The Handkerchief | 5 Reasons To Carry A Hanky Always

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

reasons to carry a handkerchief

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.


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.

Also Read: 10 Accessories Every Gentleman Must Have in His Wardrobe



Reason #1: Dabbing your forehead or wiping off sweats off your cheek, brow, neck or forehead.

reasons to carry a handkerchief

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

reasons to carry a handkerchief

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

reasons to carry a handkerchief

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

reasons to carry a handkerchief

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

reasons to carry a handkerchief

Yes, you can use a clean white handkerchief as a pocket square on your suit jackets or your native attires, however, some clear rules must be observed.

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




how to 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)
Connect with me

On Instagram |  Twitter | Linkedin | Pinterest | GooglePlus

Follow my blog with Bloglovin >>>


The following two tabs change content below.

Mr. Kobi

I am Mr. Kobi, a professional style consultant, menswear blogger & entrepreneur who uses fashion to change people’s lives. My personal goal is to help gentlemen dress better, live well, do well and develop a unique personal style that matches with their lifestyle and goals. I believe that success can be built through style. I believe that fashion is a tool that can be used to change people’s lives positively. I strongly believe that if you dress well, you look good, and if you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you worry less, and the less you worry the more you are able to stay motivated and focused in your goals pursuit and by so doing you are able to live a more fulfilling and successful life.
  1. Thanks Mr Kobi for your insights on hankerchief. The action of the ‘gentleman’ you mentioned was to say the least rather grotesque. I always carry a plain white one in my trousers pocket……..but I’ve learnt something new about having it in your jacket and also having two on you. The Remy man, you’re awesome. Kole

    • I know right? @Kole. Yeah you’ve got to always keep two on you – you never know when you would need to offer one. Glad you loved this piece. Thanks for always stopping by.