Fantastic Styles to Fold the Handkerchief for a Classic Look

Learn various handkerchief folding styles, and add an interesting accessory to complete your formal attire. Each of the following styles has special significance and is suitable for various occasions.
The handkerchief has gone beyond its basic purpose (used for blowing your nose), and has now become a trendy fashion accessory for men. In fact, it is available in a variety of fabrics, colors, and patterns. It serves to complete a man's formal attire, resting in the breast pocket of the tuxedo, blazer, or suit. If you are dressing for a black tie affair, a good handkerchief, shaped in the right manner, will definitely add more glamor to your overall appearance. Handkerchief folding isn't just about wrapping a kerchief and placing it in your pocket. The styles in which they can be shaped are numerous.

While it may seem insignificant, you can only tell the difference in your outfit after you have added a well-folded kerchief to it. To transform your outfit, choose from a variety of styles presented here. Keep in mind that the cloth should be well-pressed before you begin the procedure.

The One-Corner Up Fold
This style is best suited for very formal occasions, and should ideally be made with a single colored handkerchief.
  1. Place your kerchief diagonally on a flat surface.
  2. Create a triangle by folding it across the center, so that two opposite corners are placed upon one another.
  3. Now, take the left corner of the triangle and fold it halfway inward.
  4. Take the right corner and fold it half way inward, so that it is placed over the left corner.
  5. For a better effect, once you have folded it completely, run the iron over the folds just once. This will hold the entire setting together.
  6. Turn it over, and place it in your pocket.
The Two-Corner Up Fold
This style is meant to be slightly less formal than the previous one. It is nonetheless as elegant and stylish.
  1. Place your kerchief diagonally on a flat surface.
  2. Fold it across the center in a manner that it looks like two triangles placed over each other.
  3. Take the left corner and fold it halfway inward.
  4. Repeat the same step with the right corner.
  5. Iron over the folds once, turn it over, and place it in your pocket.
The Straight Shell
The straight shell is a pleated pocket square, that looks exactly as it has been named, a shell. It makes for a very classy style.
  1. Place your kerchief on a flat surface, and fold it into half. Again, fold it into a smaller half.
  2. To make a pleat, lift the lower edge of the kerchief and push it slightly upward, and press it well to make a fold. Remember to push and not fold.
  3. Continue the same process until you have pleated the entire handkerchief. Once done, fold the right half, over the left half.
  4. Iron once, over the folds, and place it in your pocket. Adjust it so that the folded edge is visible when placed in the pocket.
The Diagonal Shell
The diagonal shell has an effect similar to the straight shell. The only difference is that it is pleated diagonally.
  1. Place your kerchief on a flat surface, and fold it into half. Again, fold it into a smaller half. Rotate it so that it is placed diagonally.
  2. Lift the lower point, and press it slightly upwards, as you did with the straight shell.
  3. Continue the same process until the entire handkerchief has been pleated. Once done, fold the right half over the left half.
  4. Iron once, over the folds, and place it in your pocket. Adjust it so that the pointed edge goes inside the pocket, and the folded edge is visible.
The Puff
The puff fold is informal, but trendy when sported in a suit or a blazer.
  1. Place your kerchief diagonally on a flat surface.
  2. With your index finger and your thumb, pinch the handkerchief at the center, and lift it up.
  3. With the kerchief hanging from your right hand, run your left hand down, and stop at half the length.
  4. Fold the hanging corners upwards. The top will look like it has been puffed.
  5. In this position, place the handkerchief in your pocket. It may have to be adjusted a little so that it looks well-puffed.
The Reverse Puff
The reverse puff is exactly as the name suggests, the puff style, reversed. All you have to do is make the puff, and turn it upside down, so that the corners are visible once placed in your pocket.

The fabric will determine how well your pocket square stays once you have styled it and put it in your pocket. While for the puff nothing could be better than a silk handkerchief, for the remaining, stiffer fabrics like cotton and linen would be ideal. Nonetheless, upon ironing, you can even make silk stay in place.

Of course, kerchiefs will still be used to blow the nose. It's just the way you carry it, that makes a difference. Just pick the right shade and pattern for the right style, and your attempts will be well worth the effort. Look classy and carry off these styles with elan!