An Urban Gent Basic: How to Fold a Pocket Square or Handkerchief

I happened to be going through a few of my old magazines this weekend and came across a page featuring pocket squares. I decided to share the page with you guys along with a few other photos of men wearing pocket squares:

I couldn’t post the pictures above without giving directions on how to properly fold a pocket square, so I’ve listed 4 popular ways to fold it, plus one “special way”. Alot of men tend to fold their pocket square or handkerchief using one technique every single time, without switching it up. That’s usually because they only know one technique- most likely taught to them at a suit store. Although it certainly is fine to have a signature folding style, it’s important to atleast know how to fold in other ways; so that you can switch it up every now and again. The next time you go out try folding your square using one the techniques below:

(follow the directions step by step, click to enlarge photo)

THE PUFF

1. Lay your pocket square flat with the two top corners horizontal. Pinch the middle of the pocket square and pick it up.

2.As you pick up the pocket square tuck the sides in as in the diagram. Don’t worry it may take a couple of tries to get it just right, but soon you will have it perfect.

3. With one hand firmly holding the pocket square, use your other hand to gently gather it closed.Now gracefully gather up the bottom of the pocket square.

4. Tuck as needed and place your pocket square in your jacket pocket.


THE PRESIDENTIAL POCKET SQUARE
(also known as the Flat pocket square, Straight, Architect, or TV fold)


1. Lay your pocket square flat with the two top corners horizontal.
2. Fold the the left side over the right side.
3. Fold the bottom up just short of the top.
4. Tuck as needed and place your pocket square in your jacket pocket.


ONE POINT/PYRAMID POCKET SQUARE
(also known as the one corner)

1. Lay your pocket square flat with one corner facing up and one corner facing down.
2. Fold the bottom corner up to meet the top corner.
3. Fold the left corner to the right.
4. Repeat and fold the right corner in to the left.
5. Tuck as needed and place your pocket square in your jacket pocket.

FOUR POINT POCKET SQUARE

1. Lay your pocket square flat with one corner facing up and one corner facing down.
2. Fold the bottom corner up to the top just to the left of the top corner.
3. Fold the left side towards the right, and up to the right of the “middle peak”.
4. Fold the right side towards the left, and up to the left of the “second peak”.
5. Tuck as needed and place your pocket square in your jacket pocket.


DUNAWAY POCKET SQUARE
(combo puff and point)

1. Lay your pocket square flat with the two top corners horizontal.Pinch the middle of the pocket square and pick it up.

2. As you pick up the pocket square tuck the sides in as in the diagram. Don’t worry it may take a couple of tries to get it just right, but soon you will have it perfect.

3. With one hand firmly holding the pocket square, use your other hand to gently gather it closed.

4. Now gracefully roll the top of the pocket square in the direction of the arrow.

5. Carefully lift the bottom points up.

6. Flatten the points.

7. Tuck as needed and place your pocket square in your jacket pocket.

There are many different ways to fold a pocket square. To perfect the art of folding I suggest perfecting the five folds listed above then begin mixing styles and techniques– be creative and think outside the box. Yes there are common and culturally proper ways to fold your handkerchief, but there is technically no wrong way; so grab your pocket square and suit jacket and just play around until you find a style that fits your personal look.


*directions courtesy of samhober

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5 Comments


  1. This is a great post. It's definitely full of good information. Men should know how to fold a pocket square. It's nice to know more than just one particular fold too.

  2. This article was so needed. I have been trying to learn how to do the different pocket squares for sometime now.

    Also I really like those tie and shirt combinations. I know those weren't your intention, but they do give some eye catching combinations.

    Thanks once again

  3. excellent post!!
    the pocket sq has become the new tie, i feel naked without one!

  4. This is a great post! I hate the way my husband crams his pocket square in his pocket. I will definitely be sharing this with him. Thanks!

  5. I’m definitely partial to the “less is more” school of thought. Also, avoid any urge to match your pocket square to your tie &/or cufflinks. It should stand alone.

    @Robbin: Make sure it’s not his hanky… :)

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