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HomeFormalwear AccessoriesMastering the Tuxedo Pocket Square

Mastering the Tuxedo Pocket Square

Finding just the right formal look for your next special occasion can be a challenging process, especially when it comes to figuring out accessories. While you’ve likely got your shoes, belt, and tie covered, have you taken into consideration the tuxedo pocket square? An often overlooked accessory, the tuxedo pocket square has the ability to transform an ordinary tuxedo into one that showcases your impeccable taste and style. Below, we’ll explore how to effectively master the tuxedo pocket square so you can turn heads the moment you enter the room at your next special event.

What is A Tuxedo Pocket Square?

So what exactly is a tuxedo pocket square, and why should you wear one? A tuxedo pocket square, also referred to as a tuxedo handkerchief, is simply a piece of fabric that is placed in the breast pocket of a tuxedo jacket. The tuxedo pocket square is placed in a way that it remains visible, becoming a part of the full ensemble and serving a true accessory to your formal outfit. There are a few reasons why men choose to accessorize with a tuxedo pocket square. The first reason is to make a suit or tuxedo more festive. Tuxedo handkerchiefs are available in a virtually endless inventory of colors and patterns. Because many men typically feel most comfortable in more traditional tuxedo colors like black and gray, a vibrant and bold tuxedo pocket square provides the opportunity to showcase one’s unique style in a subtle way. Additionally, a tuxedo pocket square can create a more formal overall look for your tuxedo. While a tuxedo alone is quite formal as is, adding a tuxedo pocket square takes it up just one more notch. Finally, a tuxedo pocket square can serve as an alternative to a tie or bowtie in more casual settings.

Origin of the Pocket Square

The tuxedo pocket square traces its roots back to period of antiquity in Greece, Egypt, or Rome. During this time, the wealthiest members of society would use a white linen square as a handkerchief. In later years during the European Middle Ages, wealthy individuals used silk handkerchiefs permeated with fragrance as a way to protect their smell from urban miasma, which are the unpleasant smells and odors found in an urban environment. The invention of the pocket square as we know it today is most frequently attributed to King Richard II of England. He was known to use tuxedo handkerchiefs as a fashion accessory, drawn to loud colors and patterns. Tuxedo pocket squares were also a known to be worn in France, within the court of Louis XVI.

Over time, the tuxedo pocket square continued to evolve with the rise of the two-piece suit during the 19th century, as men began to place pocket squares in the breast pocket of their suits and tuxedos as a fashion accessory. During the 50s in the United States, men began to further explore and take risks with their fashion and the tuxedo handkerchiefs became a staple.

How to Wear a Pocket Square

The first decision to make when selecting a tuxedo pocket square is the size of pocket square right for your outfit. A silk pocket square is lightweight compared with other materials, therefore you will need a larger size to create the bulk you need to keep it in place. For a silk tuxedo pocket square, it is recommended that the size be at least 16 inches. This rule of them also applies to similarly lightweight fabrics like wool, linen, and cotton. For heavy fabrics like tweed, you’ll want a smaller square to fit comfortably in your pocket.

A common question that is asked when it comes to figuring out how to wear a tuxedo pocket square is whether or not it should match your tie. Typically, it is not recommended that your tuxedo pocket square match your tie. Today’s fashion trends tend to avoid “matchy-matchy” looks, instead finding accessories that complement one another. Find a tuxedo pocket square that harmonizes with your tie without being an exact match in color. One way you can do this is to pick a tuxedo pocket square with a colorful pattern, then pick one color from the square to use as a tie color.

How to Fold a Pocket Square for a Tuxedo

After you’ve selected the size and color or pattern of your tuxedo pocket square, you next need to determine which of the pocket square folds to choose. There are a variety of pocket square folds to choose from, and the one you use often depends on the formality level of the occasion. For example, for less formal events, you might opt for one of the most popular pocket square folds called the puff fold. With the puff fold, you simply pinch the center of the tuxedo pocket square, give it a twist, and place it in your pocket. A very simple fold to achieve, the puff fold is a great choice for work or summer weddings.

Another population choice of pocket square folds that offer a bit more elegance is the stairs fold. Though seemingly complex, the stairs fold is easy to master and provides a crisp finish to your suit or tux. With this fold, you’ll create three separate peaks, or “stairs,” for a layered look of your tuxedo pocket handkerchief.

In addition to the pocket square folds mentioned above, you might also consider the smart square fold. The smart square fold is sleek and neat, offering a subtle sliver of the tuxedo pocket square for a pop of color that doesn’t overwhelm the look. Simply fold the tuxedo pocket square in half two times until it is in the shape of a square, fold the bottom of the pocket square up to create a rectangle that is a bit longer than your hand, then smooth the square out to remove wrinkles. Place the square in your pocket and voila! 

Pocket Squares from Savvi Formalwear

In addition to top quality suits and tuxedos, Savvi Formalwear is a leading provider of tuxedo accessories to complete your look for any special occasion. Our inventory of tuxedo pocket squares for rent will enhance the suit or tux you select, allowing you to show your true colors and eye for style whether attending a wedding, gala, party, or prom. Browse our collection today to find the colors and patterns you need to take your formalwear to the next level.