What your Pocket Square says about You and How to Fold One

After weeks of writing about women, I just knew I had to give my male readers something to think about.

Pocket squares came to mind as I don’t know how many men have asked me time and time again, how do I fold it and what type should I wear?

If you scour the internet, you will find a multitude of ways to fold your square and can I tell you some are ridiculously elaborate, or is that incredibly elaborate? It depends on what your particular style is I guess.

For this article, I am going to share with you the 4 main folds I work with and the ten golden rules of pocket squares according to Clare.

Let’s start with the Golden Rulestie-rules

 

Now let’s consider the 4 simple folds that speak volumes about who you are.

The Leader (Presidential Fold)- Very presidential -Very dramatic in an extremely simple kind of way. It says, I know how to look good, be stylish and be a leader all in one straight fold of the hanky. Fold your hanky square and flat. Position it in your pocket with the fold above the opening of the pocket.

Classical Style – (2 or 3 point folds) Whether it is two or three points on your hanky, this one is classically sophisticated. This style is more traditional than the Leader and therefore a safer bet and not quite as powerful. It is worn by the man who knows he needs to look good but wants as little attention to his outfit as possible. To create the points lay your handkerchief down folded twice with the four points all in one corner. Splay two points apart to create the two points and then fold the sides in to make it fit into your pocket. For three points you can fold your kerchief diagonally to start and bring the outer edges up to the left and right of the centre point.

The Puff – This looks like the head of an octopus blooming out of the pocket. It is less restrained than the first two. It is easy to create. Grab the kerchief from the centre and pull it up through a neck created by your thumb and forefinger. When you have about 4 centimeters or an inch and a half up through your fingers. Push the remainder in your hand into your pocket.  You can stretch it across your pocket for a billowy soft effect. This is very romantic and easy going.

The Flop – The most avant-garde style of all. It is simply an upside down Puff. Start as you would The Puff only pop the kerchief into your pocket puff side first and have all of the corners dangling out and over your pocket. This is more like an explosion of fabric out of your pocket. It says you are flamboyant, fun and take nothing serous. You can also take this approach only leave a lot less visible above the pocket for a more creative version of the Classic.

When researching this information I stumbled across this page The Idle Man and decided, rather than reinvent the wheel, or in this case, the pocket square, I would share their instructions with you. They may have named their folds in a slightly different manner, however, I am sure you can see them and follow along. The intrsuctions are really very simple.

Presidential Fold

This is the easiest and quickest way to fold a pocket square. Classic, simple and smart, this fold is great for formal occasions. Typically done in white linen or silk.

Pocket Square Fold Presidential Idle Man Suit Menswear Style

  1. Lay the pocket square flat
  2. Fold in half from left to right
  3. Fold the bottom up
  4. Flip over and position inside your pocket keeping around ½ an inch visible

One-Point Fold

Another simple fold to learn, the one-point fold is versatile and can be worn for business occasions or casual events. Best done in cotton or linen.

Pocket Square Fold One Point Idle Man Suit Menswear Style

  1. Lay the pocket square flat with a corner facing you
  2. Fold in half from bottom corner to top corner
  3. Fold the left corner in
  4. Fold the right corner in

Two-Point Fold

The two-point fold is a slight variation of the one-point fold. It is just as versatile but looks more impressive. Perfect for subtly injecting a bit more style into your outfit. Works well whether you opt for plain or patterned fabric.

Pocket Square Fold Two Tip Idle Man Suit Menswear Style

  1. Lay the pocket square flat with a corner facing you
  2. Fold in half from the bottom but don’t align the tips. You can choose to keep the tips at the same level or have one high than the other.
  3. Fold the left corner in
  4. Fold the right corner in
  5. Flip over and position inside your pocket

Crown Fold

The crown fold is more prominent than the two-point fold. It firmly represents the mark of a stylish man. This is where you go from beginner to skilful. Again, these precise folds work best in cotton or linen.

Pocket Square Fold Crown Three Point Idle Man Suit Menswear Style

  1. Lay the pocket square flat with a corner facing you
  2. Fold in half from the bottom but don’t align the tips
  3. Fold the left corner diagonally up to create the third tip
  4. Fold the right corner in
  5. Flip over and position inside your pocket

Cagney Fold

A variation on the crown fold creates a four-point, cagney fold.

Pocket Square Fold Cagney Four Point Idle Man Suit Menswear Style

  1. Lay the pocket square flat with a corner facing you
  2. Fold in half from the bottom but don’t align the tips
  3. Fold the left corner diagonally up to create the third tip
  4. Fold the right corner diagonally up to create the fourth tip
  5. Fold the outermost corners in to the middle to finish

Winged Puff Fold

The winged puff fold is pretty straightforward, clean and formal. It’s great for business occasions and a step-up from the presidential fold. Take your pick from cotton, linen or silk.

Pocket Square Fold Winged Puff Idle Man Suit Menswear Style

 

  1. Lay the pocket square flat with a corner facing you
  2. Fold in half from top to bottom
  3. Fold the top left and right corners down to meet the bottom point
  4. Fold the left, right and bottom corners in
  5. Tuck into your pocket with the vertical fold lines visible at the front

Mountains Fold

This fold is perfect for a party occasion. It makes more of a statement and will definitely be noticed by the style-conscious amongst the crowd. For best effects use patterned silk.

Pocket Square Fold Mountain Idle Man Suit Menswear Style
PHOTO CREDIT: Sam Hober
  1. Lay your pocket square flat with a corner facing you
  2. Pick it up from the middle and try to tuck the sides in as best you can before holding it together at the base
  3. Now carefully roll the top down towards you
  4. Turn it around so that the rolled fabric is now at the bottom and you’re ready to place it into your pocket

Rolled Puff Fold

A variation of the mountains, this fold is slightly neater as it tucks away the corners, making it versatile. Wear for formal or casual events. The rolled puff fold works well in silk.

Pocket Square Fold Rolled Puff Idle Man Suit Menswear Style
PHOTO CREDIT: Sam Hober
  1. Lay your pocket square flat with a corner facing you
  2. Pick it up from the middle and try to tuck the sides in as best you can before holding it together at the base
  3. Now carefully roll the top down towards you
  4. Gently fold the bottom points up and firmly grasp to place in your pocket

Three Stairs Fold

The three stairs fold might take a bit of practise but the results are worth it. This style is clean-cut but still makes an impact with its intricate folds. It’s a great way to show off some personality at a formal or business occasion. This fold works best in cotton or linen.

Pocket Square Fold Three Stairs Idle Man Suit Menswear Style
PHOTO CREDIT: Sam Hober
  1. Lay the pocket square flat with a corner facing you and fold in half from bottom corner to top corner
  2. Fold the top corner of the first layer down so that the point sits past the base
  3. Then fold the point back up so that the point sits just past the newly created fold
  4. Once again, take the point and fold it down so that the point sits past the base
  5. Fold back up so that the point sits past the latest fold
  6. At this point you may want to gently press the folds in place with an iron on low heat
  7. Carefully fold the right side behind the left side keeping the folds on the outside
  8. Take the bottom right corner and rotate the pocket square 90 degrees so that this corner is now at the top and fold the left side in
  9. To finish, fold the right side in, making a square base

Final Word

Now that Spring carnival is around the corner, I hope you have started thinking about your outfits and, if you are really suave, you will have asked your lady friend what she is wearing so that you can co-ordinate with her outfit too. If you are finding getting your outfit organised too hard, give me a call. I can have it all sorted for you in an instant. Don’t be like a friend of mine who bought a new suit for the races last year and when I saw him I noticed that it not only didn’t fit him properly, the colours were not balanced.

If you would like a better understanding of your personality style do the quiz.