Try a Pocket Square Instead of a Tie

23 Feb , 2009  

The often overlooked accessory that gives a men’s outfit a completely different look to it, is a must have in any men’s wardrobe.

Not only can it be worn in the breast pocket of the jacket of the suit, but also in the overcoat. Etiquette for smokings is that a pocket square can be worn if it is white, or if you really have to make a statement you may go for red. If you decide to wear a red pocket square, I would also advice wearing red suspenders to see some jealous men lose their girlfriends, to you.


The pocket square should never be from the same fabric or have matching patterns of the tie. Rather, it should match the suit or shirt to really impress. You can have some of the color of the tie coordinate with the color of the pocket square, just don’t overdo it. There is no strict etiquette, just trust your gut feeling when matching the colors and patterns of a pocket square, with those of the suit and shirt. There are several ways of folding the pocket square, our favorite is the ‘reverse puff’ where the puff of fabric is in the pocket and has the points out, like petals. The more conservative style of wearing it is when you fold it according to the ‘presidential’ style, at right angles to fit the pocket.

Exclusive pocket squares are usually made from silk. However, other fabrics such as linen and cotton can be just as elegant. Depending on the depth of your pocket and the fabric inside the pocket itself, some pocket squares from silk tend to slip down the pocket which is quite annoying. A solution to this challenge could be to use a small piece of double sided tape.

Pocket squares also function as a great substitute for ties. When you have a semi-formal event to attend and don’t feel like wearing a tie, try a pocket square. It will make your outfit look formal, and elegant, yet allows you to breathe when the event turns into party.

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  1. Michael says:

    Hey, have you seen this news article?
    New details about Michael Jackson’s Death Emerge
    I was wondering if you were going to blog about this…

  2. williamson says:

    I’m all for a pocket square, but NOT instead of a tie.

    A suit with an open-necked shirt is incongruous and looks sloppy and unfinished. As a pocket square is at more formal level than a tie, pocket square without tie is doubly incongruous.

    Mixed messages, mixed medaphors, mixed modes – UGH!

    1. Lance Miller says:

      Hi Williamson! Great comment and I agree with your feedback until a certain extent. We are just noticing a ‘business-casual’ trend. An increasing number of gentlemen are giving up the tie. For those men, I reckon a pocket square might add some style to their outfits. If you are interested, we would like to post your photo in our ‘Photos’ category. Please sent us some shots to suitsocietydotcom @ gmail . com. Looking forward to future comments and seeing you back on our site. Best, Lance

  3. PocketSquareZ says:

    What nice pix and combo’s you have. The textures, hues and colors are great too. However what do you think about custom folded pocket squares.

  4. ali says:

    Hi. first thanks for your site.i have a question: i dont want my shirt to be open-necked and neither do i want to use a tie.what do you suggest me to use instead of a tie? would you email me ?
    thanks alot again