A leading mark of the gentleman; a pocket square — sometimes known as a handkerchief —  is a classic, staple accessory. Often woefully neglected in modern style, a pocket square is a small yet powerful piece that can elevate your outfit in a mere matter of seconds. 

That is, however, if you know how to choose and fold your pocket square appropriately.

With the help of our style experts, we’ve rounded up our top tips on how to choose and style your pocket square, as well as the different ways that they can be folded to allow you to master this simple accessory.

How to choose your pocket square

Although it might seem like an easy way to coordinate your outfit, matching your pocket square to your block colour tie, or bow tie, generally won’t be well received. If you want to be well dressed, your pocket square needs to complement your look as a whole. 

To be on top of your style game, harmonise your pocket square with accents from your other accessories. The best way to do this is to choose a secondary colour from your shirt or tie as the primary colour of your pocket square. For example, if your shirt has navy blue pinstripes, incorporate blue into the base colour of your pocket square.

Alternatively, you can choose a pocket square that is a shade lighter or darker than the core colour of your ensemble. 

How to choose the right fabric for your pocket square

When it comes to pocket squares, fabric matters. Each fabric — whether it’s cotton, silk, linen or even wool — will each produce a different texture and bring an alternative style to the table.


One of the most popular fabrics for pocket squares is silk. Not only does it feel luxurious, but silk helps to make colours pop — especially when the light hits it in a certain way. Although silk can sometimes be trickier to fold, its softness can’t go amiss. 

When we think of silk pocket squares, we instantly think of quintessential characters like James Bond, who boasts only the most premium of materials. 

Cotton pocket squares

The most affordable option for men — and usually the most common —  cotton is one of the easiest fabrics to fold to for a classic square fold.

However, many cotton weaves can crease in unattractive ways and aren’t particularly amazing when trying to incorporate a more intricate style of fold. To ensure that you can get the most wear out of your cotton pocket square, make sure that it’s pressed regularly so it doesn’t go limp. 


The different ways to fold a pocket square

When it comes to folding your pocket square, there are a number of different classic and modern folds to choose from. 

1. The Square Fold

The square fold — also known as the Presidential fold — is the ultimate classic fold. An essential for any black-tie event, it’s best to use a cotton or linen material for this fold as silk fabric will slip easily, causing your pocket square to look untidy.  At its most basic, the square fold is a crisp, clean and elegant finish and is a great choice for those who may not be familiar with pocket square folds.


  1. Start with the pocket square fully unfolded and flat on a level surface.
  2. Fold in half (into a rectangle).
  3. Fold the half again from the bottom to form a finished square. It should be the same width as your pocket.
  4. Tuck the bottom fold of the square into your pocket and gently move it down so it touches the base.

 2.  The Basic Puff Fold

Although it’s known as “basic”, the puff fold is one of the most versatile and effortless ways of folding a pocket square. The perfect way to show off design, the puff fold works well with printed patterns and bold designs.


  1. Lay the pocket square on a flat surface.
  2. Pinch the centre and let the edges and corners hang down. The centre should now become the top of the fold.
  3. Fold the sides in gently — placing the dangling edges behind the back — until the square is small enough to tuck into your pocket.
  4. Ease the square into your pocket until just the rounded edges are visible.

 3. The One Point Fold

Sometimes known as the triangle fold, the one-point fold is perfect for most occasions — from business meetings to more casual events, too.

The one-point fold is a great way to add colour to your look. It typically works best with cotton and linen, as silk fabrics have a habit of sitting incorrectly in a triangle fold.


  1. Begin with the pocket square fully unfolded and on a flat surface.
  2. Fold the square diagonally in the middle to make a triangle.
  3. At the base of the triangle where the fold is, fold the pocket square inward on one side toward the centre and then repeat on the other. Essentially, it should look like an open envelope.
  4. Flip the pocket square over and then fold in the remaining fabric that sticks out.
  5. Slide the bottom fold into your pocket and tuck it all the way down until the rectangular edges are hidden. The only visible part of the pocket square should be the triangle pointing straight up.

 4. The Winged Puff Fold

The best fold for men that have a low-friction pocket square and may struggle to hold a crisp crease, the winged puff fold is a sharper take on the basic puff. 


  1. Start with the pocket square flat and fully unfolded on the level surface.
  2. Fold the pocket square diagonally and aim the point of the triangle down.
  3. Fold the corners from each side on the longer sides toward the centre and down to the bottom point. 
  4. Making an equilateral diamond, tug the corners loosely so the folded wings don’t overlap. 
  5. Fold the three corners that are not winged (avoiding the winged top peak) into the centre.
  6. Tuck the squared sides into your pocket so only the peak is visible and gently tease the wings apart slightly.

5. The Dunaway Fold

Although the Dunaway fold is more intricate compared to others, once mastered, it truly is a visionary fold. Depending on how colourful and stiff your pocket square is, this fold is will certainly stand out. You’re aiming to make this fold look like a flower.


  1. Once opened fully on a flat surface, pinch the centre of the pocket square and let the edges and corners hang down. Make sure that it hangs evenly on both sides.
  2. Still pinching the centre, gently tug on the dangling edges and pull the pocket square into a loose tube shape.
  3. Upturn the tube shape and spread the loose edges out with your fingers, taking care to make sure that both are symmetrical. 
  4. Fold the centre of the square upwards, making sure to stop about midway.
  5. Tuck into your pocket and make sure that only the splayed edges are visible. Adjust where needed.

6. The Scallop Fold

Popular at weddings and other celebrations, the scallop fold is one of the most stylish folds that a man can wear. It traditionally has a soft, organic shape and works amazingly well with both solid colours and patterned pieces. 


  1. For the best results, make sure that you’re using a pocket square that’s made from silk. Begin with your square fully unfolded and on a flat surface.
  2. Fold the square diagonally down the middle to form a triangle and then fold in half again.
  3. Lifting the square lightly, slowly curl one of the doubled corners in and then downwards. Make sure that you don’t crease or bend the pocket square.
  4. Repeat on the other side, make sure that it’s almost identical to the other side.
  5. Tuck the triangular point of the folded pocket into your pocket — only the top of the curve should be visible. Adjust were necessary.

Get help from the experts at Slater Menswear

Now you know how to choose the right fabric and the ways in which to fold a pocket square, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to the test. Whether you’re opting for a basic square fold if you’re looking for a more simple option or a Dunaway fold will keep you looking dapper, we’ve got you covered.

For more style guides, clothing advice or suit inspiration, head over to our style inspiration page or explore our full range of suits and pocket squares at Slater Menswear to find your style.



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