History of the pocket square

Ever wondered where it all began? Here at PocketMan, we did some research into the humble beginnings of the pocket square and how it’s gotten where it is today!

Sartorial historians can agree that the pocket square can be traced as far back as the Ancient Egyptians, whom carried around small linen cloths which were dyed with a red powder to show they were for decorative purposes, and symbolised wealth and status.  In Ancient Greece, wealthy men carried around a cloth scented with perfume to ensure they always had a pleasant smell nearby.

It wasn’t until the 1400s that the handkerchief gained traction as a fashion accessory, with silk embroidered with elaborate patterns to demonstrate wealth and status.  After King Richard II started donning a handkerchief as a fashion accessory during his reign, became popular with royalty and aristocrats alike. It’s even said that Marie Antoinette got her husband, King Louis XVI to decree a standardised size for all fashion handkerchiefs, at 16 inches by 16 inches!

By the 19th Century, the two-piece suit was the norm in men’s fashion. Many men didn’t want their beautiful handkerchiefs mixed with grubby coins and other objects in their pockets, so handkerchiefs were placed in the top left breast pocket. While the practical benefit of the pocket square faded with the rise of the humble Kleenex, the pocket square made its mark as a premier fashion statement in every gentleman’s pocket.

Want to join the ranks of the stylish elite?  Check out our range of elegant, unique and sleek pocket squares. We use fabrics sourced from the most exotic corners of the globe, and we spend time crafting each and every square to perfection in Melbourne, Australia. 

Our squares are different, and our designs are a nod to the pocket square’s rich history of wealth, sophistication and class. 


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