We are frequently asked how to fold silk pocket squares creatively. Below are a few tips and tricks...
The endless variety of folds is part of the joy of owning a 'pochette' (French for pocket square).
There are so many types of folds out there. Some are classic, like the Presidential Fold or the Three Pointer. Some are much more avant garde and outrageous! But as you experiment and get to know your pocket square (the size, the fabric and the design) you'll discover delightful twists and turns that create miniature sculptures right in your top pocket. The important thing is to enjoy yourself and do what you feel comfortable with. At the end of the day it's just an accessory... not life or death!
Why does your pocket square fold matter?
It might seem irrelevant how you fold your pocket hanky but it really can affect how your overall look comes across. First impressions count and wearing a square is a statement that always draws attention. People tend to look at your eyes, then your pocket square and then your shoes. If you have a florid and flamboyant fold and you are attending a serious business meeting it will be a distraction. You would be better off going for a simple point or the flat Presidential which allows you to communicate robustness, neatness and trustworthiness. Conversely, if you wish to seem louche and déshabillé then any of the styled folds is inappropriate. Sometimes it's best to just 'shove it in and go'. You will look a look more carefree... a lot more Riviera!
Why does my pocket square keep slipping down?
One of our friends was marvelling at how the Furious Goose pocket squares stood proud in the pocket whereas his, from a superstar of British design who shall remain nameless, kept disappearing into his pocket. Constant fiddling with your pochette isn't a good look in any circumstance and your discomfort will ruin your confidence... better not to wear the accessory at all if it's going to turn into a sartorial nightmare.
It can be to do with fabric... silk twill has a bit of a grip as the weave is slightly ribbed, whereas a satin pocket square is a lot more slippery and soft. But essentially it comes down to size. A decent size for a pocket square is around 40-45cm. It means you can achieve more complex folds but also allows for excess material to fill the pocket no matter how generous it is. It can then act almost as a plinth to your fold supporting it from below. And as a bonus you can wear it round your neck! It must be said that if you have a particularly tiny top pocket then you will prefer the smaller size (say 30cm) as you don't want to destroy the lines of your suit but, in general, jackets have the larger sized pockets.
You can also be clever with the fold and use an upside down triangle, making it physically hard for the square to move down into the pocket.
How can I achieve more complex folds?
Some of the more complex folds seem impossible when you're just using your hands and your lap. What you may not know (or be a bit scared of) is that you can iron silk as long as you are careful. With fabrics like Silk Twill or Crepe de Chine you can press the fabric to a sharp edge. This can help define your Presidential Fold to perfection or reduce bulk if you are finding that your pocket is bulging.
We can't emphasise enough how careful you have to be. Always start at a low temperature and work up. The last thing you want to do is to burn your fabulously expensive, luxury, pure silk pocket square in a domestic blunder. How gauche! You must also make sure you have the iron on the highest steam setting possible. Once you've got the settings correct you can be relatively robust although we would recommend being careful around the hem and the label. For the hem, if you go at it like you're working in a steel factory you can flatten the lovely hand-rolled hem to a pancake. It will spring back eventually but it will look a little sad for your evening. And one major thing to watch for is the label. These are often made of polyester and can melt! Total disaster!
Apart from using an iron to get those crisp edges, another top tip is to use a large (clean) table before you insert the square into the pocket. Don't just try to do it on your lap! You can really see how different patters can be formed and you have more control over your fold.
Finessing the look
No matter how stunning your fold looks on the table, invariably when you transfer it into your jacket pocket things go a bit awry. It is when the pocket square is finally in situ that you do your final tweaks to make it look the truly epic. With your fingers you can stretch your fold outwards to fill the pocket across its width. This will prevent the pocket square from disappearing into the depths of the pocket and will avoid any weird gaps. You can also make sure each layer is displayed to its best and tuck away any labels. Sometimes you can adapt a fold when it is 'in-pocket' to create something totally unique!
Remember to enjoy yourself and to play! There is nothing more pleasurable than trying out new pocket square folds – especially if the silks are as beautifully designed as ours. As our designs are not just repeat patterns every fold will present a different part of the design or a new combination of colours. It really is an almost meditative pastime. Create a new fold... then iron out the creases and start again. Ohm!!!!
Some quick examples...
Here are a few videos we've made over the years to give you some inspiration... why not make your own and send them in to us! The more the merrier!