There aren’t many dos and don’ts when it comes to selecting the right pocket square.

However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when selecting the right one to avoid a massive fashion blunder.

A man’s palette can be really dull. The colors in a woman’s wardrobe are endless. A man, sadly, chooses to limit himself to mainly three colors: blue, grey, and black. There may be multiple shades but a dark blue and a navy blue is still a blue. Walk through the streets of New York City on a weekday at 7 A.M. and you will see swarms of men dressed in those generic colors rushing to work. So dull, boring, and so vanilla. Everyone aches to look different and yet they buy those very colors that will be found in every closet across the city. There really isn’t much wiggle room when it comes to suits.

A pocket square steps in and does a wonderful job in solving this generic problem. It’s making a strong comeback in today’s fashion and gives the finishing touch that suits have been lacking for so long. Since men don’t have many options for suits, they really depend on neckties and pocket squares to stand out.

The possibilities of wearing a pocket square are endless. Apart from a few rules, there really aren’t many commandments set in stone when it comes to choosing the right one. Actually, it’s really hard for a man to get it wrong (He should be ashamed if that ever happened). Instead of investing heavily on multiple suits, buy a few pocket squares to give that same suit multiple looks. Everything that man embarks upon, he starts at the very bottom and ascends the rungs of the ladder to a more difficult and advanced position (High school, college, PacMan). The same applies to a pocket square. To start off, always keep a white pocket square handy. It is a basic color for beginners and easily matches everything your wardrobe has to offer. As you get more adventurous, so will your color options. Eventually, that dull grey suit will light up.

At times you can forget about wearing a pocket square to match the suit and shirt. Instead, wear a pocket square to match the environment. Wear a bright pink pocket square in October to show support since its Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Wear a light blue to match the clear skies in the summer or an orange to compliment the leaves in fall. You can wear a bright red to match the dress your significant other is wearing. Truly, the possibilities are endless.

Despite its flexibility, pocket squares are guided by certain rules. Here are a few things to keep in mind when putting the finishing touches on your outfit:

What should be the dimensions of a pocket square?

Many blogs and articles online adhere to a strict set of rules when it comes to the right size. Seeing so many different answers you can only arrive at the conclusion that there really isn’t the right size. A pocket square can range anything from 11 X 11 inches up to 17 X 17. You just have to make sure that it fits in the breast pocket and it doesn’t make the pocket bulge.

What fabrics can be used as a pocket square?

We can use multiple fabrics because the possibilities are endless. However the four common fabrics used as a pocket square are cotton, linen, wool, and silk. Many times satin is used interchangeably with silk but many can’t tell the difference. All these fabrics can certainly add flair and elegance to the jacket you’re. In understanding these fabrics, you will realize how one type of pocket square is more suited to a particular time and setting than the other. Again, you really can’t go wrong but it’s about it getting your fashion sense spot on.

In a very formal affair (weddings and business meetings) you should go for either cotton or silk pocket squares. It will give you the sleek look to match the suit jacket you are wearing. In a casual affair you can either go for a linen or cotton pocket square for the blazer you’re wearing. A woolen pocket square will come in handy for a casual dinner in winter. Apart from the fabrics, find the right design and color to match the occasion (Bright and colorful for summer, dark and dull for the winter).

Can the pocket square and the necktie match?

NO! NEVER! This is the most important rule of wearing one. Always make sure the tie and pocket square doesn’t match. You must really lack creativity to commit such a fashion crime. Try to find a similar shade or something that compliments each other. If the colors are the same, make sure the patterns are different. If it ever does match, take out either the pocket square or tie and discard it. You don’t want to be that guy.

How many pocket squares should a man have on him?

This will come as a surprise to most people. A man should always have two pocket squares on him. As the rules state: One is for blowing, the other for showing. One pocket square should be for appearance while the other should be in the back pocket for cleaning up. If a lady ever asks for your handkerchief to clean herself up, let her keep it. You still have the other one for appearance.

How to wear a pocket square?

There are multiple ways to fold a pocket square. Let’s not dive into that. It’s another chapter in itself. Any person wanting to wear a pocket square can get through with just two simple folds. For a formal occasion have a square fold_ folding a pocket square into the shape of a square and letting it slightly creep out of the breast pocket. For a casual setting have a puff fold_ giving the pocket square a puffy look. You can continue to learn other folds until you find the right look.

A pocket square has become a crucial member of a man’s wardrobe. It can really serve as the binding factor when everything is a mismatch. This dress handkerchief should not be regarded as an optional accessory anymore. Instead, make sure it is held in the same regard as the socks that you wear before you slip into your shoes or the coffee that you need to start your day.