"When it comes to accessories, there are not many that should be staples for every man. A watch, a ring, and a pocket square are three staples that, if worn well, can significantly elevate a look. Today's article is going to discuss the pocket square, why and how to wear it as well as how to care for them.
The history of the pocket square is a bit interesting, but suffice it to say that they have been around since the 15th century and used to be gifted to and worn by royalty as a symbol of wealth. They have since become a style detail, lacking any practical use as they are made from materials that do not take well to washing, such as silk. Because many men do not wear them, it is an easy way to stand out and elevate your look; another bonus is that they are easy to wear. Here's how.
How to Wear a Pocket Square
Pocket squares are meant to be an accent to your outfit. Much like you use a tie to complement the color of your shirt and suit, the pocket square does the same. If you are wearing a tie, however, the pocket square still needs to compliment and not match your tie. In retail pocket square and tie, combos are sold from the same fabric as a way to make more money and not as an easy way to coordinate your look. These should never be worn together as instead of accomplishing your goal of looking stylish; you send the message that you do not know what you are doing and that you are trying too hard. Style is more about relaxed elegance, which is what properly worn pocket square accomplishes.
Finding colors that compliment is rather easy. If you have trouble, there are a few easy rules.
1) Wear a different shade of one of the colors already in your look. If you are wearing a navy suit, a medium or light blue will work here. This can also work in reverse, such as a navy tie paired with a light blue shirt.
2) Wear a contrasting color. This can take a small amount of effort (15 minutes to learn how to use a color wheel) or very little if you take some inspiration from looking around. There are two different ways to do this, complementary colors and triadic colors. In the navy suit example, orange is the complementary color since it is on the opposite side of the color wheel. Many logos use blue and orange, so you are probably safe to assume they go well together. (Tip: Just be sure to match the hue/shade of the color. A neon orange pocket square will pack a bold punch on the navy while a dark rusted orange is a subtle, elegant detail.) Triadic Colors form a triangle in the color wheel. For example, blue yellow and red are triadic. You don't need to wear all three, blue and red, for example, is a great combo.
3) Wear analogous colors. 'Analogous' is also a term using the color wheel, but basically, it means colors next to each other on the color wheel (learning to use a color wheel is useful but not required). In the navy example, a lighter blue or purple would be the analogous colors, both of which would work well with the navy so long as the rest of the outfit follows suit.
That was a quick crash course on how to choose pocket square colors. While not all-inclusive, it should give you an excellent place to start. The next tip we have for you is a detail far too many men neglect, and that is caring for your pocket squares. A quality pocket square is going to cost you between $20 and $50, while many cost much more. That said, you will want to do everything to can to make sure they last so you do not have to replace ones that wear prematurely from improper care.
Cleaning Your Pocket Square
Because the fabric composition is going to vary widely, we recommend you follow the care details that come with your pocket square. Some can be hand-washed, some spot cleaned, some dry cleaned. Since it is just for detail, it shouldn't need regular cleaning, but just in case you need to know how to.
Storing Your Pocket Squares
Storage is where many men get garment care wrong. A pocket square will start to look rough and wear out quickly if it is tossed around and stored poorly (read crumpled in a drawer, or worse on a shelf). The best way to fix this is to hang your pocket squares. Hanging a pocket square allows the weight of the fabric to help pull out any wrinkles as well as display them for easy access when getting ready in the morning. Hanging also helps keep them from collecting dust, which frequently happens when men throw their pocket squares up on a shelf. Trust us; you do not want to pull out a white pocket square only to find it is no longer white.
Much like a tie, there is more than one way to store your pocket squares, but due to the benefits of hanging them, it is our favorite method. With that in mind, we created a pocket square bar with clips to beautifully display and hang your pocket squares. The clips slide around the bar and clamp onto your pocket squares firmly enough to hold them but light enough to ensure that they aren't damaged.
No matter how you choose to store your pocket squares taking the time to think about how you care for them is time well spent. We have tried to do the heavy lifting for you by creating beautiful custom storage racks that will fit well into any home, and you can check them all out here. Whether you use our products or not, proper storage of your wardrobe is one of the best investments you can make for yourself.”