7 Fun Facts About Pocket Squares

7 Fun Facts About Pocket Squares

Pocket squares are synonymous with men's suits. Also known simply as a handkerchief, it's a small piece of fabric that's worn folded and placed inside of the breast pocket of a suit jacket. Whether you're wearing a cotton, wool or linen suit, you can accessorize it with a pocket square. This otherwise small accessory can make a big impact on your appearance. Even if you're familiar with the purpose of pocket squares, though, there are probably some things you don't know about them.

#1) Emerged During the Early 1900s

While handkerchiefs have been around for centuries, it wasn't until the early 1900s when they became a popular suit accessory. In the 1920s, men began wearing them in the breast pocket of their suit jackets. This started a trend that led to the gradual adoption of pocket squares in men's formalwear. Today, pocket squares are recognized as one of several fashion accessories for men's suits.

#2) Thin Design

Most pocket squares feature a thin design. They aren't particularly bulky or thick. Rather, pocket squares are thin. A thin design is necessary so that they'll fit into the breast pocket of suit jackets. If a pocket square is too thick, of course, it may protrude out. Excessively large and thick pocket squares may even deform the shape of the jacket's pocket. Fortunately, most pocket squares feature a thin design to prevent problems such as these from occurring.

Because they are thin, some pocket squares may rip when not properly maintained. You'll need to take precautions to protect your pocket square from damage. Pocket squares are inexpensive, but proper maintenance will allow you to get more use and value out of them.

#3) Doesn't Have to Match

Some men assume that a pocket square must match the shirt and tie with which it's worn. The truth, however, is that it only needs to complement the shirt and tie. If you're wearing a navy dress shirt, for instance, you may want to wear a light blue pocket square. You don't have to wear a navy pocket square. Choosing a pocket square in a slightly different tone, in fact, will result in a more cohesive suit outfit. The bottom line is that you don't have to choose a pocket square in the exact same color as your dress shirt or tie.

#4) Available in Solid Colors and Patterns

Not all pocket squares feature a solid color. While many of them feature a single and solid color, others feature multiple colors in the form of a pattern. Common patterns for pocket squares include floral, polka-dot, plaid and stripe. Each of these patterns consists of at least two colors.

When wearing a pocket square, the top of it will be exposed. You'll have to wear a pocket square by folding it and then tucking it inside your jacket's breast pocket. The bottom part of the pocket square will be hidden. The top part of the pocket square, conversely, will be exposed. As a result, the colors used in the pocket square's design will enhance your suit outfit. If you want to add a particular color or colors to your suit outfit, you should choose a pocket square that features them.

#5) Available in Sets

You can find pocket squares available in sets. Also known as a combo pack, a set is a bundle of accessories. A typical set will include a pocket square, a necktie and a bow tie. Buying a set, of course, will ensure that all of these accessories match.

Suit accessories are available as separate products as well. You can purchase a pocket square, necktie and bow tie separately. Buying them as a set, though, offers several advantages. With a set, you can rest assured knowing that all three accessories will match. The pocket square, necktie and bow tie will feature the same color or colors as well as the same fabric. Buying them as a set may also save you money. Accessory sets are inexpensive. And when compared to buying accessories separately, they'll typically save you money.

#6) Over a Dozen Ways to Fold Them

Did you know that there are over a dozen ways to fold pocket squares? You shouldn't just bundle up a pocket square and stuff it into and the breast pocket of your suit jacket. Instead, you should use a proper folding technique. There are currently over a dozen folding techniques for pocket squares, each of which involves a specific set of steps.

The most popular folding technique for pocket squares is the presidential. Also known as the flat fold, the presidential folding technique involves folding a pocket square at several right angles before placing it in the breast pocket of a suit jacket. Another folding technique is winged puff. Winged puff is a popular alternative because of its simplicity combined with a touch of elegance.

There are also "point" based folding techniques. Pocket squares support the one-point, two-point, three-point and four-point folding techniques. The on-point folding technique is the easiest. The four-point folding technique, on the other hand, involves more steps but offers a more intricate appearance. Regardless, there are over a dozen ways to fold a pocket square.

#7) Easy to Maintain

Pocket squares are easy to maintain. Because they are thin, you shouldn't need to iron them. Most pocket squares are wrinkle resistant thanks to their thin design. And because they don't wrinkle easily, they don't require ironing. When you are finished wearing your suit, you can remove the pocket square. You can then either store the pocket square in a drawer or hang it up in your closet.

While they don't develop wrinkles, pocket squares may attract dirt and develop stains. Pocket squares aren't immune to stains. If you notice a blemish on your pocket square, though, you can typically spot clean it. Just use warm water with a small amount of liquid laundry detergent to blot your pocket square until it's clean.