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How To Fold A Pocket Square

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So you’ve bought that gorgeous pocket square that you’ve had your eyes on for a while. You’re ready to strut your new look, whether its with a blazer sans tie, or with a fully fledged suit. However, there’s one ingredient missing. You’re not sure how to fold a pocket square.

Whether you are looking for a quick and easy fold, or something more intricate that showcases your attention to detail, this guide on how to fold a pocket square will ensure that you always look the part and then some! Move over Steve Carrell, move in Ryan Gosling!

Presidential Pocket Square Fold

Presidential Pocket Square Fold

Courtesy of www.cavani.com

Difficulty Level: Easy

Occasions: Formal

Look: Understated

Fabrics: Silk, Linen or Cotton

Type Of Pocket Square: Plain White, preferably

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s Solid White Linen Pocket Square, Tuxedo White / Burgundy.

The Presidential Square Fold consists of a clean, rectangular look that will exude effortless debonair! In its finished form, a square fold looks like a horizontal band of fabric. Use this pocket square fold when looking for a maximum level of formality, and an understated look at the same time.  Whether you are looking to dress like James Bond or Don Draper, this pocket square will leave you in good standing. Typically, a white pocket square made from silk or linen will work best.

  1. Lay the pocket square face down.
  2. Fold the pocket square in half from right to left.
  3. Fold the pocket square in half again, from left to right, leaving a slight gap on the right hand side.
  4. From the pocket square in half again, this time from top to bottom.
  5. Fold the bottom up and behind the front. Adjust as needed to fit the size of your jacket’s breast pocket.

Presidential Fold Infographic

Courtesy of www.rarefold.com

Classic Fold

Classic Pocket Square Fold

Difficulty Level: Easy

Occasions: Formal

Look: Understated, with some flair

Fabrics: Silk , Linen or Cotton

Type Of Pocket Square: Plain White, preferably (ideally with contrasting, hand rolled edges).

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s Solid White Linen Pocket Square with burgundy hand rolled contrasting edges.

The classic fold is a variation of the presidential fold, and allows you to show some additional flair. The classic fold consists of a straightforward rectangle composed of overlapping edges. In fact, it is not necessary to keep the edges inline and symmetrical – having them slightly misaligned can add flair to your ensemble! Wearing pocket squares with contrasting edges (preferably hand rolled!) will accentuate your look even further.

The classic fold, like the presidential fold, looks best in more formal settings. As such, plain white pocket squares will look the best.

  1. Lay the pocket square flat face down.
  2. Fold the pocket square in half from left to right.
  3. Fold it in half from bottom to top (to ensure that the edges can be seen!)
  4. Fold it in half from left to right.
  5. Fold the bottom of the pocket square up and behind the front.

Classic Fold Infographic

Courtesy of www.ties.com

Single Peak Fold

Single Peak Fold

Courtesy of www.otaa.com

Difficulty Level: Easy

Occasions: Formal or Casual

Look: Neat & Elegant

Fabrics: Silk, Linen or Cotton

Type Of Pocket Square: Patterned Or Solid

To view The Dark Knot’s extensive range of Silk & Linen Pocket Squares, please click here.

Looking to up your game with your pocket square folding techniques? Cue the single peak fold. This fold is simple enough to be business appropriate, but relaxed enough to strut in a more casual setting as well! Therefore, whether you are dressing for daily work, an evening out or date night, this fold will have people doing a double take, and then some! The Single Peak Fold can be worn with either a silk, linen or cotton pocket square.

  1. Lay the pocket square fully unfolded and flat.
  2. Fold the pocket square diagonally down the middle to make a triangle.
  3. At the base of the triangle, where the fold is, fold the corner of the pocket square inwards on one side.
  4. Fold the other corner of the pocket square. Make each pocket square fold the same size, roughly the width of your pocket. The folded pocket square should look like an envelope.
  5. Insert the pocket square inside the suit jacket breast pocket.

Single Peak Fold Infographic

Courtesy of www.realmenrealstyle.com

Two Peak Fold

Two Peak Fold

Courtesy of www.ties.com

Difficulty Level: Easy

Occasions: Formal

Look: Neat & Elegant

Fabrics: Silk, Linen or Cotton

Type Of Pocket Square: Patterned Or Solid

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s extensive range of Silk & Linen Pocket Squares.

The two peak fold is a dressy fold with a bit of flair. Hence, it is a more detailed and aesthetic alternative to the single peak fold. Because it is traditionally a formal fold, it is best worn to business meetings, an important presentation, or the next wedding reception that you are attending! The Two Peak Fold showcases both the front and back side of your Pocket Square, so you want to make sure that you don’t use a pocket square that has a discernibly different front and back!

  1. Lay your pocket square face down in a diamond shape.
  2. Fold the pocket square in half from bottom to top, but adjust It slightly so that the corners are slightly apart (forming the two peaks!).
  3. Fold the right corner to the left, past the center point.
  4. Fold the left corner over to the right. Try and make each fold the same size, and the pocket square approximately the width of your jacket’s breast pocket.
  5. Fold any excess fabric around the back of the pocket square.
  6. Fold the bottom (excess) section of the pocket square towards the back. Adjust the pocket square to fit the size of your jacket!

Two Peak Infographic

Courtesy of www.ties.com

Three Peak Fold

Three Peak Fold

Courtesy of www.cavani.com

Difficulty Level: Easy

Occasions: Formal

Look: Neat & Elegant, Makes Powerful Statement

Fabrics: Silk, Linen or Cotton (preferably cotton or linen given more folds and peaks)

Type Of Pocket Square: Patterned Or Solid

To view The Dark Knot’s range of Silk Pocket Squares, click here.

To view The Dark Knot’s range of Linen Pocket Squares, click here.

The three peak fold should be a staple in every gentleman’s sartorial repertoire. The Three Peak Fold is ideal for making a confident, bold statement, and so is perfect for gentlemen who want to stand out from the crowd. These three symmetrical peaks make the fold ideal for formal settings, such as a wedding reception. However, they can be worn to an important meeting or presentation – just make sure that the pocket square and folds are extra crisp!

  1. Lay the pocket square face down in a diamond shape.
  2. Fold the pocket square in half from bottom to top.
  3. Take the bottom right point, and fold it up and towards the left of the first (center) peak.
  4. Fold the left corner up and to the right of the two peaks, creating the third peak!
  5. Fold the right corner in towards the middle, just past the center point.
  6. Bring the left corner in towards the middle, just past the center point.
  7. Fold the bottom section of the back. Adjust the pocket square to the size of your jacket breast pocket!

Three Peak Infographic

Courtesy of www.ties.com

Four Peak Fold

Four Peak Fold

Courtesy of www.shlawxing.com

Difficulty Level: Average

Occasions: Formal

Look: Neat & Elegant, Makes Powerful Statement

Fabrics: Linen or Cotton (starchier fabrics help with maintaining crispness of multiple folds, peaks)

Type Of Pocket Square: Solid (allow the multiple folds / peaks to take center stage, and not the color or pattern of the pocket square!).

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s extensive range of Linen Pocket Squares.

The grand daddy of the peak folds, the four peak fold should be reserved for the most formal of occasions. If you are looking to make a bold statement, the four peak fold is your ideal companion. Due to the intricate aesthetic of this fold, it is best to wear it with a solid / plain pocket square, to allow the folds to take center stage and not the color or pattern of the pocket square. Additionally, this fold is best worn with a more starchy fabric such as linen, as the rigidity of this fabric helps with maintaining the crispness of the various peaks.

  1. Lay the pocket square flat down, in a diamond shape.
  2. Fold the bottom of the pocket square up, with the bottom corner slightly to the right, creating the first two peaks.
  3. Fold the bottom right corner up to the left of the two peaks created the previous step, forming the third peak.
  4. Fold the bottom left corner up to the right of the previous three peaks, creating the fourth peak!
  5. Fold the right corner in towards the middle, just past the center point.
  6. Fold the left corner in towards the middle, just past the center point.
  7. Fold the bottom of the pocket square up and behind the front, and adjust the pocket square to fit the size of your jacket’s breast pocket.

Four Peak Fold Infographic

Courtesy of www.realmenrealstyle.com

Angled Peaks Fold

Angled Peaks Fold

Courtesy of www.otaa.com

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Occasions: Formal

Look: Neat & Elegant, Makes Powerful Statement

Fabrics: Linen or Cotton (starchier fabrics help with maintaining crispness of multiple folds, peaks)

Type Of Pocket Square: Solid (allow the multiple folds / peaks to take center stage, and not the color or pattern of the pocket square!).

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s extensive range of Linen Pocket Squares.

A more exuberant version of the four peaks fold, the angle peaks fold demonstrates visibly more flair. The Angled Peak Fold showcases four peaks that face in the same direction, making it distinctly different than the four peaks fold. The Angled Peak Fold, given the striking statement that it makes, is best reserved for more formal occasions.

Given the relatively complex nature of the fold and the finished look, it is best to opt for a linen pocket square, that will allow you to form crisper folds with pronounced peaks, as the rigidity of the fabric helps keeps the corners / peaks in place! The symmetry of the finished long (with the four peaks facing in the same direction) will be further enhanced by using a pocket square with contrasting hand rolled edges!

  1. Lay the pocket square face down.
  2. Fold the pocket square in half, from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.
  3. Fold the pocket square in half again, from the top left corner to the top right corner, slightly apart, to form two peaks.
  4. Fold the bottom corner up, to the left of the two peaks created in the previous step, to form a third peak.
  5. Separate the peaks from the last fold, to create a fourth peak.
  6. Fold the left edge of the pocket square behind and to the right.
  7. Fold the bottom of the pocket square up and behind the front. Adjust the pocket square to fit the size of your jacket’s breast pocket.

Angled Peak Infographic

Courtesy of www.trendhim.com

 

Winged Peak Fold

Winged Peak Fold

Courtesy of www.fashionbeans.com

Difficulty Level: Average

Occasions: Formal

Look: Intricate & Detailed, Provides Flair

Fabrics: Silk, Linen or Cotton (preferably silk, to showcase the pocket square’s tonality and fabrics).

Type Of Pocket Square: Solid, Patterned

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s range of Silk Pocket Squares.

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s range of Linen Pocket Squares.

The Winged Puff Fold is a variation of the single peak fold, but with more detail and character. The wing peaked fold features a diamond crest, with an intricate fold running down the center. This Pocket Square is ideal for weddings and formal occasions.

This pocket square fold works particularly well with silk pocket squares, allowing the sheen, vibrant colors and fabric to come to the forefront.

  1. Lay the pocket square face down.
  2. Fold the pocket square in half from top to bottom.
  3. Take the right side of the pocket square and fold it down the center.
  4. Take the left corner of the pocket square, and fold it down to the center.
  5. Fold the right point of the pocket square over to the left, just crossing the center line.
  6. Fold the left point of the pocket square, over to the right, just crossing the center line.
  7. Fold the bottom section of the pocket square behind. Adjust the pocket square according to the size of your suit jacket breast pocket.

Winged Puff Infographic

Courtesy of www.theknot.com

Puff Fold

Puff Pocket Square Fold

The Dark Knot's Ellington Paisley Silk Pocket Square

Difficulty Level: Super Easy

Occasions: Formal & Casual

Look: Elegant & Dapper

Fabrics: Silk, Linen or Cotton

Type Of Pocket Square: Solid, Patterned (looks especially good a paisley or polka dot pattern!)

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s extensive range of Silk & Linen Pocket Squares

Looking for a smooth, sleek fold that requires minimal effort. Maybe your just getting into pocket square game and are looking to up your style, without learning intricate, convoluted folds. Cue The Puff Fold. The puff fold is the perfect fold for strutting the color and pattern of that silk or linen pocket square that you’ve been vying to show off.

The beauty of the puff fold is that it isn’t exact and so always throws off a slightly different look making it appear more natural. The puff fold is ideal for both formal and casual events. Wear it with your tie of choice to a more formal event, or wear it sans tie with just a sports jacket and dress shirt on an evening out or date night!

  1. Lay your pocket square face up.
  2. Pinch your pocket square in the center of the fabric and lift it up.
  3. As you elevate it up, run it through your other hand with your thumb and index finger creating a circle.
  4. Hold the pocket square about three quarters of the way down.
  5. Fold the excess fabric behind the front of the pocket square, and adjust to the size of your jacket’s breast pocket.

Puff Fold Infographic

Courtesy of www.rarefold.com

The Edge Puff Fold

Edge Puff Fold

The Dark Knot's Saratoga Paisley Silk Pocket Square

Difficulty Level: Super Easy

Occasions: Formal & Casual

Look: Layered, Bold & Dapper

Fabrics: Silk, Linen or Cotton

Type Of Pocket Square: Solid, Patterned (looks especially good a paisley or polka dot pattern!), ideally with contrasting hand rolled edges.

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s extensive range of Silk & Linen Pocket Squares.

A variation of the puff fold, this exquisite fold is my favorite, go to fold! Showcasing both the puff, along with the edges, this intricate looking (but incredibly easy) fold allows you to showcase your pocket square pattern in great detail, along with the edges. As such, pocket squares with contrasting, hand rolled edges work best here, as they provide that perfect color contrast to the main color scheme of the pocket square pattern.

The Edge Puff fold can be worn to both formal and casual settings, and is ideal for the aspiring dapper gentleman that wants to strut their flair. It creates a stunning, layered look that often leave people asking “Are you wearing two pocket squares?!” The Edge Puff Fold, like the puff fold, can be worn with a silk, linen or cotton pocket square, though a silk pocket square, with its natural sheen, tends to have the most pronounced effect.

  1. Lay your pocket square face up.
  2. Pinch your pocket square in the center of the fabric, and lift it up.
  3. As you elevate the pocket square up, run it through your other hand, with your thumb and index finger, creating a circle.
  4. Hold the pocket square about half way down.
  5. Fold the excess fabric up, behind the puff, so that the edges are well displayed.
  6. Adjust the pocket square to the size of your jacket breast pocket, accordingly!

Reverse Puff Fold

Reverse Puff Fold

 

Difficulty Level: Super Easy

Occasions: Casual

Look: Relaxed, Nonchalant & Dapper

Fabrics: Silk, Linen or Cotton

Type Of Pocket Square: Solid or patterned, but ideally with contrasting hand rolled edges, to showcase the pocket square’s edges.

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s extensive range of Silk & Linen Pocket Squares.

The Reverse Puff Fold, like the Edge Puff Fold, is a variation of the Puff Fold. Showcasing primarily the edges and border (if the pocket square pattern has one) of the pocket square, this fold creates a nonchalant, relaxed aesthetic that makes it ideal for less formal occasions.

The beauty of wearing the reverse puff fold is that it’s relaxed enough to be worn to virtually any social engagement. Whether you are dressing for date night, an evening out with friends or looking to spruce things up at that next networking event, the reverse puff fold will have you in good standing!

The reverse puff fold can be worn with a silk, linen or cotton pocket square, though would look best with silk. Opt for a pocket square with with contrasting hand rolled edges, to showcase further flair and sophistication.

  1. Lay your pocket square face up.
  2. Pinch your pocket square in the center of the fabric, and lift it up.
  3. As you bring the pocket square up, run it through your other hand with your thumb and finger, creating a circle, and hold the pocket square half way down.
  4. Invert the puff of the pocket square, and spread the loose edges out with your fingertips, so they look somewhat symmetrical.
  5. Fold the bottom of the pocket square up and behind the pocket square.

Reverse Puff Fold Infographic

Courtesy of www.bedfordandbroome.com

Scallop Fold

 Scallop Pocket Square Fold

Courtesy of www.tie-a-tie.net

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Occasions: Casual or Formal

Look: Elegant, Sophisticated & Layered

Fabrics: Silk, Linen or Cotton (preferably silk, given the drape of the fold and the finished look!)

Type Of Pocket Square: Solid or patterned (would work particularly well with a polka dot or paisley pattern).

To view The Dark Knot’s range of Silk Pocket Squares, please click here.

To view The Dark Knot’s range of Linen Pocket Squares, please click here.

Looking for an alternative, intricate, yet fairly relaxed pocket square fold? Cue the scallop fold. The Scallop Fold is a somewhat complex pocket square fold that provides for a unique, layered look. Given the way the finished fold falls, this is best worn with a silk pocket square. The layered and intricate nature of the scallop fold make it ideal for both casual and formal settings

Given that the lines and silhouette of the scallop fold are somewhat curved, this look will undoubtedly add depth and character to your ensembles!

  1. Lay your pocket square face up in a diamond shape.
  2. Pinch the bottom quarter of the pocket square, and fold it up to create a pleat.
  3. Just above the pleat (maybe an inch), pinch the fabric again and fold it underneath to create a triangle (this should now create a layered look).
  4. Holding the pleats in place, turn the pocket square over so it is facing down.
  5. Take the right corner and fold it down, slightly askew to the left of the bottom point.
  6. Take the left corner and fold it in towards the right, slightly askew to the right of the bottom point.
  7. Hold the pocket square in place as you fold the sides around the back.
  8. Fold the bottom section of the pocket square up and behind.
  9. Adjust the pocket square to the size of your jacket breast pocket, and place it inside!

Voila, you have just achieved one of the more difficult pocket square folds out there!

 Scallop Fold Infographic

Courtesy of www.tie-a-tie.net

Three Stairs Fold

Three Stairs Pocket Square Fold

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Occasions: Formal

Look: Elegant, Sophisticated & Dapper

Fabrics: Silk, Linen or Cotton (though preferably silk, given the drape and finishing of the fold)

Type Of Pocket Square: Solid or patterned (polka dots or paisley patterns will work particularly well here).

To view The Dark Knot’s range of Silk Pocket Squares, please click here.

To view The Dark Knot’s range of Linen Pocket Squares, please click here.

The Three Stairs fold is the most sophisticated fold in our repertoire, and will ensure that people do a double take and then some! Featuring three, layered tiers, this sophisticated fold is best worn to formal events, such as a wedding reception. Due to the drape of this fold and the finished look, this fold is ideally worn with a silk pocket square, though it can be worn with a linen or cotton pocket square as well.

  1. Lay your pocket square face down.
  2. Fold the pocket square in half from the top right corner to the bottom left corner, so that the two points meet. This will form the first step of the stairs.
  3. Create a pinch in the fabric two inches below the first stair (the pocket square diagonal), and fold it up to form the second stair, just below the first.
  4. Pinch the fabric two inches below the second stair, and fold it up just below the second stair.
  5. Holding the steps in place, carefully fold in the pocket square in half diagonally, bringing the top left portion behind the bottom right.
  6. Fold the right side of the pocket square behind and to the left.
  7. Fold the left side of the pocket square behind the pocket square, and to the right.
  8. Fold the bottom of the pocket square up and behind the front. Adjust the pocket square to fit the size of your jacket breast pocket.

Congratulations, you have just achieved one of the most difficult folds in pocket square land!

Three Stairs Fold Infographic

 Courtesy of www.ties.com

Rose Fold

Rose Pocket Square Fold

Courtesy of www.tie-a-tie.net

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Occasions: Formal

Look: Elegant, Sophisticated & Dapper

Fabrics: Silk

Type Of Pocket Square: Solid or patterned (polka dots or paisley patterns will work particularly well here).

To view The Dark Knot’s range of Silk Pocket Squares, please click here.

Looking for a pocket square fold that will add a touch of elegance to your ensembles? Cue The Rose Fold. An intricate fold that features a curved, folded rose appearance, this pocket square look is a romantic complement to important occasions: a wedding, an anniversary or a special date night! Given the desire for an intended, finished look, the rose pocket square fold should definitely be worn with a silk pocket square!

Although the fold may look simple at first glance, it definitely requires a certain level of dexterity! Subtle adjustments through the folding process will go a long way to achieving that elegant, dapper look.

  1. Form a circle with your thumb and index finger.
  2. Place fabric on top of the circle that you created in the first place.
  3. With two fingers, push some fabric into the circle.
  4. Gently pinch the fabric within the circle from below.
  5. Keep twisting the top fabric in a circular motion, to create twisted pleats.
  6. Continue to twist, until there is no further excess fabric.
  7. Carefully hold the twisted pleats / folds while you remove your hand from underneath. Gently adjust as needed, making sure that the folds do not unravel as you do so.

And there you have the rose fold, one of the more inventive and unique folds out there!

Rose Fold Infographic

 

Are you overwhelmed by the numerous pocket square fold options above? Worry not, the below video elegantly capture some of the more basic folds that will still have you looking dapper in no time!

 

So there you have it. A comprehensive guide to various pocket square folds! But wait a minute, you now know what pocket square fold to wear, but how do you match it to your ties, should you be wearing one? The following guidelines should help.

Matching Ties To Pocket Squares

Contrary to popular belief, your pocket square should never be an identical match to your tie. While ready made sets at the flea market may have popularized that idea, the key with wearing your pocket square is to have your color and pattern complement the rest of your ensemble.

If you are looking for something more muted, opt for a monochromatic look, wearing a lighter or darker variation of your tie color. An example of this would include wearing a navy pocket square with a blue tie, or a burgundy pocket square with a pink tie.

If you are looking to dress more boldly, opt for a triadic color scheme (which uses colors in a color wheel that form a triangle). This creates a great level of contrast, as you are matching warmer colors against cooler colors, such as a red tie with a blue pocket square, or a navy tie with a burgundy pocket square!

Finally, if you are looking for something extremely bold, opt for a complementary color scheme, where colors diagonally across each other on the color wheel are paired together. This creates the strongest level of contrast between warm and cool colors e.g orange tie with a blue pocket square!

Regarding Pocket Square patterns, you want to choose one that is different in either type of pattern, proportion (spacing within the pattern), or both. Proportion is most critical, as you want a significantly different level of spacing within the pocket square versus the tie, so as to create the highest level of contrast.

Pocket Square Folds Summary

Alright, so that was a lot of information to digest! Thirteen different pocket square folds in all. To recap:

  • Silk is generally best for Puff Folds (Puff, Edge Puff, Reverse Puff), more elegant folds (Three Stairs Fold, Rose Fold), and is best reserved for more formal occasions.
  • Linen Pocket Squares are best used for folds with more peaks / points (Two Peak, Three Peak, Four Peak & Angled Peak Folds). However, these folds often look best during more formal occasions, so there is no hard and fast rule as to when to use silk vs linen!
  • Because Silk Pocket Square Folds greatly reduce the size of the pocket square during the fold (e.g with a puff fold, a pocket square is reduced down to a single puff!), it is best to opt for larger sized silk pocket squares. The Dark Knot offers Silk Pocket Squares that are 17 inches x 17 inches.
  • Linen Pocket Square Folds, because they utilize less fabric during the fold, can be worn with a smaller sized pocket square. Hence, The Dark Knot offers Linen Pocket Squares that are 15 inches x 15 inches.
  • Never exactly match your tie to your pocket square. Ideally, your pocket square color should complement that of your tie.
  • Choose a pattern that is different in scope or proportion, with the latter being of the most importance. You want the spacing of your pocket square pattern to be significantly different from that of your tie pattern, in order to create the most contrast.
  • Finally, the most important rule (if there is one)! Have fun with it! Wearing a pocket square is about adding a tough of flair and elegance to your ensembles, and wearing different folds is about figuring out what kind of look you want to present and how creative you want to get – so enjoy it!

 

And that’s a wrap for this one! We hope that you have enjoyed reading this detailed tutorial as much as we have had creating it!

 

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