Pocket Square Folding Techniques: Art of Timeless Elegance
by Jasmine Kaur on Jun 20, 2023
The Art of Folding Pocket Squares: A Guide to Timeless Elegance
Pocket squares, a classic accessory that has stood the test of time, are more than just a stylish addition to a gentleman's attire. With a rich history dating back centuries, these small pieces of fabric have evolved into a symbol of sophistication and personal style. In this article, we will delve into the origins of pocket squares, explore different folding techniques, and provide tips on how to wear them with confidence. So, let's embark on a sartorial journey through the world of pocket squares.
The Timeless Elegance of Pocket Squares
Long before the dashing Don Draper made his appearance, pocket squares had already made their mark on men's fashion. Originating in the 1400s, handkerchiefs were initially embraced by the upper classes as a lavish accessory. Made of silk and adorned with intricate embroidery, these handkerchiefs were not only a symbol of wealth but also served a practical purpose. In an era when bathing facilities were limited, French nobles even scented their handkerchiefs to counteract any undesirable odors. Fast forward to the 1800s, when the two-piece suit became a wardrobe staple for men. It was during this time that gentlemen sought a solution to prevent their handkerchiefs from mingling with coins and other pocket debris. Thus, the pocket square, as we know it today, was born. Throughout the years, it has remained a timeless accessory that adds a touch of elegance and completes an outfit.
The Art of Folding: Unveiling Eight Timeless Techniques
While the pocket square exudes an air of effortlessness, achieving the perfect fold requires a certain level of finesse. Countless folding methods have emerged over the years, thanks to the creative minds of dapper individuals. In the following sections, we will explore eight distinct folding techniques, each offering its own unique charm and style. Whether you prefer a formal or casual look, there's a folding method that will suit your taste.
The Square Fold: Effortless Sophistication
Also known as the presidential fold, the square fold is the simplest method to master. To achieve a clean, squared-off shape, follow these steps:
- Fold the pocket square in half.
- Fold it in half again.
- Fold it vertically, so you're left with a small square.
- Position the clean edge neatly adjacent to the top of your pocket. The square fold effortlessly complements professional, buttoned-up looks, especially when using a white cloth. Bonus points for ironing the fold in place.
The One-Point Fold: Understated Classic
For a basic yet refined pointed pocket square look, try the one-point fold. Follow these instructions:
- Fold the cloth in half.
- Fold it in half once more to form a compact square.
- Arrange the square in front of you, creating a diamond shape.
- Fold the two outer corners slightly over the center, forming a cone shape.
- Fold the bottom of the cone back on itself.
- Insert the folded pocket square into your pocket with the point facing upwards. This versatile one-point fold will work well for business or casual events. Go for cotton or linen and don't overthink it. It's not boring; it's classic.
The Two-Point Fold: Double the Style Points
To score double points with your style, fold your pocket square in half, corner to corner, but leave the two points slightly askew, one next to the other. Follow these steps:
- Fold the cloth in half, corner to corner.
- Keep the two points slightly askew, side by side.
- Fold one side inward across two-thirds of the length.
- Repeat the previous step with the other side (some fabric will extend behind).
- Fold the bottom behind on itself, creating the desired height.
- Ensure the fabric inside your pocket lies as flat as possible, avoiding any unwanted bulges. This versatile fold looks great with patterned or plain fabrics, adding a point of difference to your ensemble without going full peacock. It's an excellent choice for a smarter office look.
The Three-Point Fold: Classic Elegance
For classic elegance, the three-point fold, also known as the "Cagney fold," is a perfect choice. Follow these steps:
- Begin by folding the pocket square in half, forming a triangle.
- Fold the two bottom corners up diagonally, adding a second and third point.
- Fold the lower sides inwards, ensuring a neat finish.
- Insert the folded pocket square into your breast pocket. This fold looks best with thin materials like linen to avoid creating a bulky appearance. Save the three-point fold for weddings and other formal occasions.
The Four-Point Fold: Mastering Precision
If you're seeking a bolder and more intricate fold, the four-point fold is sure to impress. Here's how to achieve it: 1. Start by folding the pocket square in half, making the two points slightly askew. 2. Fold the bottom corners up diagonally, creating a third and fourth point. 3. Fold the lower sides inwards, ensuring a neat and compact finish. 4. Insert the folded pocket square into your pocket. Due to its bulkier nature, the four-point fold looks best with thin materials like linen. This folding technique adds a touch of flamboyance and is ideal for fashion-forward events or showcases.
The Winged Puff Fold: Understated Sophistication
For a sophisticated fold with subtle details, try the winged puff fold. Follow these steps: 1. Fold the pocket square in half by the corners, creating a triangle. 2. Take the two wider corners and fold them toward the point, forming a diamond shape. 3. Fold the sides behind and the bottom up to create a small square with a point at the top. 4. Place the puffed part at the top of your pocket. While the winged puff fold may not immediately catch everyone's attention, it showcases the effort you've put into your appearance. It's an elegant choice, making it a subtle power play at the office.
The Dunaway Fold: Unleash Your Inner Peacock
For those who aren't afraid to make a bold statement, the Dunaway fold is a true showstopper. Follow these steps to achieve this eye-catching look: 1. Pinch the material at the center of the pocket square and carefully lift it upwards. 2. Bunch the fabric together, forming a ring with your thumb and forefinger. 3. Insert the folded pocket square into your pocket. 4. Spend as much time as you desire arranging the corners to create your desired flamboyant look. The Dunaway fold creates a layered and artistic appearance. It's best suited for special occasions or evenings spent at the theater. Embrace your inner peacock and unleash your unique sense of style.
Elevate Your Style with Pocket Squares
With these eight folding techniques at your disposal, you now possess the knowledge to elevate your style with pocket squares. Remember, the key lies not only in the fold but also in selecting the right fabric, color, and pattern to complement your overall look . Whether you're attending a formal event or adding flair to your everyday attire, a well-folded pocket square demonstrates your attention to detail and personal style. Now, armed with the art of pocket square folding, you can confidently express your sartorial elegance and make a lasting impression in any setting. Embrace the legacy of this timeless accessory, and let your pocket square become a statement piece that sets you apart from the rest. And if you're looking to add a touch of cultural diversity to your wardrobe, consider exploring the world of unstitched ethnic suits. These traditional garments offer a unique blend of elegance, heritage, and craftsmanship. Pairing a well-folded pocket square with an unstitched ethnic suit can create a truly remarkable and culturally-inspired ensemble. So, let your style transcend boundaries and celebrate the beauty of different cultures through your fashion choices.
The pocket square remains a powerful tool in a gentleman's arsenal, allowing him to express his personality and elevate his outfit. By mastering the art of folding and embracing the myriad of options available, you can effortlessly enhance your style and leave a lasting impression. So, experiment with different folds, fabrics, and patterns, and let your pocket square be a testament to your impeccable taste and individuality.