Introducing the Lazy Fold

Advertisement

Sometimes, just occasionally, I change my mind. While the didactic style of some of these postings might suggest a singleness of purpose, an almost obstinate point of view, I am open to the possibility of evolution. The stuffing of a handkerchief is one such occasion.

In one of my earliest posts on this blog, Tips on Stuffing, I outlined the three most popular ways to arrange a silk handkerchief: pulling the centre to the bottom of the pocket, thus exposing the points; vice versa, exposing the puff; and combining the two by folding the handkerchief in half, displaying both the centre and points.

I used to be a puff person. Exposing the points seemed a little affected except on a special occasion (my wedding, for example, though that was a linen handkerchief). And the folded, combination option does not leave anything at the bottom of the pocket and therefore tends to slip down during the day.

The puff was practical by comparison and a little more understated. However, it had a number of weaknesses, chief amongst which was that differently sized hankies would puff at different heights out of the pocket. The tips could be folded down inside the pocket in order to adjust the height, but that rather defeats the simplicity of the technique and could take a few attempts to get just right.

Instead I revert to what I have christened the Lazy Fold. Stuff one corner of the handkerchief into the pocket until you feel it touch the bottom. Then fold over the rest and stuff it behind, leaving as much silk exposed as you desire.

It’s easy but surprisingly effective. Height is easier to adjust, it’s quick and it never has to be done more than once. What’s more, the fold you create above the pocket is slightly different every time, creasing in a different place. This creates a more casual, less studied look. (Something you want to strive to do with a handkerchief as it will look, to most, rather studied already.)

As a footnote, I also find that if I want to highlight the border pattern of the handkerchief a fold is better than a stuff. This is in direct contrast with my previous posting, which advocated exposing the tips to achieve this effect, and relegated folding to cotton or woollen handkerchiefs.

That is the traditional approach. But in this case I believe I was (whisper it) wrong. It is very hard to display the points of a silk handkerchief without it appearing affected, at least in a business setting – which is where I would be wearing mine almost exclusively.

Try a normal TV Fold instead, with the edges uppermost; it is more subtle. I consider myself evolved.


Advertisement

Simon Crompton is a journalist and a style enthusiast living in London, who blogs at permanentstyle.blogspot.com. He has too many suits.