As for color, it’s best to determine the base color for whatever item is being matched then opt for a complementing color. Also, it is best not to match the square directly to a prominent color; instead, match it to a secondary color as an accent. As with everything else in classic style, the choice of color should also be mindful of the occasion; though it is only a few inches of visible material, a boldly colored square might well be out of place at a funeral or wedding.
In choosing pattern for a square, one should look to the most brightly colored or patterned item in the ensemble. In most cases, this will be the tie, though should it be the dress shirt, or even in some cases the suit itself, that element should be given focus. One has nearly every color and pattern to choose from, though this will obviously be constrained by the examples available in ones wardrobe. With solid ensembles, patterns are particularly distinctive, and while solid squares may seem a safer choice for patterned ties, a contrasting patterned square provides a very elegant look.
Linen and Cotton
Perhaps the most classic dress handkerchief is the solid white square, made of linen or cotton. Depending on the chosen fold, it may be lightly starched to provide body. The white square is acceptable for almost any ensemble but looks particularly good with dark, conservative suits where its crisp clean appearance is most pronounced.
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