The low-down on pocket square meanings.
I want you to reach into your pocket. Do you feel it? I meant your breast pocket!
Just like your other half, you don’t have to carry around pocket squares everywhere. However when casual Friday or the races come around they’re considered appropriate. There are many ways to fold a pocket square with the most common folds being the straight, puff and flare. These folds correspond to an ascending level of casualness and can be used respectively in a formal setting, a more casual one or if you want to get slapped in a nightclub.
The straight fold otherwise known as the “TV” or square fold is the most formal of all the folds. It caught wind during the 1950s when American celebrities adopted the style including President Harry Truman, a former haberdasher. It’s no surprise that its comeback was in sync with the popularity of the television show Mad Men. The straight fold, with its visual minimalism, creates a clean look. The fold looks staid and stoic, and being the most conservative of all the folds, communicates rectitude and character.
The puff fold, allegedly invented by Fred Astaire, is considered to be a more casual fold. The fold is versatile and can be incorporated in almost any context. Its cloud like appearance communicates playfulness, adding a touch of elan to a conservative outfit while also harmonising well with casual tailoring.
The flare fold, as its name suggests, is full of personality and attitude. A contemporary fold, preferred by the peacocks of Pitti Uomo, it is considered bold and outrageous.
It’s not surprising that one of the key appeals of the flare fold is how haphazard it looks. Some say it’s for the man whose words speaks louder than his actions.