How to Fold a Men's Lapel Handkerchief

by Victoria Bailey ; Updated September 28, 2017

Choose a colorful lapel handkerchief and fold it with style.

silk color image by coff47 from

Well-dressed men know that the final small details give a classic finishing touch to what might otherwise be a boring ensemble. A lapel handkerchief, or pocket square, adds a bright touch of color and panache to the otherwise dark expanse of a suit jacket. There are a variety of ways to fold a lapel handkerchief, from the simple to the complicated. Choose one as your favorite, and incorporate it into your own personal style.

One Point Pocket Square

Lay your square on the table with the corners facing top and bottom and to the sides.

Grasp the bottom corner. Bring it up over the square until it meets the top corner. You now have a triangle with two layers and a point at the top.

Grasp the left corner. Bring it over toward the right, until the point is two-thirds of the way toward the right corner. Lay it down so that the bottom edges are smooth and aligned.

Grasp the right corner. Bring it over the handkerchief toward the left until the point is at the left edge. Lay it down so that the bottom edges are aligned.

Pick up the pocket square by the bottom, pinching it to keep all of the folds in place. Slip it into your lapel pocket, tucking the body of the square into the pocket and leaving the pointed corner at the top to stick up.

The Straight Fold

Lay the pocket square on the table with the edges facing the right and left, and top and bottom.

Fold the left edge over the square until it meets the right edge. Make sure that all the edges and corners are neatly aligned.

Fold the bottom edge up until it is 1 inch below the top edge. Smooth the bottom fold.

Fold the bottom edge up one-third of the way toward the top. Fold this same amount of fabric up again another one-third of the way so it fits the depth of your pocket.

Slip the folded part of the pocket square into your lapel pocket, and smooth the top to create a seamless line.

Puff Pocket Square

Lay your pocket square on the table with the corners at the top and bottom, and at the sides.

Grasp the center of the square. Pinch the fabric and pull up so that the handkerchief is off the table and you are holding only the very center.

Smooth down the rest of the fabric below where you are pinching it. Grasp the mass of fabric near the bottom to secure it together.

Tuck the bunched fabric into your lapel pocket, leaving the part that you pinched sticking up in a puff. Pull up the fabric slightly to increase the puffiness, if desired.


  • Coordinate your pocket square with your tie, but don't necessarily use matching pieces. An accent piece doesn't have to match, just set off the look.

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About the Author

Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.