How to Make Your Own Pocket Square

pocket-square-how-to
PHOTO CREDIT: Akon

A pocket square is an absolute classic in a man’s wardrobe and honestly, completely timeless. The pocket square definitely adds a sense of sophistication and can even make an outfit- So take note!

Check out more from our Men’s Style Guide.

mens-guide-to-pocket-squares-image
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The pocket square isn’t just a fiddly bit of fabric, or a posh piece of cloth fit only for the upper classes; but a hard working wonder which can add serious panache to your look without seeming too try-hard.

Don’t be fooled! It also gives any gentleman the opportunity to express his personality at times when you would otherwise be uniformed. Pocket squares are often overlooked, however, with fabrics and folds aplenty, there are many ways to wear it depending on the look or feel you want to express, and we have a fold to suit every mood.

Pocket-Sqaures-worn-by-man-suit
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First Things First

Fabric

To be honest, any fabric can be used as a pocket square as long it is thin enough to fit in to the breast pocket without bulging out and looking clumsy; however silk, linen, cotton and wool are the most favoured cloths for the job.

  • Silk: The most luxurious of fabrics when it comes to the pocket square, and usually the most hard-working too, as it is perfect year-round. A silk square is versatile, making experimenting with various folds easy and is the only option when it comes to black tie.
  • Linen/Cotton: These more casual fabrics should generally be worn in spring/summer, however, if you live in a hot climate they are acceptable all year round. These cloths require a more simple fold.
  • Wool/Cashmere: Along with flannel and tweed, these fabrics should be reserved for the colder winter months.
pocket-square-material-cotton-aliexpress
Suit Pocket Squares | PHOTO CREDIT: Ali Express | SHOP: Suits | Accessories | Shoes

Colour

If you are a skeptical on pocket squares or even are a beginner, you may want to opt for solid colours as it is the simplest option. Both white and blue tend to be easy to tie in with almost anything. If you are not sure about the colour you should opt for a colourful pocket square such as greys and pinks as they will also go with most looks. On the other hand if you are starting to feel a little more adventurous you should go for contrasting edges before going all out and experimenting with a pattern such as gingham or polka dot.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Gentlemen Essentials

Pocket Square Size

Generally pocket squares come in two sizes, large and small.

Large Pocket Squares

American and English manufactures often make large squares, these are intended to be worn in lined breast pockets. The square sizes range between 42 to 45 cm (16 1/2 to 18″ ), this is so they remain visible outside the breast pocket and do not need to be adjusted.

Small Pocket Squares

Italian manufactures tend to make smaller pocket squares, this is due to their aesthetic of wearing sportier jackets with patch pockets. Patch pockets are a lot smaller with less depth, hence requiring smaller squares. (30 cm).

Pocket Square Pattern

There are many patterns which are suitable for your pocket square, and to be honest it is basically up to you on whichever pattern you like. Have this opportunity to show your personality!

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How to Make a Pocket Square From Fabric

S0, you love the idea of wearing a pocket square but you don’t really want to buy one? Well, look no further! Cheap pocket squares are hard to come by, especially if they are good quality so, so why not try making your own.

Here we will provide you with everything you need to know about the DIY pocket square, so you can make your very own individual pocket square. So heres what you’ll need:

Gentlemen- pocket -square- gruppo-plestie.com
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How to Make a Pocket Square With a Sewing Machine:

Materials:

  • Fabric (silk or cotton)

Tools:

  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Fabric scissors
  • Measuring tape

How to Make Pocket Squares:

  1. Cut out a square of fabric. Generally pocket squares range from 10×10 inches to 17×17 inches. We recommend staying on the larger end as you might want a bit more fabric incase of errors.
  2. Create a hem by folding one side in about ¼ inch and ironing it in place. Then make a second fold and iron it to cover up the frayed edges. Do this to all four sides of your square.
  3. Put the fabric under the needle of the sewing machine, and stitch around your square.
  4. When you arrive to the corners, leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and turn it ninety degrees. Put the presser foot back down and continue sewing. Trim the thread at the ends.
  5. Fold your square and place it in your pocket following the steps outlined below!
pocket-square-men-style
Making a Pocket Square | PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest | SHOP: Suits | Accessories | Shoes

How to Make a Pocket Square Without a Sewing Machine

Very similar to the process above, however

Materials:

  • Fabric (silk or cotton)

Tools:

  • Thead and needle
  • Iron
  • Fabric scissors
  • Measuring tape

How to Make Pocket Squares:

  1. Cut out a square of fabric. Generally pocket squares range from 10×10 inches to 17×17 inches. We recommend staying on the larger end as you might want a bit more fabric incase of errors.
  2. Create a hem by folding one side in about ¼ inch and ironing it in place. Then make a second fold and iron it to cover up the frayed edges. Do this to all four sides of your square.
  3. Find a flat surface to line up the edges and out darts in them to keep them in place.
  4. Continue to stitch in a straight line around the square sealing the edges
  5. When you get to the end of the square make sure to double knot the thread to avoid fraying or unravelling
  6. Fold your square and place it in your pocket following the steps outlined below!

How to Fold a Pocket Square

Let’s be honest, we all want to be individuals and it’s the same when it comes to pocket squares! When folding a pocket square you can for sure be an individual. As there are so many ways to fold a pocket square, you can choose the one you best like or even the one which is best suited to you! You are for sure spoilt for choice.

Pocket Square Folds

Presidential Fold

presidential fold- pocket square
PHOTO CREDIT: Oliver Wicks

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. How to create a presidential fold:

  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

one-point fold pocket square
How to Tie a Pocket Square | PHOTO CREDIT: Brit

This is 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. How to create a one-point fold:

  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

Scallop Fold

scallop Fold pocket square
PHOTO CREDIT: GQ

This is an easy fold for beginners that looks great in patterned silk. How to create a scallop fold:

  1. Lay the pocket square flat
  2. Fold in half from bottom left corner to top right corner
  3. Fold in half again from bottom right corner to top left corner
  4. To finish, fold both left and right corners in once more

Two-Point Fold

Two-Point Fold oliver wicks photo
PHOTO CREDT: Oliver Wicks

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 and it works well whether you opt for plain or patterned fabric. How to create a two-point fold:

  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

Crown Fold- guff.com
PHOTO CREDIT: Guff

The crown fold 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. How to create a crown fold:

  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

Cagney Fold montagio.com picture
Folding Pocket Squares | PHOTO CREDIT: Montagio

This fold is a variation on the crown fold which creates a four-point cagney fold. How to create a cagney fold:

  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

Winged Puff Fold oliver wicks picture
PHOTO CREDIT: Oliver Wicks| SHOP: Suits, Accessories, Shoes

The winged puff fold is clean and formal and it’s great for business occasions and a step-up from the presidential fold. Take your pick from cotton, linen or silk. How to create a winged puff fold:

  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

youtube image Mountains Fold
PHOTO CREDIT: Youtube

This fold makes a bigger statement than the rest and will for sure be noticed by the style-conscious in the crowd- it is simply the perfect fold for a party occasion. For the best look you should opt for a patterned silk. How to create a mountain fold:

  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

Rolled Puff Fold- gentlemans gazette image
PHOTO CREDIT: Gentleman’s Gazette

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.

  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

PHOTO CREDIT: Oliver Wicks
PHOTO CREDIT: Oliver Wicks

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.

  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
jannadoan.com pocket square man suit
PHOTO CREDIT: Jannadoan

How to Style a Pocket Square

  • You should always try to be creative with whatever you wear and silk pocket squares are far more adventurous!
  • Classic, simple folds work best in cotton or linen.
  • Pocket squares are for style not sweat (despite their practical origins). Keep it clean by carrying an extra in your trouser pocket should you need something to wipe your brow with.
  • Try to avoid being too “matchy” with your pocket square and tie combo. Colours may correspond but make sure the pattern or fabric texture is slightly different.
  • Don’t forget to consider texture!
pocket-square-glamorous-pochette-sbk-coaching.com
PHOTO CREDIT: SBK-coaching

What is a Pocket Square: History of Pocket Squares.

The pocket square has many different origins such as any other garment. By some it is dated back to the Ancient Egyptians who carried dyed pieces of cloth to represent wealth, whereas others say the Ancient Greeks started it by carrying scented cloth to keep a pleasant smell nearby.

However, the inventor of the pocket square is seen to go to Kind Richard II in the 1390s who carried a square cloth to simply wipe his nose with. And from the late 1400s these handkerchiefs started being worn as an accessory rather than anything practical. Elaborately embroidered and made out of far more exotic materials such as silk, they were popular amongst the upper classes.

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Fred Astaire and Cary Grant were both keen pocket square wearers in the 1930s | PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

The pocket square’s place in Western society was firmly secured during the 1940s and 50s when they were popular amongst male movie stars, each having a signature style. “King of Hollywood” Clark Gable wore his with the triangle facing up whilst musical actor, Fred Astaire, preferred his more jazzed up. This, along with its noble past, makes it a symbol of style today.

On That Note…

So there you have it. A pocket square simply means you have the confidence to try different things…be bolder. A pocket square nowadays doesn’t need to be shop bought but can be made by yourself quite easily. So you are the boss on the colour, fabric, size, pattern and even style! So why why wait? You certainty don’t need to splash the cash for some sophistication, make it yourself!

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