Throughout the years, men’s fashion has been becoming less and less about function and more about the looks.
This is probably the reason why most of the classic menswear has changed it’s fit, becoming more slimmer to flatter your body, but not changing its overall structure. Basically, a blazer nowadays has the same pockets, flaps, sleeve length etc as they were 60 years ago.
However a lot of accessories that the modern gentleman today serves purely aesthetic purposes. Throughout the years, the pocket square or handkerchief as it was called back in the days was worn mainly to wipe your hands or forehead. Not very stylish…
Now it’s mainly worn to add some extra style to your blazer or suit and to show your personality, maybe occasionally to give to a woman that needs it, but mainly serves aesthetic purposes.
So, gentleman, today we are looking at the history, use and everything else about the pocket square.
How it all began…
The history of the handkerchief can be traced all the back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Mainly used to clean your hands and forehead, as I mentioned above, it was also serving as an accessory to cover your head. The modern day use of the pocket square did not become a thing until about 100 years ago. Before that, it was serving functioning purposes.
Modern day use
For the past 100 years, the stylish purposes have overcome the function and it’s been worn just to add a little bit of pizzazz to your whole outfit. The etiquette of the modern day gentleman suggest that if you see a woman that needs a handkerchief, let’s say she’s crying, you should give your pocket square to her.
But if we look into the aesthetic purposes of the pocket square in today’s world things get more of a symbolic use rather than functionality.
Many people show their social-economics class with the material their pocket square is made, or from whom the pocket square is. Many high-end pocket squares are made from silk, linen, cotton and different blends between these fabrics. Everything from the stitching is thought trough and is also a giving point if a pocket square is of high quality or not. The price tag is also a giving out point. A luxury pocket square can go above $200 easily, which is totally insane. I believe that more than $40 dollars is absolutely absurd to spend. Anything above that you are paying for the brand name and not quality.
But let’s get to the most important topic of the day, and that’s the fold of the pocket square.
Throughout the years, different folds have been introduced to the stylish gent. With a variety of ways to fold the pocket square, you can definitely express yourself. It’s also quite common for a gentleman to use fabrics with different prints and pictures in them. Polka dots, stripes, and squares are quite common as patterns and you can also get camo, pictures of horses, modern art and many others.
The fold of the pocket square is important. You should know the etiquette because of the way it’s folded. Some are appropriate for more conservative situations like meetings and balls, and others are great for expressing yourself.
One Point Pocket Square Fold
Great for almost any occasion. It’s appropriate for more conservative occasions and it’s quite easy to fold.
Two Point Pocket Square Fold
Just as the one point, the two point can be worn almost always.
Three and Four Point Pocket Square Fold
Great for meetings those folds are awesome for showing superiority and style.
Flat Pocket Square Fold
The easiest fold. It’s great for everything and it’s almost impossible to mess up.
Puff and Winged Pocket Square Fold
Those two show a little bit more character but they are still perfect for conservative occasions.
Colors and how to match a pocket square with your outfit
The rule of matching the colors of your clothes does not apply to the pocket square. It’s that piece of the outfit that its whole purpose is to stand out. If your tie should complement your outfit, the pocket square should stand out like the diamond in a diamond ring.
You can choose a color that complements the tie or the shirt but it should never have the same pattern, color or fabric. And they should never be from the same pack. If you buy identical tie and pocket square you should never wear them together.
So, gentleman, when it comes to your pocket square you can go completely crazy. Be bold, be stylish and experiment until you find your perfect look!
– Evgeni Asenov