A question of style: the perfect pocket square

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160317-oliverbrown-7714-1 There is, they say, an exception to every rule – including that one. And this is it, the rule to which there are no exceptions: Your pocket square should not precisely match your tie. Of course, whether you wear a pocket square at all is nobody business but yours. At Oliver Brown, however, we think a well-judged one can be a subtle, rather smart stylistic punctuation mark. We’ve brought together a few tips and customs to help ensure that an outstanding pocket square doesn’t stand out. The colour: It’s hard, if not impossible, to go wrong with pure white. However, choosing a colour that complements (rather than matches) one of the colours on your tie - or matches the colour of your shirt - expresses an attention to detail that falls short of excessive fastidiousness. The material: The choice of silk, linen or cotton is entirely open. We think that silk is less bulky. A hand-rolled rather than machined hem can lend a square a pleasing, slightly irregular edge and a fine finish. The fold: This, again, is down to personal preference. We like the simplicity of a straight fold that leaves a slim rectangle protruding half an inch or so:

  • Lay the square flat and fold it in half from side to side.
  • Bring the bottom edge up towards (but just short of) the top.
  • Fold approximately into thirds width-ways to fit the breadth of your pocket.
Finally, having taken the trouble to choose and fold a pocket square so carefully, we’d suggest carrying a handkerchief separately.