It wasn’t until my Mom and and I moved to the states long ago that I met my first kleenex. I always had a freshly pressed handkerchief in my pocket {that I used for all sorts of things besides blowing my nose} – when I was little they were child sized, with pretty designs and my monogram embroidered on one small corner. My first American teacher kept a big box of kleenex on her desk for students. Perplexed, I tried one to wipe off my watery eye, and found it severely lacking! Here are six reasons why you should always carry a handkerchief with you. Trust me on this.

Since my first kleenex experience – it was a sticky mess because I got half a tissue stuck in my eyelashes! – I always have a clean, folded handkerchief in my purse or pocket every day. Do you?

Why You Should Always Carry a Handkerchief

{Albert Roosenboom-Public Domain}


The history of handkerchiefs is long, and {believe it or not!} hotly debated by scholars. You can read more about it here >  Considered valuable enough to be listed in dowries, and bequeathed in wills. handkerchiefs through the ages have been a sign of wealth.  Covered in expensive hand made lace in the 17th century and onward to show off wealth and status, the handkerchief became less of a status symbol as time went on.

Until Kleenex was invented in the 1920’s, handkerchiefs were something everyone had. Everyone. Not just for practical reasons, but also as a way to accessorize outfits in style. I for one have never lost sight of the charm of a beautiful handkerchief. There are so many reasons why you should always carry a handkerchief!


Why You Should Always Carry a Handkerchief


Why You Should Always Carry a Handkerchief


To Blow Your Nose

Not only does a soft handkerchief work better than a flimsy tissue, it’s much more gentle for your skin. The handkerchief won’t tear, it will help stifle sneezes in style.

Have a Good Cry

There is a reason many brides give their two moms handkerchiefs at the wedding. Whether you are crying tears of joy at a wedding, or a birth or baptism, or tears of sadness at a funeral, a real handkerchief is so much better than a tissue!  I have at times offered a clean folded handkerchief to someone in church who was crying, telling them to keep it as my gift, and I can’t tell you how many new friends I’ve made like that! It’s a small gesture, with big rewards. {fact check – I’m keeping it real by telling you here that I’m not generous enough to give away a truly expensive antique hankie. sorry! I have a special selection of pretty but more practical handkerchiefs in my “give-away” pile!}

When You Get Hot

Sometimes, it’s just so hot! A real handkerchief is THE thing to delicately mop your brow in company. {I know, my mom’s upbringing to always act like a lady is showing!} If you have ever tried to wipe your sweaty self with a pack of tissue, you totally know what I’m talking about!  A handkerchief works wonders when life, hot flashes or heat or all of them at once are forces to be reckoned with.

Clean Up

This may be icky, but honestly, I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve cleaned up my little people’s dirty little faces with a handkerchief! Hopefully water is around, but – don’t be disgusted – if not, a little spit works. {I know ewwww…but what is a Mom to do when little persons smear chocolate all over their face seconds before marching down the aisle as a bridesmaid?!!}

A handkerchief is a great help for lots of times when you need to clean something quickly. I try to remember to spritz a little cologne or lavender on my handkerchiefs because that really helps elevate my mood when I smell it!

Environmentally Friendly.

Probably the most important reason to carry a handkerchief. Not only does using real handkerchiefs help reduce the amount of paper, water and energy we waste as a society each year, it is very cost effective too! It’s a small thing, but small things all add up to big things.

Phone and Glasses Care

There are great products for cleaning your sunglasses, I know. The problem I have is that I don’t always have that with me. Other than having to clean my glasses with the inside of my shirt, {it happens!} a handkerchief is the perfect way to clean glasses without scratching the lenses. Same for your phone. I don’t know about you, but my phone gets make-up on it during the day sometimes.  A good wipe down once in awhile with a clean handkerchief works wonders to clear up the screen when I can’t find my little special cloth thing.

Charming Style.

I know, I know, it’s totally old school! But isn’t there something charming and elegant about using a beautiful, well made handkerchief from your purse? As a little girl, I was always so enamored with my grandmama’s handkerchiefs, she always looked so stylish. Not matter where she was, if it was needed, she could pull a gorgeous handkerchief out of her French bag and offer it to me, or blow my nose, or cry into it softly. {her, not me, at that age I did not have crying softly in my vocabulary.}

When my Mom passed away and I went through her things, I kept every single one of her handkerchiefs, and the ones she inherited from grandmama, too. I use them, and each time I do, I get that little flutter of joy in my heart knowing they loved me, I loved them, and we were so blessed to do so. So I collect and use colorful vintage handkerchiefs, and pull them out of my own purse from time to time, hoping that my own girls and little people will find that a sweet memory of me, too!


Why You Should Always Carry a Handkerchief


There are so many reasons why you should carry a handkerchief! If I haven’t convinced you, there is a whole other reason to buy and cherish the antique and vintage handkerchiefs!  They make for a beautiful collection! There are so many styles to choose from, and price points. From the extravagant hand embroidered wedding handkerchiefs that make a perfect gift for a new grandchild or a bride, to the colorful handkerchiefs covered in flowers from the 1940’s, each one is a gem!


Why You Should Always Carry a Handkerchief


If you are ready to begin a collection of hankies to enliven your every day style, help the environment, and so much more, we have a few fantastic handkerchiefs for you – antique and vintage, fancy and just plain fun!




Using Antique and Vintage {or even new} handkerchiefs, YES or NO??! I’d love to hear what you think!





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