21 October 2016Last updated

Features | People

Ask the expert: pocket square etiquette

A pocket square worn appropriately displays the true sartorial taste of a gentleman

15 Aug 2016 | 03:40 pm

Why do we need a pocket square, and are they just to be ruffled up and placed in the pocket of your jacket, or is there a certain way to fold them?

Pocket squares are used to adorn the top pocket of a gentleman’s coat and adds a significant amount of personality to the entire look.

Decorative silk pocket squares with vibrant prints showcase the innate personality of the wearer and add a studied playfulness to an otherwise conservative formal look.

Linen white pocket squares or cotton ones are also used for its true gentlemanly purpose: service. Presented at the most opportune time, it displays a man’s true gentility. When taking a lady out for dinner, if she accidentally spills her beverage on her dress, it is this gesture of a gentleman offering his white linen or cotton pocket square to the lady that will be appreciated.

There are plenty of ways to fold a pocket square, depending on the occasion for which it is to be worn. The most classic one is a square fold with the folded-up bottom edge tucked into the pocket, the top peeking 2cm above the edge of the pocket.

Then there’s the puff fold, which is tucked in a semi ball and then pulled to showcase 5cm of it. Balance is important here as a well-balanced fold shows attention to detail.

Various other folds can be done depending on whether it’s to be worn for official purposes or for leisure.

You must also note: never match the pocket square with the tie. One must take care to complement it in a manner that makes it subtly different, never the same.

Pocket squares can also be hemmed with a piping border of a contrasting colour and this is often done in white pocket squares to give it more character. A pocket square worn appropriately displays the true sartorial taste of a gentleman.

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Pawan and Ashish Ishwar

are tailors at Knights & Lords, a bespoke tailoring house in Dubai.