It should really be OR shirt, your pocket square should compliment your tie or your shirt, or ideally I think both. Now when I say compliment, I mean exactly that, compliment, not match. Yes, I know that some stores sell matching tie and pocket squares sets, but you should never shop at those stores, they’re like the dark shadowy places in the lion king. The only thing you should ever buy in pairs are socks, gloves and shoes.
So, what is the trick to complementing, well the easiest way is to try and find colours that match so if you have a solid green tie, maybe go for a patterned pocket square that has just a hint of that colour, as in the example below.
This naturally works the other way around when wearing a patterned tie, it is easiest to go for a solid pocket square, simply pick up on a colour in the tie ( this works great with tartan ) and match them.
Lastly, and when you start feeling a little more confident, you can start mixing it up with patterns and textures, the key is that nothing should ever feel out of place, unless you want it to, then it must be COMPLETELY different, nothing half hearted or it will feel like a mistake.
Here is some crazy pattern mixing, I find floral prints make amazing pocket squares as they are just so incredibly versatile.
Notice how, the brown and green in the flower pick up on the browns and greens in the tie, the red in the flower picks up on the maroon of the shirt and the overall white in the pocket square accentuates the polka dots on the shirt.
In my opinion, when in doubt, go for a solid tie and a patterned pocket square, the pocket square for my is that really nice detail that you see so little off its better to make it interesting. You also don’t need to spend a fortune on these guys an expensive pocket square looks just as good as cheap one…or a cheapish one (the edging is usually a dead give away).
One last bit of advice with your pocket square, always carry 2. Yep, or as the saying goes, ‘one for blowing and one for showing’ one in your back pocket for, cleaning up a spilt drink, wiping sweat off your brow or blowing your nose – gross – and then one that goes into your breast pocket that never gets touched. I dont think I need to explain why.
Okay. Stay Fancy.