A colorful pocket square can inject some much-needed life into a suit or blazer jacket, but not everyone attends enough formal events to warrant owning one. In a pinch, repurpose items from around your home to fake the look -- without ever needing to pick up a needle and thread.
Don't worry about anyone noticing your DIY on the DL -- the snobs who do likely have something negative to say about everyone's outfits.
Other Squares of Fabric
Picture the other small square or rectangular pieces of fabric you have tucked away in your drawers. Handkerchiefs might technically exist for nose-wiping purposes, but as long as you don't whip this one out to blow your nose, no one will suspect it's not a real pocket square. Bandannas and small scarves may also serve just as well, as long as they are made from silk, linen or cotton, like traditional pocket squares.
Keep in mind that pocket squares tend to be sized between 17 inches square and 14 inches square. The larger your alternative, the bulkier it will look when folded. Only use a large piece of fabric if it is also lightweight.
If necessary, you can trim a square section from the hem of a shirt, dress or bedsheet, if you keep at least one finished edge to include as the exposed part of the pocket square. Frayed edges should never stick out of your front pocket -- they look highly unkempt.
Socks and Ties
If you have a silk tie or sock you think can reasonably masquerade as a pocket square, go for it. For a tie, fold one end over on itself until it fits into the pocket. Leave the opposite end sticking upward, out of the pocket, to mimic a one-point fold.
For socks, mimic a rolled puff by rolling the sock downward and tucking it into your pocket. Let only the top of the roll protrude from the pocket.
Alternatives to Pocket Squares
Not everyone feels the need to follow the rules of fashion. If you're a trailblazer, get creative with decorative details that can adorn your jacket pocket.
Flowers, particularly in warmer seasons, can make quite the statement. Cut a piece of cardstock or cardboard that fits into your pocket, and glue or pin a few fresh flowers onto it. You can also simply arrange a small bouquet of flowers and greenery in the pocket, but they may not stay in place without the cardboard backing.
Textile designs aren't the only artwork worth displaying on your person. If you spot a page from a magazine or newspaper that takes your fancy, carefully cut it out and fold it, just like a pocket square. Fliers, paper bags, posters and colored cardstock can be folded or cut to fit the pocket, just like any piece of fabric -- but only if you dare.
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A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.