How to Fold a Handkerchief

Handkerchiefs are a great accessory for any suit, blazer or tux. Knowing how to properly fold one is not difficult once you know how it is done. Below are the 5 most popular ways to fold a handkerchief. Find the type of fold that best matches your outfit!

Some Basics Tips before Getting Started

Wearing a handkerchief with Neck Ties as well as Bowties is a perfect way to add more personal character to your outfit. When choosing what type of pocket square to wear think about the occasion and about how formal of an event you are dressing for. For very formal occasions you want to wear a classic white pocket square. Slightly less formal are solid color pocket squares that match your neck or bow tie. Least formal, but nevertheless still very classy and elegant are handkerchiefs that are in different color than you neckwear, as well as show patterns (such as checks, stripes, polka dots, and paisleys).

Once you have your pocket square picked out and decided what type of fold best suits your outfit, start by cleaning your hands, as well as the area used to fold your hanky. Keep in mind that handkerchiefs can be made from silk, especially so-called Thai silk, as well as cotton and linen. The benefit of the later two fabrics is that they can be starched, making certain folding techniques much easier. Silk on the other hand has more shine adding a more formal look.

The Presidential Handkerchief Fold

The presidential fold, also known as the “Classic Flat Fold, is the most elegant and sleekest way to wear your pocket square. It is perfect for formal events such as Black Tie Attire or White Tie, and it is also the type of fold that looks best with a classic white handkerchief.

How to Fold a Presidential Handkerchief Fold

  1. Lay the handkerchief on a flat surface.

  2. Fold the hanky in half and create an edge at the fold with the palm of your hand.

  3. Then fold one side in – just enough so that only ¼ - ½ of an inch will show once you tufg the hanky in your brest pocket

  4. Tug the handkerchief in the breast pocket and straighten the top to remove and wrinkles or unwanted folds.

 

One Corner Up Fold

The one-corner up fold is simple and elegant. It is well suited for a wide range of functions from business to formal black tie. Best are solid color handkerchiefs for this type of fold.

Instructions:

How to Fold a One-Corner-Up-Fold

  1. Lay the hanky on a flat surface

  2. Fold it in half to create a triangle.

  3. Fold one corner in and create a strong fold with the palm of your hand.

  4. Now repeat this on the opposite side.

  5. Tug the handkerchief in your breast pocket and style to your liking.

 

Two-Corner Up Fold

The two corner up fold:

Another elegant fold that is a touch less formal than the flat, or the one-corner up fold. It is well suited for solid color or patterned pocket squares as well as good for any type of formality.

Instructions:

How to Fold a Two-Corner-Up-Fold

  1. Lay the handkerchief on a flat surface.

  2. Fold the hanky in half so that it looks like two overlapping triangles

  3. Fold one side in.

  4. Repeat step #3 with the opposite side

  5. Tug the hanky in your breast pocket and give it some final styling.

 

The Three-Corner Up Fold

This type of folding technique is also known as the “Crown-Fold” since the look resembles the shape of a crown. It is a type of fold that may require a little more practice, but once you know how it is done, it will add a sophisticated touch to any outfit.

Instructions:

How to Fold a Three Corner Up Fold

  1. Lay the pocket square on a flast surface

  2. Fold the hanky in half across the center so that it looks like two overlapping triangles.

  3. To create the 3rd corner fold one side up next two the two tips.

  4. Fold the opposite side over to create flat base.

  5. Tug the handkerchief in your breast pocket and style to your preference.

 

The Casual Fold

This type of fold is sometimes also called the “Puff fold”. The more voluminous look and lack of symmetry makes this type of fold much more casual looking. It is an excellent type of fold for business attire as well as one to wear to a blazer jacket. Hankies with patterns are best combined with this type of fold. Also, use a fine and soft silken handkerchief.

Instructions:

How to Fold a Casual Fold

  1. Lay the hanky on a flat surface.

  2. Pinch the center with two fingers and pick the hanky up.

  3. Slide the hanky through the palm of your other hand.

  4. Turn the hanky around.

  5. Stuff it in your breast pocket and style to your preference.


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