The Handkerchief or the pocket square socially and historically has had more uses than just a convenience for personal hygiene issues.
It has been donned as a decorative addition to the top pocket of a suit.
As a mini flag for waving sailors away from port in war times, usually by their tearful wives, mothers and girlfriends, who didn't know if they would ever see their sailors again.
As a symbol of surrender and as a way that a lady could get a man to stop for them if they took their fancy!
If a lady dropping her handkerchief on approaching a man who she intended to get the attention of the gentleman would show his manners by bending down to pick up the little square of fabric and hand it back to the lady thus gaining a connection and hopefully a conversation would ensue.
The handkerchief albeit a small square of fabric, has many different ways it can be officially folded for display in ones top pocket. Here are some examples:
* The Presidential, perhaps the simplest, is folded at right angles to fit in the pocket.
* The TV Fold looks similar but is folded diagonally with the point inside the pocket.
* The One-point Fold is folded diagonally with the point showing.
* The Two-point Fold is folded off-centre so the two points don't completely overlap.
* The Three-point Fold is first folded into a triangle, and then the corners are folded up and across to make three points.
* The Four-point Fold is an off-centre version of the Three-point Fold.
* The Cagney is basically a backwards version of the Four-point Fold.
* The Puff or the Cooper is simply shaped into a round puff.
* The Reverse Puff is like the Puff, except with the puff inside and the points out, like petals.
* The Astaire is a puff with a point on either side.
* The Straight Shell is pleated and then folded over to give the appearance of nested shells.
* The Diagonal Shell is pleated diagonally and then folded.