Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget: A Black Tie Guide
Today we go over the only two elements of white on a tuxedo ensemble besides the shirt in our Black Tie Guide. And they’re right next to each other.
Part 6: Pocket Square and Boutonnière 
The great expanse of black of the tuxedo can be visually jarring, so it’s good to have elements of your ensemble that break it up. This is where decorating the lapel and breast pocket comes in. 
Pocket squares should be kept relatively simple in most cases. A linen handkerchief with hand-rolled edges in a simple fold will work just fine. Alternatively, you could attempt to create a “puff” instead if you prefer a look that’s not as rigid and straight-laced. The option is up to you. 
Why not white silk? Frankly, there’s no hard rule about this, but linen won’t reflect light like silk will and your lapels, cummerbund and bowtie already are made of silk. It’s good to have some texture diversity. 
Pocket squares can be found cheaply at The Tie Bar for $8-$10, but I think they’re a bit smaller in size (11.5” square) and I believe their edged are machined. Update: I’ve been told by Greg at The Tie Bar that only their wool-blend and silk-woven squares are machine stitched. Their other squares — including their cotton squares — have hand-rolled edges. So, that makes them a pretty good deal.
I’ve found Kent Wang’s pocket squares ($20) to be really nice and they have hand-rolled edges. They’re also slightly larger at 12” square.
As for decorating the lapel, it’s fairly straightforward: go with a white carnation boutonnière. For this to work your boutonnière hole on the lapel must be functional and opened, which higher quality suits will have already done. If your boutonnière hole is sewn shut, you can have a tailor open it up and make it functional. 
If it’s not obvious, you don’t want the kind of fake boutonnière that’s pinned to your lapel. Not only will it ruin the silk facings but it looks tacky — better to go without. 
-Kiyoshi

Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget: A Black Tie Guide

Today we go over the only two elements of white on a tuxedo ensemble besides the shirt in our Black Tie Guide. And they’re right next to each other.

Part 6: Pocket Square and Boutonnière 

The great expanse of black of the tuxedo can be visually jarring, so it’s good to have elements of your ensemble that break it up. This is where decorating the lapel and breast pocket comes in. 

Pocket squares should be kept relatively simple in most cases. A linen handkerchief with hand-rolled edges in a simple fold will work just fine. Alternatively, you could attempt to create a “puff” instead if you prefer a look that’s not as rigid and straight-laced. The option is up to you. 

Why not white silk? Frankly, there’s no hard rule about this, but linen won’t reflect light like silk will and your lapels, cummerbund and bowtie already are made of silk. It’s good to have some texture diversity. 

Pocket squares can be found cheaply at The Tie Bar for $8-$10, but I think they’re a bit smaller in size (11.5” square) and I believe their edged are machined. Update: I’ve been told by Greg at The Tie Bar that only their wool-blend and silk-woven squares are machine stitched. Their other squares — including their cotton squares — have hand-rolled edges. So, that makes them a pretty good deal.

I’ve found Kent Wang’s pocket squares ($20) to be really nice and they have hand-rolled edges. They’re also slightly larger at 12” square.

As for decorating the lapel, it’s fairly straightforward: go with a white carnation boutonnière. For this to work your boutonnière hole on the lapel must be functional and opened, which higher quality suits will have already done. If your boutonnière hole is sewn shut, you can have a tailor open it up and make it functional. 

If it’s not obvious, you don’t want the kind of fake boutonnière that’s pinned to your lapel. Not only will it ruin the silk facings but it looks tacky — better to go without. 

-Kiyoshi

“The following is a good basic summary by Alan Flusser from his book Clothes and the Man. A simple white handkerchief is all that is necessary to complete the business ensemble. It is also the least expensive way a man can quickly elevate his level of style. The handkerchief, like the hose, gives a man one more opportunity to do something a little out of the ordinary, something a bit more inventive. A white handkerchief placed in the breast pocket of a dark suit offers a touch of elegance and is sure sign of a confident and knowledgeable dresser. The finest white handkerchiefs are made of linen with hand- rolled edges. While they are difficult to find today, they are worth searching for. The virtue of linen is that because of its inherent stiffness, it retains its starched quality throughout the day. It is the only handkerchief fabric that looks as fresh in the evening as it did in the morning, when it was first folded. While a white linen handkerchief is the easiest choice for many, since it is always proper, for those more adventuresome dressers, there are handkerchiefs in colors and patterns. In this case, it is generally the tie that is the determining factor in choosing the proper pocket square. The pocket square must complement the tie, though it should never directly match it in pattern or color. Another possibility is silk. These come in a wide array of solid colors. But instead of solids, wear silk in the traditional English ancient madder patterns, such as paisley or foulard. The colors in these are muted and give a more subtle effect. If your tie is of silk, a handkerchief of a dry linen fabric looks best, while if your tie is of wool or cotton, silk in the breast pocket will add the proper textural balance to the chest area” — (via abitofcolor)
The tie and pocket square should harmonize, not match.  Here, in a photo from friend of the blog “Doc Holliday,” the colors are similar but not the same.  The square is navy, the tie dark blue.  The square yellow and orange, the tie yellow and red.  A well-executed pairing.  If you want to match your tie and pocket square, perhaps you should start your own clothing line.

The tie and pocket square should harmonize, not match.  Here, in a photo from friend of the blog “Doc Holliday,” the colors are similar but not the same.  The square is navy, the tie dark blue.  The square yellow and orange, the tie yellow and red.  A well-executed pairing.  If you want to match your tie and pocket square, perhaps you should start your own clothing line.