Saturday, April 17, 2010


I've been a firm user of handkerchiefs since I was twelve. Why? I stumbled upon one in a pocket of a suit my father bought me from a thrift store. It luckily had a monogram Identical to mine.

I loved the embroidered lion and decorative trees on the corners. It looked like it was handmade from a girlfriend or mother. I began using it because at about that time I developed allergies and was constantly wiping tears from my eyes. It came in handy. Since then I've always kept one on hand when necessary.

Handkerchiefs are interesting, they are not really used anymore in the U.S. The practice of using them is still strong in Africa and the third world parts of the world.

For a primer on them here is a link from a gent from South Africa, the country not the region. Recently I've needed to upgrade. My go to kerchiefs are all rather aged. Once the white ones go from White to Cream then to Tan you need some new ones. It is quite acceptable to let them yellow from usage. The Brits prefer them yellowed. It just means your getting your money's worth.

I usually opt for white and cream so I can easily tell when it is time to replace or deep oxiclean them. This time around I opted for a few colors to be thrown in. I couldn't get any from my usual source due to it closing down. So, I took a chance on a J.Press pack for $29.99. Shipping is heavily taxed like J.Crew so save up a few purchases because you wont want to hit with the shipping. In my pack, I received 3 purple, 2 blue, and 2 white.

When choosing handkerchiefs know that you don't have to get them with hand rolled edges. They are an unnecessary extravagance. Especially if you wipe your sweat off with your kerchiefs or dry your hands with them. Save your money for better pocket squares or other things. Another thing you should look for is decorative patterns on the borders and corners. Without these, you might want to look elsewhere; the kerchief is not of adequate quality.

Pardon the dark pictures, I can't stand taking pictures outside.


Gregorius Mercator said...

I've been carrying handkerchiefs since my Sophomore year of college when an old school professor pointed out their utility, particularly when dressed up - it just doesn't do to wipe sweat from one's forehead with the sleeve of a dress shirt.