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We all know that pocket squares can be a bit of a conundrum.
There’s a lot of confusion as to when a pocket square is appropriate, what color it should be, and the different styles of pocket squares available.
Are pocket squares only required when wearing a suit or can they be worn with a sports coat? Luckily, we’re here to help you look smart and dress sharp!
Read on to find out why you should wear a pocket square with a sports coat.
What is a Pocket Square?
Pocket squares are basically square pieces of fabric that are folded up in different styles and then tucked into your jacket breast pocket. Nothing more, nothing less.
So why all the hubbub?
Originally, pocket squares were a requirement for men back in the day who were attending dinner parties or other such formal events. They were typically a plain white cloth, a choice that is still common at formal or conservative events.
However, pocket squares have evolved since then.
Now, pocket squares are often worn as a way to express yourself, rather than as a formal requirement at a fancy event. The man who wears a pocket square defines himself as a man with taste, someone who pays attention to detail.
When is it appropriate to wear a Pocket Square?
You can wear a pocket square at any time!
When paired with a sports coat, a pocket square can do a multitude of things, such as liven up an outfit, add a degree of authority, or simply serve to help you stand out from the crowd.
Because a sports coat tends to be a semi-formal form of attire, the possibilities are endless. You can mix and match tons of colors to find a sports coat and pocket square combination that’s just right for you!
So, why should you wear a pocket square with a sports coat? Read on to find out.
Why should you wear a Pocket Square with a Sports Coat?
There are several reasons to wear a pocket square with a sports coat. A pocket square can:
- Help you stand out: Pocket squares are not a common accessory, so wearing one will help you stand out from the rest of the crowd. A good pocket square draws the eye and gives you that edge you need to rise above the rest.
- Liven up an outfit: Pocket squares come in many different colors, folds, and designs. You can combine brightly colored fabrics with your favorite sports coat or spruce up your outfit with intricate folds. It’s all up to you!
- Add a degree of authority: When you think of who wears a pocket square, who do you think of? That’s right, a boss. Somebody who knows what they’re doing and who gets what they want. Pocket squares add an aura of confidence to the man wearing them.
Now that you know why you should wear a pocket square with a sports coat, let’s take a look at the best ways to wear them.
How to fold your Pocket Square
There are several different kinds of ways to fold a pocket square and the one to pick all depends on you.
Let’s take a look at some of the more popular ones:
- Classic Flat Fold: The classic flat fold is classic and professional. Unfortunately, it’s also a bit boring. Unless you’re going to a formal event, we recommend going for something a little more daring.
- The Puff Fold: The puff fold is a popular pocket square fold and can be used for both formal and casual events. It’s an easy fold to achieve – simply pinch the center, then twist before placing it in your breast pocket.
- The Point Fold (One or Two or even Three points!): The perfect cross between business and casual, the point fold is favored among professionals and goes well with either a sports coat or a suit.
Here’s a great video that goes in-depth on how to fold each style (and more!):
Now that you know a little bit about popular pocket square folds, let’s take a look at how you can match your sports coat with your pocket square!
Matching Your Sports Coat With Your Pocket Square
The question of how to match your pocket square with your coat is a relative one – it all depends.
For formal events, you can’t go wrong with a white pocket square with a classic flat fold. However, if you don’t want to bore everyone to death, consider choosing a pocket square that is a shade or two lighter than your sports coat or that provides a bit of contrast.
A white pocket square with a colored edge or light pattern is a great choice. While still formal, it will serve to lighten up your outfit.
If you prefer a classy look, a monochromatic color scheme serves to give you an air of elegance.
Consider pairing darker and lighter variants of a color. While this won’t make you stand out in a crowd, it will serve to give you an aura of regality and authority.
If you like a more flamboyant look, consider colors that pop and contrast!
Blues, reds, and yellows pair well together and are a great way for the budding professional to begin pairing together riskier colors. Complementary color schemes are also a great way to help you stand out.
By choosing colors opposite of each other on the color wheel, such as blue and orange, you can really create an outfit that pops!
If you prefer a classy look, neutral colors tend to pair well together and provide a conservative look that is still trendy and pleasing to the eye.
If in doubt, use the secondary color from your jacket or shirt as the primary color for your pocket square.
Pocket Square Don’ts
Pocket squares are a great way to take your sports coat to the next level, but if you don’t use them correctly they can ruin your whole outfit and make you the laughingstock of the office.
Take a look at our top pocket square don’ts:
- Don’t match your pocket square with your tie: Having too much of a single color can make you look young and juvenile. Instead, match your pocket square to a secondary color on your shirt.
- Don’t overdo it with the patterns: You want to balance flat colors with the patterns in your outfit, otherwise, you’ll just look like Bobo the clown.
- Don’t wear a pocket square under 16in x 16in: Anything less will probably have slipped down into your pocket by the end of the night.
- Don’t choose the wrong fold: If you are going to a formal event, wear a formal fold and vice versa. Otherwise, you will look out of place and rude.
- Don’t start with larger patterns first: When wearing patterns, consider wearing smaller patterns first on larger items such as your shirt and then working your way down to larger patterns, such as on your pocket square. This will serve to make your outfit look more visually appealing.
Wearing a pocket square with a sports coat is a great way to set yourself apart from the crowd and smarten up your outfit. Experiment with different colors and folds to find the style that’s just right for you!
What’s your favorite pocket square and sports coat combo? Leave a comment and let us know!