Your shopping guide for pocket squares reminds you to pay attention to your accessories' fabric, stitching, patterns, and colours. The guide will help you choose well-made pieces that will last in your wardrobe and be used all year round.
In the Pocket Squares mini-series, we explore the etiquette of wearing a pocket square, what to look for when purchasing such an accessory and folds. Firstly, when shopping for your pocket square, look at the weave, weight, and thickness of the fabric.
Then, select a high-quality product that has tight, hand-rolled edges with hidden, regularly spaced stitches. Different pocket squares suit better formal events, while others can be worn in more relaxed environments.
Pocket squares can be linen, cotton, silk, wool, or a blend of textiles and measure up to half a square metre. Fabrics are essential because they will favour one fold or another, depending on the composition of the pocket square. Cotton pocket squares are durable and coarse, which like linen ones, will not give you a lot of trouble when wearing. Both cotton and linen will wash and iron well.
A pocket square made of light linen or cotton will help create sharp edges and thick creases. Therefore, try folding your pocket square after the TV method, and make sure you expose a closed edge while the points are tucked inside.
Another simple way to fold a cotton or linen pocket square is the peak style, where a small triangle will show from your pocket. When folding and positioning your pocket square, ensure the folds are at the back and in your breast pocket, and only the point on display. As linen and cotton are coarse, the pocket square will not slide down in your pocket.
Silk fabrics are considered classic, and they appeal to the wearer because of their smoothness. However, this can prove tricky as they can easily slide inside your pocket. Silk pocket squares suit puff folds, like the Windsor puff or the Cooper puff folds.
Another easy fold used by gentlemen to look nonchalant and less focused on the details is the four-point fold. The technique might require a few tries, as the difficulty doesn't lie in the fold but in placing it in the pocket without creating bulkiness. Remember to tease the points to create the desired effect. The lightness and floaty qualities of the silk pocket squares are ideal for polishing your look and adding some dimension and volume to your jacket.
When taking care of your silk pocket squares, remember that it is a delicate fabric and would be best to take it for dry cleaning. Also, do not store the pocket square if it has a stain, as it will spread and destroy the fabric. Finally, when storing, make sure it lays flat, unfolded, and there are no heavy accessories on top.
Simplicity, to me, has always been the essence of good taste.
Cary Grant – actor
Woollen pocket squares are perfect for winter attires and pair well with heavier and warmer fabrics. The biggest challenge a heavier fabric presents is the added bulkiness that can make the attire look sloppy.
Carefully consider the size and fold when planning to use such a pocket square and opt for a blend of wool and silk for a polished look. Also, choose folds without too many creases, such as the TV fold or the Windsor puff.
To check the quality of your pocket square beyond fabric, one needs to examine the stitching. The pocket square edges are essential to consider when shopping, as poorly stitched accessories will not allow you to create the desired folds.
Firstly, check if the pocket square has any loose threads or stitching errors. These will be difficult to conceal when folding and positioning your pocket square.
Secondly, pay attention if there are any labels attached. Check if the tags are easy to remove without damaging the stitching or the fabric. Your choice of folds will be restricted if you cannot remove the labels.
Hand-Rolled Edges Vs Machine Stitches
There are two ways of stitching a pocket square: by hand or machine. The hand-rolled edge works best for silk or silk blend fabrics. The hand stitching will be slightly uneven and will give a unique feeling to the accessory. However, as it is much more difficult and requires a skilled artisan, the price tag of hand-stitched pocket squares is higher.
Machine stitching will create sharp and flat edges perfect for more structured folds associated with linen, cotton, or a blend of textiles. The embroidered border is a beautiful machine stitch where a tight thread spiral runs on the pocket square's edges.
From the previous episode of the Pocket Squares mini-series, we learned that the pocket square should complement your look and never be worn as a matching set with your tie. As a great way to express personal style, one can choose a pocket square in vibrant colours and prints, small motifs or large prints, with contrast tipping or subtle stitching.
When you opt for a printed or multi-coloured pocket square, choose the tie in one of the colours found on your pocket square for a coordinated look. Another option is to select the tie's primary colour in a different hue from the one on the pocket square.
Another stylish choice is to select your tie in a lighter or darker hue found on the pocket square. Choosing your tie is an art. Discover our tips in the Gents Ties mini-series and dress up according to the seasons for a modern and fresh look.
The Pocket Squares mini-series is the foundation for building your accessories wardrobe. In the episode "When to Wear a Pocket Square?" we explore what type of pocket square to wear to both formal and informal events and how to express your style through different folds. The next episode of the mini-series focuses on folding your pocket square when you have a repetitive print. Follow #DHPocketSquares on social media for our range of pocket squares and more tips about men's accessories.
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