How to Fold a Pocket Square

The pocket square is a classic and timeless menswear detail that has made a comeback in a huge way.

Thankfully, guys are discovering that they are allowed to rip out the stitching of their suit jacket’s breast pocket and fill it with a small accessory that makes a big impact with a high style reward.

A pocket square improves a suit jacket or blazer’s versatility, adds visual interest and depth to a look, and provides a subtle but powerful means of personal expression. There are many ways to fold a pocket square—some simple and some more complicated—but how you choose to rock it depends mostly on personal taste (and slightly on the degree of formality of the occasion).

As with anything, practice makes perfect and a little time invested in the skill upfront will ensure you can wear the pocket square any way you want with ease and flair. Here are five of the folds I use most often and that are guaranteed to have you covered from casual to formal.


The Classic Fold

The Classic Fold is the simplest and most no-nonsense fold of the bunch. Wear it in casual situations, like grabbing a drink with friends or on a low-key first date.

  1. Start with the pocket square laying flat.
  2. Fold one side over to the other side lengthwise.
  3. Fold the bottom up to meet the top.
  4. Fold lengthwise again to match the width of your breast pocket.

The Pesko

This is the one you see Don Draper wearing on Mad Men or Sean Connery sporting as James Bond in Dr. No—just a crisp sliver of white peeking out from the breast pocket. For this fold, the pocket square does not need to be white, but definitely looks best with solid colors that contrast strongly with your suit jacket. Wear it this way in business or formal situations.

  1. Start with the pocket square laying flat.
  2. Fold one side over lengthwise about 1/3 of the width of the square.
  3. Fold the other side over, making the resulting fold the width of your breast pocket.
  4. Fold the two ends over.
  5. Fold the entire length in half. Adjust to the depth of your breast pocket.

The Puff

It’s simple but packs a ton of visual appeal, depth, and subtlety. Don’t be afraid to tinker with it once you’ve got it in your pocket. Blouse it a little more, stretch it to fit the width of your breast pocket, whatever floats your boat. The Puff Fold is extremely versatile and looks great anywhere and everywhere.

 

  1. With the pocket square laying flat, pinch the center.
  2. Pick it up from the center.
  3. Form a ring around the pocket square with the thumb and index finger of your other hand and slide it down almost to the bottom.
  4. Fold the pointed edges over.

The Crown

This is basically The Puff, but upside down. Avoid making this one look too perfect. You can buy pre-folded squares like this and they just look wrong. Part of the allure of this fold is that it’s never quite the same twice—it’s the subtle variations that add depth and a ton of visual interest. Perfection is not a virtue in this situation and just removes all of the fold’s flair. The Crown Fold is eye-catching and is a great choice for any social situation.

 

  1. With the pocket square laying flat, pinch the center.
  2. Pick it up from the center.
  3. Form a ring around the pocket square with the thumb and index finger of your other hand and slide it down almost to the bottom.
  4. Fold the rounded portion over.

Or go your own way...

The main thing to remember is to keep it fun. Style is about expressing yourself, so if you find a fold that looks good, go for it.