Is the bow-tie out of fashion?

Just like origami is a skill that requires practice, so too is the art of styling a pocket square. Whether you’re aiming for a foppish insouciance, a crisp pop of contrast in your chest pocket or a stylised expression of sprezzatura, it all comes down to the way in which you fold.

Here, we provide a definitive (ish) guide to the three most common ways of wearing a men’s pocket square along with some tips for how to find the perfect pairings with your suit or blazer.

Let’s dive in!

The Presidential Fold

Nodding to the British mod look and the slim suits of Madison Avenue ad men, the Presidential fold is marked by its decidedly understated look. Defined by crisp edges and a rectangular shape, a Presidential fold runs the length of the breast pocket and protrudes evenly by 1-2 centimetres.

This is the perfect style for beginners and can easily be achieved by folding the pocket square in half, then in quarters and (roughly) in half again to achieve a size that will easily fit in the pocket without rumpling.

An easy way to ensure the fold remains crisp throughout the day is to ensure that it’s the folded edge peaking out the top rather than the hemmed edges. Even if it moves, it’s then easy to adjust without risk of pulling the whole thing out and starting again.

‘The Croissant’

An elevated version of the traditional puff fold, the croissant is surprisingly simple to achieve but looks incredibly fancy. Achieved by plucking the suit pocket square from the middle and then twisting (as if wringing it out),the two ends of the twist are then inserted in the breast pocket with the twisted fabric then fanned out across the span of the pocket opening.

This is a particularly good style for showing off prints or multi-colour pocket squares as it allows multiple parts of the cloth to show simultaneously. Often favoured for events, it’s also an easy way to inject some additional personality into a lounge suit or the trusty blazer and chino combination.

For those who err towards more restrained style, a plain ivory tuxedo pocket square also looks particularly eye-catching in this style of fold.

Tuck 'n' go

For those who have a ‘devil may care’ attitude when it comes to dressing, the tuck ‘n’ go is for you. Arguably the easiest to execute yet hardest to pull off, this fold style simply sees the wearer push the centre of the suit pocket square into the pocket, leaving the ends trailing out the top.

Decidedly foppish, this works particularly well for pocket squares that have a contrasting border as this creates a petal like effect when the corners protrude from the pocket.

The trick with this style is gauging the right amount of fabric to leave hanging out. Whilst there are some who favour a slightly wilted effect with the pocket square ends drooping over the pocket, we recommend keeping them a little more trim to maintain an easy-going but crisp effect.

Undecided on the style for you?

Visit your local showroom to chat with the team who can advise (and even provide a folding tutorial if needed).