A pocket square is that extra touch that takes your look from respectable, to remarkable. But looking good takes effort, of course, and pocket squares are no exception. And while it can seem exhausting to have to think about even these small pieces of fabric, remember that well looked-after pocket squares will only add to your reputation as a neat, impeccably attired gentleman.
Here are some tips for how to care for your pocket square:
1. Understand your cleaning abilities and expectations. Pocket squares are available in various fabrics, and many have different levels of required care involved. Here are the most common varieties, and how to keep each one clean and looking well:
– A pocket square is high-budget and high-maintenance. Keep it clean by either taking it to the dry cleaner, or hand-washing it in warm (not hot) water, with just a bit of soap.
– Wool pocket squares are also a bit more delicate than what you might be used to. They should never be machine-washed or dried. Hand-wash only!
– If you’re looking for a sturdier material that still has plenty of stylish flair, pocket squares in cotton, linen, or polyester can be machine washed – but be sure to check the instructions regarding temperature and machine setting, as well as whether or not they should be machine- or air- dried.
2. Pocket squares in any material can – and likely should – be ironed.
3. Before purchasing a pocket square, another thing to consider is stain and spot visibility. Although a gentleman should always be impeccably neat, one does meet with unfortunate accidents – say a bit of soup dripping from a spoon at lunch. If you tend to be somewhat accident-prone, you may want to consider buying pocket squares in dark colors or with patterns that would make stains and spots less visible (before you get them cleaned, of course, which should be done as quickly as possible).
4. If you find yourself replacing pocket squares quite frequently due to stains and other mishaps, remember that you can buy inexpensive ones that still look rather nice. Just check reasonably priced menswear shops. Another option is to make your own pocket squares. On the one hand, this does take time and some sewing, but on the other, it could be a way to have a number of unique ‘squares in the same fabric.
5. Does one need a special storage space for one’s pocket squares? Not necessarily; however, you may choose to keep them safely away from prying hands. If you do so, it’s best to keep them folded in neat squares. If you are storing them for a long period of time, also be aware that wool pocket squares could be in danger of being eaten by moths. For a safe option that will leave them smelling great, consider investing in a small cedar wood box. Or get one our our neat and glamorous Box. For Free.