast brilliantly against the darker colours in the piece. This allows for a number of different looks depending on how the pocket square folded.
Wool/Silk SquaresOne of the most underrated fabrics for pocket squares is the mix of silk and wool. It takes the best of both worlds, the luxurious feel of the silk, and the texture of the wool, in order to create a beautiful, lightweight fabric. The result is not as bright as silk and therefore more adapted to some situations, but it has a unique texture which pairs very well with silk ties. The presence of both materials makes it very light.
The wool tends to make it wrinkle resistant, and therefore allows it to drape beautifully while looking great with all different kinds of folds. The silk brings a small shine to it and enhances the details. The most common blend is 70% wool and 30% silk. While 100% wool pocket squares are more adapted to winter and autumn, a mix of wool and silk works for all year round.
On a pocket square like La Gourmandise (far left), we chose wool/silk for the fabric as it gives a perfect result - the texture is highly visible on the lighter parts of the painting, while the silk helps the blue and yellow to shine. The outcome is a pocket square which can be paired with both dark and lighter suits and blazers. While 'Spark' (far right) has both the vibrancy of silk and the lightweight texture of the wool to make it a perfect summer square.
Linen is one of the oldest fabrics in the world, and it is completely made of natural materials. It is very resistant to wear and tear, yet very light. As a result, linen pocket squares are often associated with summer, where lighter fabrics are worn.
They are less shiny than silk and can be worn with a contrasting fabric like a tuxedo for a black-tie event, but a double-breasted linen jacket will also pair very well with a linen pocket square. The only downside of linen is that it requires ironing quite often, as it wrinkles very easily.
Linen pocket squares look smarter than cotton pocket squares, and can be worn with both formal jackets, casual looks. The matte aspect of linen pairs well with silk ties, as well as wool ties.
Cotton Squares Cotton pocket squares tend to be the most affordable, since cotton is not an expensive material, however they do not have the same panache or vitality of higher quality fabrics like silk or wool/silk. Cotton tends to be used for handkerchiefs and is not considered a luxurious fabric.
Casual pocket square folds tend to be more popular now, such as the puff fold (middle image). If you are looking for what some would consider a fancy pocket square fold, then something like the wave fold (below right) would fit the bill.
All the folds above work well with silk pocket squares, providing the square is at least 40cm in size so there is enough weight to hold the fold in place. We are often asked, what is the best pocket square fold? That really comes down to personal choice, and the occasion, but if for every day wear, you can't really go wrong with a puff fold.
The simplist to achieve is the puff fold with your pocket square, which involves pinching the centre of the square and then twisting or folding it, before placing it in your breast pocket so that the corners are at the bottom and the central design remains visible. Not only is this fold easy to achieve, but it works for most situations from the office through to a summer wedding, see more on this below. You can find our folding guide here: The Puff Fold.
Differences Between Handkerchief vs Pocket SquareA 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 smart and stylish. You can of course choose to use your pocket square to wipe your brow if needed, but your square will require washing after every use.
In our video below Fashion Consultant Chris Modoo outlines some general rules when thinking about how much pocket square to display. Alway keep in mind the amount of your pocket square that you choose to display is a matter of personal preference and can vary depending on the occasion and your personal style. Ultimately, the most important thing is to wear the pocket square in a way that makes you feel comfortable and confident.
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 is the flat fold as seen below on the right. 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.
SilkWith its unique sheen and soft feel, silk is particularly popular for pocket squares, including white ones. 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.
In the video below, London Fashion Consult Chris Modoo covers why the white linen pocket square is the number one accessory for a navy blazer or suit. When choosing a pocket square always ensure it has hand rolled edges as this gives it the structure to be able to fold it in a number of ways and so it is able to hold it's shape in the pocket. Our white pocket squares in linen, silk and wool silk can all be found here: White pocket squares.
The pocket square is generally used to provide a bit of sartorial flair to your outfit, with contrast generally being the key goal. The black pocket square when paired with a dark navy or black jacket being the exception to this.
It is our opinion that if you are looking to get the plaudits you deserve with a black pocket square you should either go for a square with a hint of pattern or a classic white shoestring. The white trim will always give that clear contrast that completes the jacket beautifully.
As a general rule of thumb, there are no distinct pocket square rules for a when pairing your pocket square with a suit relative to wearing a sports jacket or blazer. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Firstly, a suit is a more formal option than a stand-alone jacket, therefore you will often be wearing it in a more formal environment. Therefore, the safest choice is to wear a plain or very lightly patterned square in a presidential fold such as the below. 041b061a72