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Groom Guide July 27th, 2023

How to Fold a Pocket Square for a Wedding

Groom Guide July 27th, 2023

When it comes to dressing for any formal event, including a wedding, the pocket square is one detail you don’t want to overlook. Just like with the bow tie and cufflinks, the pocket square helps pull everything together to complete your look.

4 Pocket Square Folds

There are many pocket square folds, but four of the most popular ones are the:

  • Presidential fold
  • Peak fold
  • Puff fold
  • Bunny ears (or rabbit) fold

Some folds, such as the presidential fold, are more conservative and formal. Others, like the puff fold, are a bit showier and casual. The type of fold you choose depends largely on the formality of the event and your own preferences.


Presidential Fold

The presidential fold is a simple, classic fold that pairs especially well with a tuxedo. It looks great at formal occasions, such as black-tie weddings, and at casual events.

Here’s how to create the presidential fold:

  1. Lay the pocket square on a flat surface and fold it in half from left to right (or right to left).
  2. Fold it in half again from left to right. Leave a small gap on the right side.
  3. Next, fold it in half again, this time from top to bottom.
  4. Fold the bottom about a third of the way up.
  5. Adjust it to fit inside your breast pocket.

There are two ways to put the folded pocket square in the jacket pocket. You can put it in with the folded side up for a clean, classic look. Or you can put it in with the edges of the square showing for a classic, stylish look that shows off the hand-rolled side.

This type of fold works particularly well with cotton, linen, or solid silk pocket squares, depending on the occasion.


Peak Fold

First, there are several types of peak fold:

  • Single peak — The most traditional, classic style is the single peak. It looks great with a tuxedo or other formalwear.
  • Two peaks — Another formal option, this one gives the wearer a sophisticated look.
  • Three peaks — Traditional and formal, this fold type boasts symmetrical peaks and is a standout.
  • Four peaks — Bolder than the previous options, this fold looks similar to a crown and is both formal and eye-catching.

There’s a different method to achieving each type of peak fold. For the single peak fold, though, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Start by laying the pocket square face down on a flat surface. Fold it in half.
  2. Fold it in half again.
  3. Turn it on an angle so it looks more like a diamond.
  4. Fold it in half once more to make a triangle.
  5. Next, fold the right point over to the center.
  6. Fold the left point over to the right.
  7. Finally, fold the bottom up behind the front side. Adjust it as needed so it can fit in your jacket pocket.

When you place it in your breast pocket, you can have a single point show or you can separate it slightly to show two or more points.

This type of fold works well with linen or cotton pocket squares that are either solid or lightly patterned.


Puff Fold

Elegant and effortless, the puff fold gives a pocket square a kind of scalloped appearance. It’s fairly easy to achieve and works well with any outfit, from black-tie to casual.

Here’s how to get this fold:

  1. Start by placing the pocket square on a flat surface. If it has a pattern, it should be face up.
  2. Pinch it in the middle and pull it up.
  3. Pull the pocket square through your other hand until it’s about three-quarters of the way down.
  4. While holding it at the center, fold the points over your thumb.
  5. Finally, fold the top over the points and place it in your breast pocket.

Since this is a more casual fold, the pocket square can be silk, linen, or cotton. Simple patterns, such as polka dots, look great with it as well.


Bunny Ears Fold

If you want a more fun pocket square fold for casual events like cocktail weddings, the bunny ears fold is a great option. It also works great if your pocket square has a bold pattern or contrasting edge.

Here’s how to get this fold:

  1. Begin by placing the pocket square on a flat surface.
  2. Pinch it in the middle and hold it up.
  3. Pull it through your opposite hand until it’s about a third of the way down.
  4. Give it a half twist right in the center and hold it in place.
  5. Fold the top over your thumb, then once more to just below the points.
  6. Place it in your jacket pocket and adjust the points as desired.

Cotton and linen are both great fabrics for pocket squares using this fold.

Pocket Square Tips and Etiquette

Whether you’re going for a classic fold or a more modern or creative one, here are a few final tips on wearing a pocket square the right way:

  • For formal or conservative attire, go with a solid pocket square that closely matches your jacket.
  • Don’t choose a pocket square that’s identical in pattern or color to your tie. Go with one in a complementary color. A shade or two darker or lighter should do the trick in most cases.
  • Stick with simple folds like the presidential or single peak fold for more formal occasions.

Bottom Line

There’s no right or wrong way to fold a pocket square, but some folds work better for certain occasions than others. As always, whether you’re attending a wedding or a business event, the key is to look and feel confident. From the pocket square to the tie, go with whatever helps you achieve this. When in doubt, play around with a few options until you find the best one for you.

This Article is part of the Tutorials Series.

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When it comes to formal outfits, the way you lace up your dress shoes is a small detail that makes a big difference. Now, if your shoes already come laced up, you don’t need to worry about this. But if they don’t, or if you’re interested in learning about dress shoe etiquette, here’s what you need to know.

There are several ways to lace dress shoes, but here are the two most popular ones: