Mens Handkerchiefs


One fashion accessory that fits all budgets and styles are men's handkerchiefs. Although some people may think that handkerchiefs are an outdated item or are only decorative pieces for suits, fashionable men know that sporting them in suit pockets or simply having one on their person is a smart move.

About Men's Handkerchiefs

This little square of fabric has had other uses besides fashion accessory. When men in battle didn't have a white flag to raise in surrender, a white handkerchief was raised instead to signify defeat. The most functional use for them is to wipe one's hands or blow your nose into it. This latter use can be seen as unhygienic, especially if it needs to be used more than once. Some men prefer to carry tissues for this reason. However, handkerchiefs are often sported in a purely decorative capacity and aren't expected to be functional at all.

You can usually find men's handkerchiefs for sale anywhere men's accessories such as socks and ties are sold. Specialty shops also carry them with initial monograms on them; most men choose the monogram that's the first letter of their last name. Because this is such an inexpensive accessory, it's easy even for the budget-conscious to have a good supply of men's handkerchiefs at hand.

Handkerchief Materials

Most plain handkerchiefs are made of an easy to care for fabric like cotton, but fancy pocket squares are also made of silk or linen. When it comes to wearing a handkerchief as accessory, the type of fold you want to do will sometimes depend on the material. Silk is too flimsy for a stiff design that's supposed to stand straight, so keep that in mind when choosing your men's handkerchiefs for accessory wear. The most common materials are:

  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Polyester
  • Silk
  • Satin

Pocket Square Style

There are quite a few ways for stylish men to fold their handkerchiefs, which are called pocket squares when used to accessorize a suit. The methods range from simple to complex, but men who are interested in presenting a fashionable image are willing to experiment and wear fold designs that they like. Some of the most common fold designs you'll find for men's handkerchiefs include:

  • Presidential
  • TV
  • One point
  • Two point
  • Three point
  • Four point
  • Cagney
  • Straight shell
  • Diagonal shell
  • Cooper or Puff
  • Reverse puff
  • Astaire


When a handkerchief becomes more than a functional piece of material, the possibilities of how to accessorize it with your clothing become more interesting. The color and fold style you choose will be highly individual. You may find you prefer to wear one type of pocket square style to others, or you may enjoy trying all of the various techniques just to switch things up.

Once you've taken the plunge into pocket square fashion, you may as well explore all of your options. Some fashion matches you can try are:

  • If you're wearing a tie with red accents in it, sport a red pocket square to bring out the accents.
  • Navy blue suits always enjoy a flash of red.
  • Pink isn't just for baby girls. Many men have overcome the fear of pink in their clothes. A charcoal suit with a pink pocket square will look sharp and modern.
  • A black suit can be complemented by any number of colors; don't always play it safe with white, but be adventurous and sport a bright color like red or chartreuse.


Just because many men no longer sport pocket squares doesn't mean you have to blend into the crowd. Stand out and create your own fashion. However, keep these tips in mind when wearing or carrying around your men's handkerchiefs:

  • Handkerchiefs should be clean
  • Handkerchiefs should be pressed
  • Monograms make men's handkerchiefs more personal and elegant
  • Once your pocket square is in place and arranged the way you want, leave it alone, unless a special lady comes along who needs one.
Was this page useful?
Related & Popular
Mens Handkerchiefs