“He produced a handkerchief—crisply folded—and handed it to her. She took it with silent astonishment. She’d never before known anyone who carried a handkerchief“ – Cassandra Clare, City of Bones
Nowadays, most men do not carry a handkerchief anymore. This practical, small but quintessential menswear accessory [which was very popular among the gentlemen of the old] have now become a non-essential item for the majority of modern men.
Sometimes I wonder if this is as a result of sheer laziness [not willing to take care of this accessory after purchase by washing it daily after usage] or just ignorance [not knowing the importance and it’s use]. This is indeed very disappointing.
I’m here to tell you today that the handkerchief is indeed one of the Top Accessories Every Modern Gentleman Must Have In His Wardrobe and that every gentleman should carry a handkerchief daily.
ALAN FLUSSER ONCE SAID – “A PLAIN WHITE HANDKERCHIEF IS THE SURE SIGN OF A CONFIDENT AND ELEGANT DRESSER.”
The fashion guru, Mr. Alan Flusser have said it all. To sum it up nicely – the handkerchief is the sure sign of a true classy gentleman and I begin my story to prove this.
Earlier this morning, I stopped by an eatery to grab breakfast. There were two counter attendants available as I arrived, so I motioned to the first counter attendant to come and she began to take my order.
A few seconds later, someone yanked the restaurant door open from behind [I turned around to see who that was], a well-dressed [bearded] gentleman in suit; he was sweating profusely. He walked in and stood beside me without saying anything. At first, I wondered if he was waiting for me to finish, even though there was a second counter attendant available to take his order. As I turned to confirm – behold: the grossest thing I’ve ever seen.
I witnessed this neatly dressed gentleman, wiping the sweat off his forehead and brow with his palms.
Out of reflex (or rather, out of concern) – I put my hands in my pocket and brought out one of my clean handkerchiefs and offered him. He thanked me graciously, a smile twitching at the corners of his mouth – I knew he was relieved but also embarrassed.
“Oh, no worries at all man“, I said before I grabbed my now ready breakfast, paid for it and walked out of the eatery, still thinking about what I just saw …
Irrespective of how that man had dressed, he wouldn’t be considered a complete gentleman. His dressing didn’t matter and was incomplete without a clean handkerchief (also called a hanky).
I promised myself that I was going to write about this as soon as I got to my office. So here I am, fulfilling this promise. Here are 5 reasons why you should never be without a handkerchief ever again.
5 REASONS WHY EVERY GENTLEMAN SHOULD CARRY A HANDKERCHIEF DAILY
Reason #1: Dabbing your forehead or wiping off sweats off your cheek, brow, neck or forehead.
It’s nice to have something to wipe off the sweat or dirt off your face when the need arises and a good quality handkerchief is a perfect tool for this ‘cos let’s face it, a tissue isn’t going to come in handy at all times and not so environmentally friendly.
A handkerchief is a perfect accessory you can use to absorb or wipe out fluids such as sweat or rain drops off your forehead. And yeah, they can come in handy in case of emergency spill duty. Do not ever use your palm for this purpose.
Reason #2: To be Chivalrous: Offering it to a Lady when she needs it
Remember Robert De Niro from the movie – The Intern, yeah the one he played Ben – a 70-year-old ‘senior intern‘. He explains why it’s important for a gentleman to dress to impress and to always carry a handkerchief – because women cry. Hence, the quote – A gentleman carries a handkerchief, not for himself, but in case a lady needs one.
Nothing says I’m here and ready to take care of you if you need me than being able to offer a hand (a handkerchief) to your lady when she needs it. Therefore, as a true gentleman, you should always carry a clean handkerchief and be ready to offer it in times of great grief (tears of pain) or great joy (tears of joy).
Also Read: 12 Ways To Be A True Gentleman To Your Lady
Reason #3: Blowing your nose or wiping your runny nose
This one is pretty clear, although a lot of people might argue why tissue is better for this purpose. The truth is you can’t always carry a tissue around at all time.
It’s not decent, not classy and you can’t be disposing tissues around the places after blowing your nose or wiping off snots dripping down. This is one of the many reasons why a handkerchief is a perfect accessory for this purpose. Read on to find out how to do this without being messy about it.
Reason #4: Drying your hands
They say, a gentleman knows how to shake hands and is ready to do so (meaning no sweaty hands). As we mentioned in our article on Proper Handshake Etiquette, you should always ensure your hand is dry and if your hand is cold from holding a cold drink or if your palms get sweaty naturally (clammy palms), wipe it with a clean handkerchief.
Reason #5: Using a clean white handkerchief as a pocket square
First of all, it must be a good quality white handkerchief made of 100% cotton. As already mentioned, it has to be clean and well ironed. Then, it must be folded – a presidential fold (square fold) is the preferred choice.
Also Read: 7 Easy Ways To Fold A Pocket Square
6 TIPS ON HOW TO PROPERLY USE A HANDKERCHIEF
Tip #1: Keep it neat, always!
Keep your handkerchief neat. Use only high-quality handkerchiefs (made from 100% cotton) that will last a really long time and wash them daily after usage. Avoid using the same handkerchief more than once a day [even if it still looks clean].
Tip #2: Fold appropriately
Do not unfold completely and keep it that way. The best way to use it is to unfold it once, use it and fold it back again, then back into your pocket.
Tip #3: Keep it in the right pocket
Your handkerchief should be kept inside your jacket lower pockets or inside pockets [when you are wearing a jacket] or when you are not wearing a jacket, it should be kept inside your back and front trouser pockets.
After you’ve used it, your handkerchief should never be put in another pocket different from the one it has been in (before it was used). That’s how not to be messy about it.
Tip #4: Always carry two (2) handkerchiefs
Every gentleman should always have at least two (2) clean handkerchiefs with him at all times. One for him, one to offer to a crying lady or any guy in desperate need of it – like the guy I talked about earlier who was sweating profusely.
Tip #5: Don’t offer it to anyone unless you know it’s clean.
Do not share a used handkerchief with anyone, even if the person is desperately in need of it. Don’t offer it to anyone unless you know it’s clean. That’s why you should always observe Tip #4 above.
Tip #6: Go for the white or other light colored handkerchief
Use a proper clean handkerchief preferably white. No bandanas. No scarfs. No towels. No pocket square. These items would never really make a good handkerchief or substitute for its function completely – primarily due to the type of material they are made of. Stick to a proper hanky.
Recommended: 8 Easy Ways To Greatly Improve Your Style
There you go. I hope I’ve been able to give you 5 reasons [out of the many reasons] why you should never be without a handkerchief ever again. You’re a man – a true gentleman or at least an aspiring one, therefore ensure you take care of all the little details concerning your outfit and personality completely. You’ve learned one way to do today – by having a handkerchief handy at all times.
What do you all think? Are there other reasons you think I didn’t mention, please feel free to let me know in the comment down below.
Thanks, as always, for reading. Was the article helpful? Share it with other people you know may need information now!
Till you hear from me again, Stay Classy!
Yours in Style,
Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
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