Under no circumstances should your pocket square be the same colour as your tie. Yes, it sounds slightly odd; after all, shouldn’t the pocket square and the tie match?
It might seem that way, but a pocket square should really complement the style of your tie rather than actually match it. Matching is unadventurous, and it frankly looks a little like you got both items out of a pack, and not one meant for full-grown adults.
However, there’s no need to despair – just follow these easy hints to have your pocket square and your tie working in perfect harmony.
When you first start experimenting with pocket squares, it’s a good idea to keep things a little muted, especially if you’re still not sure they represent your perfect style. Even though you shouldn’t directly match colours, you can choose what might be thought of as ‘adjacent colours’. If you’re wearing a red tie, you could try an orange or brown pocket square. Imagine a rainbow, and use colours that would sit next to each other.
Move to Contrasting Colours
When you become more confident, start on contrasting colours. Instead of going with the adjacent accent, make your pocket square pop by choosing a colour that directly contrasts with your tie. Blues against reds or purples against yellows can create an eye-catching combination.
Use Patterns to Accent Solids
Many pocket squares are patterned rather than a single block colour, and these call for subtler experimentation. One of the most effective tips is to complement the primary colour of your tie with a less prevalent colour in your pocket square. If the tie is of deep purple, try finding a patterned pocket square that contains hints of the same shade.
Bring Out Secondary Colours
Alternatively, you can use a well selected pocket square to bring out a secondary colour in a patterned tie. If your tie contains yellow accents, use a solid yellow or gold pocket square to bring the outfit together and highlight those rich shades in the tie itself. You’ll be surprised by just how effective such pairings can be.
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