A man’s pocket handkerchief is a distinctive feature point that transcends the style of any jacket. This is an accessory that can perfect your look, adding the essential touch of style that a suit alone cannot achieve. A pocket handkerchief, or square sends out a clear message, and a careful choice is what stresses your own elevated attention to detail.
A pocket handkerchief is no more than a square piece of fabric, folded in a certain way and then placed in the top pocket of a jacket. Its use dates back to the early 19th century, when the suit became an essential staple for any gentleman’s wardrobe.
The simplest pocket handkerchief is white and made in natural fabric, such as linen, cotton or silk. The first two fabrics are used with a business look, while silk is more suited to festive or society occasions. For ceremonies, on the other hand, the pocket handkerchief should be in white cotton.
Since the pocket handkerchief or square is a creative, distinctive feature of an outfit, it should not be in the same fabric as the tie, although it can pick up on the colour so as to create a more seamless effect. If you would like to be a bit more daring, then you could try using complementary colours, as long as they don’t clash with your suit.
All you need to do next is decide how to fold your handkerchief and there you have your look! The simplest fold is a square, also known as a “presidential”: just fold your square in half twice and you should now have a smaller square to put in your pocket, so that just a small part of it is on show. It is a commonly used fold because it suits formal occasions as well as more casual ones.
For office wear or important work appointments, you can choose a point fold (single, two-point, or three-point), by folding the handkerchief into a triangle and leaving the point (or points) to be seen from the pocket top.
A more complex fold is the puff, which is perfect with silk or a handkerchief with a particular pattern. Pick up the handkerchief by the centre, let the rest drop down and then fold the bottom part towards the top. The result is a soft, creative fold.
The rules for wearing a pocket handkerchief with style are not so difficult. It’s worth trying out this dapper accessory that many feel is just as important as a handbag for a woman’s outfit.
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