Guide: How to combine your pocket square and tie

30 July 2016

Guide: How to combine your pocket square and tie

We'd like to introduce you to a little secret that'll possibly change the way you dress every day: All you need in life is a good suit, a handful of ties and a drawer full of pocket squares. While it might not seem revolutionary, it's the Rosetta Stone of dressing well. With some imagination and a knowledge of complementary colours you'll have a business wardrobe raring to go. 

The key to a great pocket-square-and-tie-combination is to determine which is the star of the outfit: always one, but never both. This is an important step as it keeps you looking chic and not colourblind! Judge by the dominant colour or pattern and use that as your foundation, then pair it with a tie or pocket square that allows the major player to shine, but doesn’t steal the spotlight.

Once you’ve chosen the focus, it’s now time to plan the rest. For beginners, a white pocket square is always a good starting point and is a striking addition against a dark suit. Either cotton or silk, it’s subtle and allows you to dip your toe into the water. If you play the tie up, play down the pocket square; but feel free to embrace patterns and prints. You can be a little extra playful with the tie, and then switch the focus when the time is right. If you've got a pocket square screaming for attention, give it its moment to shine. Fold it in an extraordinary way—there's several—and let the tie take a back seat. 

All rules can be broken, so be sure to experiment. The key is to lay your suit and shirt out on the bed and let your eye make the decision. Striped ties work with spotted or checked pocket squares and all of the above work with most shirts. In terms of colour, keep the colour wheel in mind, but avoid colours directly opposite. For example, blue and orange, blue and yellow, and red and green. Remember that the tie doesn’t necessarily need to match exactly; in fact, it’s better it doesn’t.

Once you embrace the pocket square you’ll soon learn its versatility. Easy to travel with, subtle pops of colour in an otherwise dreary office, and a guaranteed way to show your personality—you’ll never look back. Pop into the Oscar Hunt showroom to see our selection for a wardrobe update or a midday style pick-me-up.