9 Ways to Fold a Pocket Square

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Pocket squares are a surefire way to add a little style your wardrobe without breaking the bank.  They can make any suit stand out from the crowd.  If you are still without some.. Grab some here!

And not that you have some… learn to Fold Them!  The Following is from the Gentlemen over at Real Men Style

Step-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.

 

The Square Fold | Presidential Fold

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 it when you want maximum formality and understated elegance.

Presidential Pocket Square FoldStep 1

Begin with the square fully unfolded and flat.

Step 2

Fold the square to the width of your jacket pocket. In most cases, straight down the middle should do it.

Step 3

Fold up from the bottom to form a finished rectangle the same width as your pocket, and about half an inch longer.

Final Step

Tuck the folded-up bottom edge into your jacket 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.

There should be no visible overlap between edges of the square in this fold. Everything should look like a single, solid piece.

 

The One Point Fold

Still simple enough to be business-appropriate, but relaxed enough to wear with a casual blazer, too. Its finished form is a single, symmetrical triangle pointing upward from the breast pocket.

One Point FoldStep 1

Begin with the square fully unfolded and flat.

Step 2

Fold the square diagonally down the middle, bringing one corner up to meet the opposite corner. This should leave you with a wide triangle of doubled-over fabric.

Steps 3 & 4

At the base of the triangle, where you folded the square in half, fold the doubled-over corners inward from both sides.

Fold as far as needed to make the base of the fold roughly the width of your jacket pocket. Try to fold each corner roughly the same amount, so that the remaining diagonals are the same length.

Final Step

At this point the pocket square should look something like a business envelope: rectangular on three sides, with a triangular point sticking up out of the top.

Slide the folded bottom edge into your jacket’s breast pocket and tuck it all the way down, hiding the rectangular edges. The only thing remaining visible should be the triangle, centered in the pocket and pointing straight up.

 

The Two-Point Fold

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

Two Point FoldStep 1

Begin with the square fully unfolded and flat.

Step 2

Fold the square diagonally down the middle, bringing one corner across to meet the opposite corner.

Angle the fold very slightly off-center, so that one corner lies just to the left of the other. The two offset corners will be the two visible points of the fold, so adjust them to the desired gap.

Steps 3 & 4

At the base of the triangle, where you folded the square in half, fold the doubled-over corners inward from both sides.

Fold as far as needed to make the base of the fold roughly the width of your jacket pocket. Try to fold each corner roughly the same amount, so that the remaining diagonals are the same length.

Final Step

At this point the bottom of the folded square should be a rectangle the rough size of your jacket’s breast pocket, while the top should have two slightly off-centered triangles with their points angled upward.

Tuck the flat bottom of the fold into your pocket and snug it all the way down until the vertical edges are completely hidden. The only thing visible should be the two slightly offset triangular points, spaced as close or wide as desired.

 

The Three-Point Fold

Now we’re getting into pretty fancy territory. It can take a couple of tries to make more than one or two points line up neatly and keep roughly the same size and angle.

That makes the three-point fold a good one when you want to be a touch showy. It’s certainly still business-appropriate, but make sure the square is very neat and crisp. The rest of your look should be pretty dapper, too!

Three Point FoldStep 1

Begin with the square fully unfolded and flat.

Step 2

Fold the square diagonally down the middle, bringing one corner across to meet the opposite corner.

Angle the fold very slightly off-center, so that one corner lies just to the left of the other. The two offset corners will be two of the three visible points of the fold, so adjust them to the desired gap.

Step 3

Bring the bottom left corner diagonally up at an angle so that it joins the two points already at the top of the fold. Position it so that you have three points side by side, as evenly spaced and similar in size as possible.

Step 4

Fold the bottom right corner inward, flat across the bottom, as far as needed to make the complete fold roughly the width of your jacket’s breast pocket.

Final Step

The finished fold will not be symmetrical. You should have a flat bottom, angled sides, and thee triangular points at the top.

Tuck the bottom edge down into the jacket’s breast pocket. Leave the three points visible, with the rest of the square hidden.

 

The Four-Point Fold | The Cagney Fold

The pointiest of point folds! (Or at least the pointiest version that gets used regularly. In theory, you can fold corners over as many times as you want, but it starts to look ridiculous and you run out of pocket room after a while.)

This one is actually a bit easier to keep neat and even than the three-point fold, since all the folding is symmetrical. It also finishes with the outside points angled slightly away from each other, giving it a nicely framed look.

Four Point FoldStep 1

Begin with the square fully unfolded and flat.

Step 2

Fold the square diagonally down the middle, bringing one corner across to meet the opposite corner.

Angle the fold very slightly off-center, so that one corner lies just to the left of the other. The two offset corners will be two of the four visible points of the fold, so adjust them to the desired gap.

Step 3

Bring the bottom left corner diagonally up across the fold, finishing with the point of the corner to the right of the top two corners. All three should line up neatly, as close to even spacing and equal size as possible.

Step 4

Repeat the process with the bottom right corner, bringing it up and across so that it forms a final point to the left of the others. Adjust as needed to make all four points roughly the same size, with equal spacing between them.

Step 5

If the finished, folded shape is not small enough to slide comfortably into a jacket pocket at this point, fold the outside edges inward, tucking them below the four points that will form the visible, decorative part of the square.

Final Step

The finished shape of a Cagney or Four-Point fold has a slightly origami look: a long, dagger-shaped point at the bottom, folded at the top to produce a spreading bunch of four small triangular points.

Tuck the long part into the jacket pocket and snug it down until only the four tips are visible. The outermost two should spread away from one another, framing the two center points.

Don’t feel bad if this one takes you a couple tries. It works best in a fabric that is both thin and stiff, like a starched linen. Too thick and it forms a noticeable bulge after all the folding is piled up; too soft and the points won’t hold. Wear it with care!

 

The Puff Fold

The square fold and the various point folds are all firmly geometric. They have straight edges and sharp, clearly-defined angles. The puff fold is the most common style that breaks away from this model: it has a soft, organic shape, characterized by roundness and even wrinkles.

Wear it when a certain insouciance is called for. It is not formal, but it is most certainly stylish. And, while it can seem informal, its credentials are impeccable: Winston Churchill was a puff fold man, especially in polka dots.

The Puff FoldStep 1

Rather than laying the square flat, pinch it at the center and let the edges and corners hang down.

Step 2

Take a moment to adjust the hang of the fabric so that it is relatively even all around.

Step 3

Still pinching the center in one hand, use your other hand to tug gently on the dangling edges, pulling the pocket square into a loose tube shape.

Step 4

Very gently roll up from the bottom of the tube until the folded square is short enough to tuck into your jacket’s breast pocket, with just the dome formed by your pinching the center showing.

You can also fold all the dangling edges back behind the tube, rather than rolling them around the outside of the tube — both methods work. The goal is to have a simple, puffed-out dome left visible, and to make as little a bulge as possible in the pocket beneath it.

Final Step

Tuck the folded pocket square down until just the rounded top of the finished shape is visible.

Puff folds will inevitably have small wrinkles and dimples in them, which is part of the charm of the style. Resist the temptation to fiddle with them more than necessary. So long as the visible part of the fold is staying in place and isn’t badly creased or spilling out over the edges of the pocket, it probably looks fine.

 

The Winged Puff Fold

This is a hybrid style that blends the soft edges of a puff fold with the angles of a single point fold. It’s also quite compact, making it a good option for undersized pocket squares.

The Winged Puff FoldStep 1

Begin with the square fully unfolded and flat.

Step 2

Fold the square diagonally down the middle, bringing one corner across to meet the opposite corner.

This should leave you with a wide triangle of doubled-over fabric. Aim the point of the triangle toward yourself (“downward” if you have it laid flat) so that the long fold runs straight across the top.

Step 3

Fold the corners inward and upward from each end of the long side, bringing them up to meet the point where the two opposite corners met.

If you’ve done it right, this will create an equilateral diamond. Tug the top corner just a bit loose, so that the two folded “wings” don’t quite overlap. That peak, with the visible gap in the middle, will be the part of the pocket square that protrudes when you tuck it into your pocket.

Step 4

Fold the three corners that are not the winged top peak in to the center. You should finish with an “envelope” fold: squared off on three edges, with a triangular peak on the fourth. There will be a visible slit down the center of the triangular peak.

Final Step

Tuck the squared-off sides of the finished fold down into your jacket breast pocket, so that only the pointed peak with the split down its middle is visible.

Use your fingers to 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.

Because it has a softer shape, this is a good compromise for men who like a peaked fold, but have a soft, low-friction fabric that won’t hold a crisp crease.

 

The Scallop Fold

A rounded, decorative fold with a soft, organic shape, this is popular at weddings and other celebrations. It looks good in glossy, colorful fabrics, and is not particularly formal.

The Scallop FoldStep 1

Begin with the square fully unfolded and flat.

Step 2

Fold the square diagonally down the middle, bringing one corner up to meet the opposite corner. This should leave you with a wide triangle of doubled-over fabric.

Step 3

Fold the triangle in half again, bringing the two corners at either end of the first fold together. This will form a smaller triangle.

Step 4

Lifting the 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. The curve you’re making will be visible when you tuck the square into your pocket.

Step 5

Repeat the process for the other corner. Curl it in and down, laying it atop the first corner you bent inward. The peak of the triangle should still be untouched, but the top side should be curved into a partial funnel shape.

Final Step

Tuck the triangular point down into your pocket. Keep tucking the finished fold until only the tops of the curves you formed are visible. They should lay neatly one atop the other, forming a rounded, scalloped shape with all points and straight edges hidden.

This is an organic shape, so it’s forgiving of some uneveness. Don’t worry if there’s a bit of separation between edges on the scalloped arms. As long as everything is proportional and you don’t have one corner popping out of the pocket, it’ll look fine.

 

The Dunaway Fold

This 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 fabric is, it tends to look something like a flower or a bursting firecracker.

The Dunaway FoldStep 1

Rather than laying the square flat, pinch it at the center and let the edges and corners hang down.

Step 2

Take a moment to adjust the hang of the fabric so that it is relatively even all around.

Step 3

Still pinching the center in one hand, use your other hand to tug gently on the dangling edges, pulling the pocket square into a loose tube shape.

Step 4

Invert the tube shape and spread the loose edges out with your fingertips, making a roughly symmetrical spread of the corners. Fold the center of the square upward, stopping about halfway up the tube shape.

Final Step

Tuck the doubled-over tube into your jacket breast pocket so that only the splayed edges of the pocket square are visible. Adjust them with your fingers as needed. Perfect symmetry is not needed.

 

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