Suit by InStitchu. Image by Ali Rasoul.
Wedding pocket squares, they’re wily beasts. Often tough to tame but so vital to piecing together your wedding outfit.
It still gets my heart rate up when I cast my mind back to wrangling my own pocket square on the morning of my wedding.
The basic white square just refused to stay put!
But if you’re not used to wearing a pocket square, or a suit for that matter, you might be asking yourself: do I even need one for my wedding?
Sally McKinnon, who runs Styled By Sally, which places an emphasis on “real style, for real people,” says a pocket square can add “personality” to your wedding day look.
“Whether it’s a simple white pocket square folded in a square or a satin paisley, a well-chosen pocket square will complete the outfit.
“Pocket squares can help to differentiate a suit from the everyday to a special occasion.
“It allows the groom to stand out from his groomsmen or for the wedding party to stand out from the wedding guests.
“It also allows the wedding party to have some fun with colours, prints and patterns.”
Australian model Sam Wines knows a bit about donning suits, after all he does it for a living, and he’s on the same page as Sally.
“Never underestimate the humble pocket square,” he says.
“A mystery to some and a downright essential to others, this fantastic square of fabric allows you to add a pop of panache and inject some personality into your overall look.
“For those venturing into unfamiliar territory, even a plain old white square can really top off a look, especially if you are unsure about how to mix and match colours, or want to play it safe.”
It’s at this point those of us who fall under the category of ‘pocket square challenged’ are asking: Yeah, but do I have to have a pocket square?
Good news! Melbourne tailor and men’s fashion expert Carl Nave says “not necessarily.”
“It really depends on the overall look, but I generally recommend avoiding a pocket square if a lapel pin (floral arrangement) is being worn,” Carl says.
“I feel sometimes there is too much happening on one side of the jacket.
“Having said that, a very subtle white pocket square just poking out of the breast pocket can look really elegant on a black tie or formal look.
“It doesn’t need to match your tie, rather it should complement the colour of your shirt and tie.”
Despite their seemingly being no escape from the pocket square, Institchu Weddings Manager Miles Ruge says they are still “chronically underused.”
“Like a tie, the pocket-square can be used to bring a sense of balance to an outfit, likewise it can bring life to your ordinarily drab suits.
“For this reason, it is a really prudent addition to your wedding-day outfit.”
Miles Ruge’s three classic pocket square folds:
The straight fold
Easy and classic, the straight fold is halving the pocket square from left to right, and then folding up from the bottom to the height of the pocket itself, so as to only have one layer visible above the pocket.
The single–tip fold
Rotate the square 90 degrees so it’s a pocket diamond. Fold up from the bottom so as to make a napkin like structure, then fold in a third from each corner. The result should like an opened square envelope.
The dual–tip fold
Position the square exactly as above for the single tip, except instead of folding bottom tip directly to top tip do it roughly 2-3cm askew, creating the second tip. Bring the bottom corners in a third either side.
Personally, despite my challenges on the mornings of multiple weddings I’ve attended and been a part of, I’m all for a pocket square.
Try a brightly coloured square with a plain coloured tie, for example, black suit, white shirt, black tie, pink pocket square. It’s the touch of class that takes your outfit from something you might wear at the office, to something that says it’s your wedding day.
As Carl says, a pocket square “completes an outfit.”
Just like in Jerry Maguire.
You had me at pocket square… you had me at pocket square.
Ms Zigzag says: Don’t overlook the little details when planning your wedding outfit (or wedding!). The little things, like a stylish pocket square, can really tie your outfit together. Well researched and detailed account of all things pocket square, Mr Houndstooth!
About Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.