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Formal Wear Primer

Chasseur

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Hawaii
I really like the 4 point fold for formal wear. With a crisp linen square it looks sharp. I tend to save the square TV fold for 1950s and 60s style suits, it works with the minimalist lines. Though having said that my dinner suit for black tie is very late 1950s early 60s so I do use a TV fold with that often...
 

Dr Kilroy

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139
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Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Poland
Personally I do not like anything that TV fold, one point and puff, especially in formalwear. For informal wear I admire this:

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Best regards, Dr
 

avedwards

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London and Midlands, UK
Puff or TV fold are preferred, but one point or even two point is acceptable, too. This is not a written rule, but everything else would be just too complicated.

Best regards, Dr

I disagree. Firstly, the puff is only achievable with a silk square which is usually considered too informal for black tie (with the possible exception of a white dinner jacket). Of course wearing a silk square such a minor faux pas that I think it is acceptable with anything but white tie.

I agree that one or two points are acceptable but I think a three or four point would also be. Considering that formal wear (especially evening wear) is such a rigid dress code I think the pocket square is one of the few accessories which can be used to tastefully express personal style.


Chasseur said:
I tend to save the square TV fold for 1950s and 60s style suits, it works with the minimalist lines.
I tend to do the same, though of late I'm quite drawn to the two point fold for nearly all my suits and for black tie. The difficulty with this is when part of the pocket is covered up by the lapel (in the case of some of my wider lapeled suits).
 

Charlie Huang

Practically Family
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612
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Birmingham, UK
Pocket square folds: TBH, it is up to you but I would err more towards crisp and neat folds.

Black tie is rather informal in my whole scheme of things so do as you will as long as the square is plain.

But white tie, a TV fold is best followed by three or four points (a puff is too informal and a one point doesn't look elegant IMO), and the square must be plain white linen with a hand rolled edge (possibly a coloured edge as long as its very subtle). Stuffing the square haphazardly with the points falling all over the place like you see in some films is a tad too much and upsets the overall balance IMHO of a formal ensemble (the buttonhole flower is the only thing that isn't crisp and pristine).
 

Dr Kilroy

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139
Location
Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Poland
The asking person asked about black tie. I entirely agree with your white tie pocket square suggestions, though I would stay away from three or four point folds because they are too complicated for formalwear for my taste.

Best regards, Dr
 

Dr Kilroy

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Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Poland
Black tie worn with pleated, turndown-collared shirt and cummerbund, or warm weather black tie, or double breasted dinner jacket is informal. You can wear any pocket square you want, but white is preferred.

Black tie worn with full-dress shirt and waistcoat is semi-formal. I recommend linen pocket square, TV fold.

Best regards, Dr
 

Tomasso

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USA
Black tie worn with pleated, turndown-collared shirt and cummerbund, or warm weather black tie, or double breasted dinner jacket is informal. You can wear any pocket square you want, but white is preferred.

Black tie worn with full-dress shirt and waistcoat is semi-formal. I recommend linen pocket square, TV fold.
Now you're just making stuff up.....:eusa_doh:
 

Dr Kilroy

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139
Location
Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Poland
All right, perhaps saying "puff" was unwise. I was mislead by some text on the Black Tie Guide talking about irregularly stuffed pocket square. I actually thought about something like that, not about puff.

Sorry for messing up. ;)

Best regards, Dr
 

bumphrey hogart

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159
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cornwall,England
You're never going to go wrong with a neatly folded white linen wherever you end up. Often you don't have the luxury of knowing how informal your formal will turn out to be,there's nothing worse than feeling too informal,it makes you appear disrespectful to your host/hostess,on the other hand as long as it's black tie I don't think you can appear too formal, as long as you are wearing black tie.
 

Lokar

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Nowhere
I wish I could find the old (British) literature I read a few months ago that was incredibly anti-TV fold, saying it was a lazy Americanism and that no self-respecting Brit would ever use it.

Some of those old books are pretty funny.
 

Charlie Huang

Practically Family
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612
Location
Birmingham, UK
I like the TV fold. Actually, I make sure that the coloured handrolled edge is shown so it doesn't appear like a piece of paper has been stuck in the pocket. I don't like randomness in white tie but black tie has more room for movement.
 

avedwards

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London and Midlands, UK
I wish I could find the old (British) literature I read a few months ago that was incredibly anti-TV fold, saying it was a lazy Americanism and that no self-respecting Brit would ever use it.

Some of those old books are pretty funny.

Which is of course a ridiculous notion giving that Sean Connery's Bond always wore a TV fold (with the exception of one scene in Goldfinger) and is undoubtedly very "British" in the way he dresses. I don't see what's wrong with the TV fold because it is almost always simple and elegant, though I prefer something more interesting usually.
 

Lokar

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Oh, I wasn't anti-TV fold, I use it myself. It's just the amount of old rules (both British and American) that existed that we don't know of.

Most of them were 20s-30s of course, way before Bond.
 

avedwards

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Oh, I wasn't anti-TV fold, I use it myself. It's just the amount of old rules (both British and American) that existed that we don't know of.

Most of them were 20s-30s of course, way before Bond.

Sounds like a case of someone passing off their opinion/preference as a rule, in the same way as many here tend to do with notched lapeled dinner jackets.
 

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