how to fold a pocket square

how to fold a pocket square

How To Fold A Pocket Square – 9 Ways Of Folding A Handkerchief

how to fold a pocket squareStep-by-step instructions for every pocket square fold you could ever want!

Note that most of these will work best with a pocket square that is, in fact, square.

Rectangular cloths can be made to work as well but will generally require folding from more than one edge rather than down the middle to make the cloth fit in the pocket.

Unless otherwise stated, a folded pocket square should always completely fill the width of the jacket pocket where it emerges.

You don’t want the square looking like it’s being swallowed up or spilling out over the edges into a messy bulge.

Are you wondering why you’d wear a pocket square? Check out this article on How to Start Wearing a Pocket Square.

Now let’s get into it. Pick the fold you want to master and click:

#1. The Square Fold/Presidential Fold
#2. The One Point Fold
#3. The Two Point Fold
#4. The Three Point Fold
#5. The Four Point Fold/Cagney Fold
#6. The Puff Fold
#7. The Winged Puff Fold
#8. The Scallop Fold
#9. The Dunaway Fold

#1. The Square Fold | Presidential Pocket Square

how to fold a pocket square - presidential

  1. Begin with the pocket square fully unfolded and flat.
  2. Fold it to the width of your pocket. In most cases, a fold straight down the middle should do it.
  3. Fold it up from the bottom to form a finished rectangle the same width as your pocket, and about half an inch longer.
  4. Tuck the bottom fold of the pocket square into your pocket and snug it down to the base. Adjust as needed to create a single smooth strip of visible cloth running across the top of the pocket.

The square fold is the pocket square at its most basic: crisp, clean, and elegant. In its finished form, it appears as a single horizontal band of fabric parallel to the top of the breast pocket. Use this pocket square fold when you want maximum formality and understated elegance.

#2. One Point Fold Pocket Square

folding a pocket square - one-point

  1. Begin with the pocket square fully unfolded and flat.
  2. Fold it diagonally down the middle to make a triangle.
  3. At the base of the triangle, where the fold is, fold the doubled-over corner of the pocket square inward on one side.
  4. Fold the other corner. Make each fold the same size and the pocket square roughly the width of your pocket. The pocket square should look like an envelope: rectangular on three sides with a triangular point sticking up out of the top.
  5. Slide the bottom fold into your pocket and tuck it all the way down, hiding the rectangular edges. The only visible part of the pocket square should be the triangle pointing straight up.

The one-point pocket square fold is still simple enough to be business-appropriate, but relaxed enough to wear with a casual blazer too.

#3. The Two Point Fold

how to fold a handkerchief - two-point

  1. Begin with the pocket square fully unfolded and flat.
  2. Fold it diagonally. Angle the fold very slightly off-center, so that one corner lies just to the left of the other.
  3. At the base of the triangle, where the fold is, fold one of the doubled-over corners of the pocket square inward.
  4. Fold the other corner. Make each fold the same size and the pocket square roughly the width of your pocket.
  5. Tuck the flat bottom of the fold into your pocket and snug it all the way down until the vertical edges of the pocket square are completely hidden. The only thing visible should be the two slightly offset triangular points, spaced as close or wide as desired.

A dressy fold with a bit of flair, the two-point fold is popular among business professionals. It’s easier than it looks — really just the basic one-point fold, slightly off-center.

#4. The Three Point Fold

folding pocket squares - three-point

  1. Begin with the pocket square fully unfolded and flat.
  2. Fold it diagonally very slightly off-center, so that one corner lies just to the left of the other.
  3. Fold the bottom left corner of the pocket square diagonally up at an angle so you have three points side by side, as equally spaced and sized as possible.
  4. Fold the bottom right corner inward until the pocket square is roughly the width of your pocket.
  5. Tuck the bottom fold down into the pocket. Leave only the three points of the pocket square visible.

It can take a couple of tries to make more than one or two points of the pocket square line up neatly.

That makes the three-point pocket square fold a good one when you want to be a touch showy. It’s still a business-appropriate fold, but make sure the pocket square is very neat and crisp.

#5. The Four Point Fold | The Cagney Fold

how to tie a pocket square - four-point

  1. Begin with the pocket square fully unfolded and flat.
  2. Fold the pocket square diagonally and very slightly off-center, so that one corner lies just to the left of the other.
  3. Fold the bottom left corner diagonally up across the fold, finishing with the point of the corner to the right of the top two corners.
  4. Fold the bottom right corner similarly to form a point to the left of the others. Adjust the pocket square to make all four points roughly the same size and equally spaced.
  5. If the folded pocket square is bigger than your pocket, fold the outside edges inward, tucking them below the four points.
  6. Tuck the long part of the pocket square into the pocket and snug it down until only the four tips are visible.

The four-point pocket square fold works best in a fabric that is both thin and stiff, like a starched linen.

#6. The Puff Fold

how to fold a hankie for a suit - puff

  1. Pinch the pocket square at the center and let the edges and corners hang down.
  2. Adjust the pocket square to hang evenly all around.
  3. Still pinching the center, tug gently on the dangling edges, pulling the square into a loose tube shape.
  4. Gently roll up from the bottom of the tube (or fold all the dangling edges back behind the tube) until the folded pocket square is short enough to tuck into your pocket.
  5. Tuck into your pocket until just the rounded top of the pocket square is visible.

Puff folds are supposed to have wrinkles and dimples. So long as the fold is staying in place and isn’t badly creased or spilling over the edges of the pocket, it’s fine.

Wear it when a certain insouciance is called for. It’s not formal, but it is most certainly stylish. Winston Churchill was a puff fold man, especially in polka dots.

#7. The Winged Puff Fold

pocket handkerchief fold - winged puff

  1. Begin with the pocket square fully unfolded and flat.
  2. Fold the pocket square diagonally. Aim the point of the triangle down.
  3. Fold the corners from each end of the long side to the bottom point, making an equilateral diamond. Tug the top corner loose so the folded “wings” don’t quite overlap.
  4. Fold the three corners that are not the winged top peak into the center of the pocket square.
  5. Tuck the squared-off sides of the finished fold into your pocket so only the peak is visible. Gently tease the two “wings” of the peak slightly apart. It’s all right to let them take on a domed shape, like the puff fold.

This is the best fold for men who like a peaked fold, but have a soft, low-friction pocket square that won’t hold a crisp crease. It’s also quite compact, making it a good fold for undersized pocket squares.

8. The Scallop Fold

how do you fold a pocket square - scallop

Click the image above to see full size Infographic

  1. Begin with the pocket square fully unfolded and flat.
  2. Fold the pocket square diagonally down the middle.
  3. Fold the pocket square in half again.
  4. Lifting the pocket square, gently curl one of the doubled corners in and downward. Don’t fold it or crease it — just bend it inward, at a bit of an angle.
  5. Repeat the process for the other corner of the pocket square. Curl it in and down, laying it atop the first corner you bent inward.
  6. Tuck the triangular point of the folded pocket square down into your pocket until only the tops of the curves are visible. They should lay neatly one atop the other, forming a rounded, scalloped shape with all points and straight edges hidden.

This pocket square fold is popular at weddings and other celebrations. It looks good with pocket squares in glossy, colorful fabrics, and is not a particularly formal fold.

#9. The Dunaway Fold

how to fold a handkerchief for a suit - dunaway

  1. Pinch the pocket square at the center and let the edges and corners hang down.
  2. Adjust the pocket square so it hangs relatively evenly all around.
  3. Still pinching the center, tug gently on the dangling edges, pulling the pocket square into a loose tube shape.
  4. Invert the tube shape and spread the loose edges out with your fingertips so they look relatively symmetrical. Fold the center of the pocket square upward, stopping about halfway up the tube shape.
  5. Tuck into your pocket so that only the splayed edges of the pocket square are visible. Adjust the fold with your fingers as needed. Perfect symmetry is not needed.

This fold is the simplest way to make a slightly puffy, fringed shape with the edge of a pocket square. Depending on how stiff and how colorful your pocket square is, it tends to look something like a flower or a bursting firecracker.

Congratulations! You now know 9 ways to fold a pocket square. But do you know how to match pocket squares with different clothes?

You can find the steps outlined in this article in our infographic below. It features all 9 ways to fold a pocket square:

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