One question we often get asked is about whether you should be matching your tie and pocket square. The short answer is no. Although it might seem like an easy way to coordinate your outfit, matching your pocket square and tie or bow tie is a definite no-no if you want to consider yourself a well-dressed man.
Instead, the purpose of the pocket square is to complement the rest of your look: either by harmonizing or contrasting with your other accessories. So although some stores even offer matching tie and pocket square sets, our advice is to steer clear of these if you want to be seen to be on top of your style game.
If your pocket square has a pattern or print, for example, then pick a color from that palette to bring your look together and match it to a primary color in your tie such as in the image below. The burgundy in the tie is reflected in sections of the pocket square design.
Equally, you could choose a pocket square that is a shade lighter or darker than the core color of your ensemble. Remember, it’s all in the detail, so don’t be afraid to bring out an accent color on a subtle pinstripe or checked shirt. In the video below, Leah has outlined the simple rules to pairing your tie and pocket square.
Pocket Square Rules
Below is a handy pocket square guide when choosing your pocket square:
- Choose a secondary color from your shirt or tie as the primary color for your pocket square
- Don’t overdo the patterns, ensure some articles of clothing are flat colors that will accentuate the colors in your pocket square or tie
- Don’t directly match your tie and pocket square
- If you are wearing a silk pocket square make sure it is over 40cm x 40cm (16 inches) as anything smaller, the fine material is likely to slip down into your pocket.
- Match your fold to the occasion. For formal occasions stick to the flat fold or one or two-point folds, for more casual occasions use some more flare with the classic puff fold or one of the more flamboyant folds.
- White pocket square rules; for the most part, there are no rules. White squares work with every jacket and tie combination and color so you can never really get it wrong.
Luxury Pocket Squares Vs Low Priced Squares
We are always huge advocates for quality. Pocket squares are possibly one of the best products for price vs lifetime value in clothing pieces that you can buy. If you think about it, pocket squares are not subjected to the wear and tear of most clothing pieces and never need to be washed. This means if you invest in quality, the best mulberry silk, long-lasting ink that penetrates the silk on both sides, and hand-rolled edges, you really do have a product that will last a lifetime and can be passed down to the future generations. Imagine one of your grandchildren wearing one of your squares at their graduation that you’d purchased 50 years earlier. Pocket squares fall into that special little category of small family heirlooms such as pins, watches, scarves, rings, etc. that over time can offer that extra layer of sentimentality.
In contrast, cheaper pocket squares in the market are generally printed on inexpensive silk or a mixed cotton fiber content base. Additionally, the printing is often not crisp and the color generally doesn’t bleed through to the opposite side for the premium appeal, limiting how you can fold it in your pocket, and giving you fewer styling ways to wear it.
The final key difference between luxury pocket squares and cheaper versions is the hand-rolled edges. We feel that the precision and care taken by our skilled artisans give each square its own unique character, finish and feel.
To create the finest rolled hems, the edge of the silk must be softy turned over with a handheld needle and then small stitches are inserted approximately one-half to one centimeter apart around the edge, creating a supple yet prominent border. This plump border helps give the square structure and makes it possible to do pointed folds.
In short, we at BBespoke believe that the pocket square offers an incredibly versatile accessory option; allowing modern men to express themselves and vary their look without having to invest in different suits and outerwear.