HowTo Fold A Pocket Square

How To Fold A Pocket Square – 5 Quick & Easy Ways to Fold Handkerchiefs

I get asked rather frequently by our customers, how to fold a pocket square. Specifically, the other day, I received an email from a blind customer from Germany, who wanted some instructions so his family and friends can help him to properly fold a square. I was so impressed by his interest to look the part, that I had to make a video about pocket square folds.

Instead of showing you every fold under the sun, I decided to narrow it down to my favorite folds. You may have seen some of those folds before, but I am certain you have not seen all of them and on top of showing you step-by-step how you fold them, I provide a number of other useful pocket square tips so you look dapper!

Video Transcript

00:00 Hello, my name is Sven Raphael Schneider. I’m the founder of Gentleman’s Gazette and Fort Belvedere. And today I’m going to teach you how to fold a pocket square and handkerchiefs.

00:27 As you may know, we sell pocket squares in the Gentleman’s Gazette online shop. And so, I get frequently asked by customers, how to fold pocket squares. Specifically, the other week, I had a blind customer from Germany inquire about how to do it, and so his friends can help him fold it. And that inspired me to create this video. I’m pretty sure it will help all of you and although there are approximately 851 folds out there. I want to narrow it down and teach you my favorite five folds, because that’s basically all you’ll ever need.

1:10 Before you start folding any pocket squares. It is really important to know is that there are the different sizes in pocket squares and not every size is well suited for every fold. For example, here we have a very small silk pocket square and a larger linen pocket square. For the very first fold, the so-called TV fold or presidential fold, I recommend using a linen or cotton pocket square of medium size because it is crisp and looks the best.


Wool Pocket Square in Orange Brown Handrolled – Fort Belvedere


Camel Wool Angora Tie – Fort Belvedere


Silk Pocket Square in Green with Orange Large Paisley Pattern- Fort Belvedere

1:48 Also known as the classic fold, this way to fold a pocket square is very traditional. It goes well with dark business suits, navy blazers. If you go to a funeral, it’s not flashy, very even keel and you can never go wrong with it.

2:07 The way to fold it is to take your pocket square, and when you have it, you fold it in half. And then you fold it in half again. And you want to make sure that if you have like a contrast edge or embroidery that that faces outwards. But when you have it, you basically fold it again. Try to fold it neatly. And depending on the size of your pocket, you have to fold it over more or less. In this case, I folded it this much and I put it in. Basically what you want to achieve is that it doesn’t disappear in your pocket, but that it stands out about a quarter inch for people to see. If you don’t like the edges showing, what you can also do is fold them in from both sides so that it’s just a little slimmer and the edges don’t show as much

3:23 The second fold I’d like to show you is the so-called crown fold. Personally, I like it very much because it turns out differently every time, and that is something you really want with a pocket square fold. Otherwise, it looks too artificial and like a pre folded pocket square and that doesn’t have anything to do with elegance. It simply looks cheap. So, crown fold, this is how you fold it. You take the square pocket square and fold it into a triangle. Once you have it in a triangle, what you do is you take the two tips, fold them slightly apart then you take the right end and fold it over to the left and the left end you fold it over to the right. Once you have that, you take the sides in, on both sides. You fold up the bottom part and you put it in your pocket square. Now, slightly arrange it and there you go. The crown fold for a pocket square. It looks particularly good with contrast edges or embroidery. But you can also fold it with silk, cotton, wool, it basically works with all kinds of squares.

4:53 The third fold is the so-called puff fold or pinch fold. It’s very traditional and great with silk pocket squares because of the way it folds. One thing you need to know about this is that your silk pocket square needs to be big enough. This one here is extremely small and what’s going to happen is when you wear it, it’s going to disappear in your pocket. You don’t want that. So, instead use a big pocket square. As you can see, much bigger square and the way you start is to go to the center of the square, you pinch it, then you take your other hand form a little hole and you kind of pull it through. Once you like the look, you twist it by about half, fold it over and put it in your pocket. Now, you adjust it to your liking and there you go. Simple puff fold or pinch fold.


Silk Pocket Square in Brown with Blue, Green, Red Large Paisley Pattern- Fort Belvedere


Wool Linen Pocket Square in Red & White Herringbone Pattern Handrolled – Fort Belvedere

6:03 The fourth fold is the so called upside down puff fold and it is very similar to the puff fold. You just show a different edge. So, let’s take it out. The way you start again, it’s important big silk pocket square. You pinch from the middle and you rotate and twist. And then you just put it in your pocket. This time you show the edges. And here, it’s important that you adjust them until you like them, and you’re good.

6:43 Another variation here is that you can actually show the puffed end and the edges. So again, pinch in the middle. Puff it up. Twist it. Put it in the pocket and now we try to actually adjust it so we have both the center of the pocket square as well as the edges. Some people like it with three points showing out. Others prefer it like Fred Astaire, with one in the left and one in the right. You can also just do one. That’s completely up to you and you can decide what you like. There you go the upside down puff fold.

7:36 The last fold is the so called shelf fold. It is very unusual and you probably won’t find it anywhere else. But I like it because it has this kind of little folds and it’s very refined. Especially for your tuxedo or white tie look. I think it’s particularly good with silk and you need a large silk pocket square to do it. So forget about the small ones. It’s not going to work. The way to fold it is to start out, you take your square and you fold it into a big triangle, like so, right. A big triangle. I always do it from the right, from my right. So I take the point of my right and I fold it up to the other point. Do the same thing again with the next point. Fold it up and once again do it so with the last one. What I have now is another triangle, a small one. And what’s really important is that you get these little folds here that are kind of on top of each other. And when you have that, the triangle points down, you fold it inwards like so, that you get this effect. And you put it in to your pocket. Adjust a little bit until you like it. There you go, the shelf fold.


Ivory Spray Rose Boutonniere Buttonhole Flower Fort Belvedere


Wool Linen Pocket Square in Red & White Herringbone Pattern Handrolled – Fort Belvedere


Wool Challis Pocket Square in Yellow with Burgundy Polka Dots Fort Belvedere

9:19 Now that I told you about my five essential pocket square folds. I want to just give you a few quick pointers to help you on how to wear a pocket square. First of all, go for hand rolled edges. You will often find machine hand edges that look like hand rolled or machine-sown edges that are made with a machine like a shirt and it looks very rough. And, I would always suggest you look for hand rolled edges. I will have a follow up video where I show you all about the details. But the other thing that I really want you not to do is to blow your nose with a pocket square, because it is essentially a decorative piece. If you want to blow your nose, use a Kleenex or have another cotton square in the back of your pocket. But don’t blow your nose that way. Last but not the least, use natural materials, they look better, they last longer. The colors are better. So skip nylon or polyester or lycra and use silk, linen, wool instead. They will last longer, look better and that’s the whole point of wearing a pocket square. I hope you learned something. If you liked it, again subscribe to our Youtube channel. That way you’ll get our latest videos. And also sign up for our email newsletter. Thank you.

What are your favorite folds? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Article Name
How To Fold A Pocket Square - 5 Easy & Quick Ways to Fold Handkerchiefs
Learn quickly how to fold a pocket square including the 3 basic folds + 10 more advanced folds, including Photos, Infographics & Video.
Gentleman's Gazette
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15 replies
  1. Julian says:

    Great video, very useful.
    Also, I hate being the guy that asks about the music instead of the actual video, but what is the piano piece that appears?

  2. Park Jacob Weatherby says:

    Great video as you discussed the 5 basic folds you also spoke about varies sizes small medium and large and I’m just wondering if there are standard sizes associated with those? Also I’ve recently seen what are called half round or half moon shape pocket squares what is your thoughts on that?


  3. Frank says:

    Great video lesson, I’d like to address that some silk pocket sqaures tend to want to puff out of the pocket sometimes.

    I have a few from Polo/Ralph Lauren that are very nice in desgin, but the silk is very slippery and wants to do it’s own thing at times.

    I find that stiffer silks such as those from Robert Talbott give a nice hold. 🙂

    Linen, cotton, and wool are by far some of my favorites. 🙂

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Slippery silk is usually not good, but that’s why you do the half turn, it helps. But ideally, you get some heftier silk, like the ones from Fort Belvedere. The one’s I have seen from Robert Talbott were ok, but I am not sure all of their squares come from the same source…

  4. Zach says:

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this video! My brother just got married and I was his best man. Well, all the groomsmen and i had tried our rentals on and everything, but come the day of the wedding, I realized that my brother’s pocket square had been shell folded by a guy at the tux shop. Thank you so much for this video as it is the only way i was able to match everyone else’s pocket squares to his!! Truly a lifesaver. I love this site!!

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