You may already be sartorially astute enough to know that matching your pocket square with your cravat or tie is generally considered a no-no in the realm of men's style.
However, the amount of times we've been asked the question, "Should you match your pocket square to your cravat or tie?" has encouraged us to reiterate this general style rule, and to give some guidance on what we suggest is a fail-safe option if you want to dress yourself with confidence.
Although it might seem like the easiest way to coordinate your attire, completely matching your pocket square with your tie or cravat can be seen as uncouth and inexperienced. Carefully mis-matching your square with your neckwear is considered far more elegant and will be looked upon favourably by other discerning gentlemen, who may also be in the know.
Moreover, it just looks cooler; there's a sense of sprezzatura and rakishness about casually mismatching your accessories. Be warned though - when we say mismatch, we're not talking about clashing colours, textures or styles. Rather we're talking about complementing and harmonising; yin and yang if you like. Perhaps try using shades on the opposite sides of the colour wheel for a start? Then, if you're feeling more comfortable with pairing colours, and perhaps a little adventurous, there are monochrome, analogous or triadic hues to work with.
The purpose of a pocket square is to finish off and enhance the rest of your look, by contrasting with and complementing your outfit and other accessories.
While we speak from a European perspective, it generally seems to be more acceptable to match your cravat or tie with your pocket square outside of the UK and Europe - the US is a good example, and can be an excellent option for the groom and groomsmen at weddings when you want to feel like you're all wearing a uniform.
If your cravat or tie has a pattern or print, try picking out some key colours and choose a pocket square which includes one or more shades from that palette. This will help to marry the elements and finish off your look.
If your pocket square is the focal point of your attire, we recommend selecting a contrasting colour against your cravat or tie, or even the rest of your outfit. Try experimenting with vibrant colours, bold patterns and prints.
Alternatively, you could choose a pocket square that is a shade lighter or darker than the core colour of your suit or outfit. The devil is most certainly in the detail, so don't forget subtle elements, such as emphasising an accent hue on a pinstripe, tartan or checked suit. This will bring the look together nicely.
If you're new to pocket squares, we suggest taking a look at our larger-sized multiway printed silk pocket squares collection. They're beautiful prints, intricately detailed - each is a piece of art which is bursting with an array of beautiful hues. They're also incredibly versatile thanks to the endless possibilities on how you can fold them, and reveal different parts and colours of the silk square to complement the rest of your look.
We've compiled some expertly picked suggestions for pairing your pocket square with your cravat or tie below...