January 21, 2010

Pocket Square Matching Tips

Pocket Square Matching – Colors, Patterns, Folds, and Occasions

Mens pocket squares have become quite popular again in recent years. They are the perfect fashion accessory for the well-dressed man – not just for formal occasions but also for business and leisure. To give men an endless amount of options pocket squares are made in a large range of colors, patterns, and even fabrics. Pocket squares are well suited for most ensembles. Goat is to create contrast to shirt and tie while still being set off against the suit jacket. The pattern and color should contrast the other clothing items but still harmonize. Below are the most common types of pocket squares and tips on how to wear them.

Formal Hankies in Solid White
The neatly folded, solid white pocket square is most common. Usually the pocket square is made from finest cotton or linen. If you are looking for something unique then you may want to look into pocket squares made from twill cotton or pique. Depending on the type of pocket square fold chosen it may be recommended to add starch to give more body and crisp look. The white pocket square looks best when worn with dark colored suits as well as for formal black tie functions.

Silk and Thai-Silk Pocket Squares
Silk is the most popular fabric for mens pocket squares and are available in any color and pattern imaginable. So many choices can make it quite confusing to find the right matching square and it is not surprising that many men shy away from it. When shopping for pocket squares we suggest to keep the colors and patterns simple. Best are solids in white, light rose-pink, light blue, burgundy, navy, and amber. Great also are pocket squares made with a textured fabric weave such as fine ribbs or very subtle single-colored checks. When shopping for pocket square make sure to look for ones that have “hand-rolled edges” – a sign for high quality and attention to detail.

A great way to match pocket squares is to mix different fabric weights. A thick and heavy silken tie would be well matched with a fine pique cotton pocket square for example. The same holds true for the jacket. Choosing a fine silk pocket square for a rough jacket (such as one made from tweed) is an excellent choice.

A Note on Colors & Patterns
Don’t shy away from using color for your pocket square. There are many more options than the solid white hanky! When wearing a colored pocket square you want to match it to the color family of either the tie or the shirt. The color doesn’t, and also shouldn’t be an exact match. They should harmonize but be noticeably different so that your choice looks like you did it with purpose and thought. Also, think about the occasion. A bright colored hanky may be out of place for a funeral or a wedding. Patterns should also be taken into consideration. Best are fine and subtle patterns that look solid colored from the distance but reveal their intricacy at a closer look. Such pocket square are great when matching them to solid dress shirts and suits. If you choose to wear patterns on shirt and suit, then choose a pattern that is different in size for the pocket square. Having too many different patterns that are similar in size may clash and be distracting.

Other Readings we Suggest:
How to Fold a Pocket Square
Examples of Matching Suit, Shirt, Ties

Your Ties-Necktie Team