Styling your pocket square so you don’t look like a knob

The pocket square is one of the handiest, lowest effort ways you can elevate your outfit to a solid ten. Styling your pocket square is not a science, so there’s no one way to maximise the effect of your pocket square. The one rule? Don’t match the tie and pocket square exactly. Seems a bit counterintuitive, right?

The key to the right outfit is subtle elegance, which means you want to make sure you look like the composition of the outfit was effortless and there are understated points of interest sprucing up your outfit. The last thing you want is somebody thinking on a night out is that you rifled through Dad’s wardrobe and found a boxed tie and pocket square set which should’ve been taken to the Op Shop in 1991.

Here are a couple of ways you can’t go wrong when styling a pocket square:

Styling with colour

Haven’t pulled out the good ‘ol colour wheel since Primary School? Now’s your chance. The best way to figure out whether a colour combo is going to work is by checking out where they’re positioned on the colour wheel. Go for colours across from each other on the wheel (complimentary), triadic colours (draw a triangle on the colour wheel and choose those three colours) or next to each other. Complementary colours are bold and a bit daring, so this is a great choice if you’re looking to stand out. On the other hand, choosing colours next to each other on the square provides a sophisticated and muted look, and may be better for more casual occasions.  



Style with pattern

Another way of going about it is by styling using the pattern of your tie, pocket square or both. Either a plain tie with a patterned pocket square, or a patterned tie with a plain pocket square both look aesthetically pleasing and visually interesting. If you’re planning to go down this route, use the solid tie as a secondary colour within the pattern. While this isn’t a hard and fast rule, it makes for a really put together outfit and balances out your colour scheme. On the other hand, if you’re going pattern on pattern, choose patters which won't detract attention from each other or come across as visually overwhelming.



Bottom line:

Choose a combo which makes you feel confident, edgy and classy. If it looks right and feels right when you’re walking out the door, it probably is right. If all else fails, you can ditch the tie, pocket squares look just as great on their own too.

Stay classy lads!


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