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pocket square "rules"

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if there were any "rules" regarding using pocket squares. For example, with respect to different square fabrics and patterns. (By this I mean questions like: is a silk pocket square more "casual" than a linen one, or vice versa? Is there any difference in the formality of a patterned vs. solid color square?) Also, is it considered acceptable to wear a square with no tie? Maybe there are no rules at all? Just curious.
post #2 of 17
I believe a pocket square should never match the tie, although I've seen this done on department store mannequins, occassionally.
post #3 of 17
It seems that the only rule is to be as nonchalant as possible wearing one--i.e., that it was a quick after-thought and completely unplanned.
post #4 of 17
One thing, along the lines of what KB said, is that I would avoid any sort of folding if you're wearing a pocket square alone. Without a tie, the pinch and stuff is the only way to go.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
But is there any "rule" that says silk squares are more "formal" than linen ones, or vice versa?
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatherseanfan
But is there any "rule" that says silk squares are more "formal" than linen ones, or vice versa?
No. Or, at least, none that have been recorded and passed around. However, for formal and/or grave occasions, I would would always opt for white linen, as it seems more simple and fitting.
post #7 of 17
Does any of the color present on the pocketsquare HAVE to match/reflect any of the whole ensemble? Does having a hankie that does not match in any color the shirt/tie/jacket represent a sartorial faux pas?
post #8 of 17
It should complement your shirt/tie/jacket without matching. That means it could pick up an accent color or coordinate with a primary color or some variation of those. The many possibilities do not mean that it cannot be incorrectly done, though. I don't like to criticize someone who is trying, but I saw a guy last week in a dark gray suit with a blue shirt and maroon tie, both in muted tones. He paired that with a neon pink silk pocket square that didn't work at all. He should have chosen a more muted pink, perhaps in linen, to better coordinate with the texture and tone of his jacket/shirt/tie.
post #9 of 17
I'm a fan of the fold, or just showing a thin sliver. It has always seemed quite awkward to me to self consciously fiddle around with a pocket sqaure to get it to poof just so, in an attempt to get it to look "non -chalant"

I just fold it, tuck it in with a shoe horn and go.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by designprofessor
I just fold it, tuck it in with a shoe horn and go.

With a shoe horn?
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203
With a shoe horn?
Somebody needs to have his jackets cut a little fuller, apparently . . .
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad
Somebody needs to have his jackets cut a little fuller, apparently . . .

post #13 of 17
I have a longer shoe horn that comes in handy. The way I fold them it tucks the pocket square down into the pocket. It keeps me from streching the pocket and determines how much of it is showing and keeps it from slipping.
post #14 of 17
I would imagine that pointed folds would be used more in formal situations, and puff variations would be used more casually. Also, solids would probably look more formal than prints or patterned silks.

As for the DO NOT MATCH rule...

I think it is OK (but not necessarily most fashionable) to match the colors of the tie and square (for example, red tie with red square) but it is NOT OK to match the squares exactly (pocket square same material as necktie).
post #15 of 17
I strongly believe that one of the most useful tips I picked up from the older Flusser books was to use a pocket square in a different texture than your tie (ie, silk tie = linen pocket square, wool tie = cotton pocket square, etc, line tie = cotton pocket square). Obviously, never in the same pattern, but with complimentary colors some how, some way.
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