I don’t know exactly how my dad came into the habit of using handkerchiefs all of his life. I know it is popular in Japanese culture to use handkerchiefs & small hand towels, but I don’t think my dad particularly picked up on that part of the culture he grew up around. I have a sneaking suspicion he learned this habit from his own father, who owned a bespoke tailor shop, or perhaps from all of the upper crust military men who came to my grandfather for custom western suits. Whatever which way my dad learned the habit of using handkerchiefs, I am so grateful he passed down this habit to me.
Using a handkerchief is a dying custom. I know that it has become fashionable again for men to accessorize their suits with pocket squares, tie clips, & lapel pins, but that’s only for show. Those pocket squares are purely for decoration, & rarely used for their original purpose. How very sad. I believe in fully utilizing the pocket square, or more specifically, the handkerchief. I mean, why have it if you’re not going to use it? Don’t be ridiculous or wasteful.
When I think of handkerchiefs, I think back to all of those movies from the 1950s & 60s that I’ve watched with my family, & I imagine how those refined ladies & gentlemen would use their handkerchiefs. Ladies would use their handkerchiefs for modesty & being discreet, also to wipe the messy faces of their children. The gentlemen would use them to wipe their hands, blow their noses, & to chivalrously give to a woman who’s been tear-stained & puffy-eyed. I would imagine the ladies carrying a pretty, embroidered or laced handkerchief in their purses, while the men would tuck crisp, white cotton handkerchief in their pants or suit pocket. How sophisticated (& practical)!
There are many practical uses for a handkerchief, I can’t see why they couldn’t be used more in our modern day & age. I’m sure today’s modern feminist woman would say I’ll find it sweet &/or chivalrous if a gentleman were to offer her his handkerchief in a time of necessity, such as: if she had no napkin to wipe her hands, or no tissue to wipe her nose, or if she needed to dry her eyes, or perhaps to tie around a small wound as a makeshift bandage. Men these days could also benefit from using them. I mean, it’s so gross & unbecoming when guys sneeze loudly all over the place, especially in public. Using the crook of an arm, even though it’s more sanitary than sneezing into one’s cupped hand(s), isn’t very discreet or pleasant looking. However, using a handkerchief to muffle the sneeze & to minimize wiping one’s wet hands onto his pants is much more gentlemanly & proper etiquette/manners. Also, it’s cooler to see a guy use a nice handkerchief rathe than the back of his hand or a fast food napkin. On top of all that, handkerchiefs are reusable! Yes, you can throw them in the washing machine & use them over & ove again unlike Kleenex, which you throw away after one use, & not to mention they get wet & easily spread germs if left crumpled up all over the place.
As you can see, I love using handkerchiefs. I get severe allergies all the time, such is the story of my life since early childhood. My dad used to always lend me his handkerchief to wipe my nose because he disliked seeing me rub the palm of my hand up & down my nose &/or wipe my nose on my shirtsleeve in public. He thought that was not proper behavior, especially for a lady. Since I’ve picked up the habit of using handkerchiefs, I’ve been more inclined to starting my own collection rather than stealing my dad’s. As my life story goes, I am picky in this category as well. This means that I am selective in the styles I choose. I mostly prefer 100% cotton fabric,. I don’t particularly like linen or silk fabrics. I also don’t like outrageous colors & patterns. I quite like, & often gravitate towards stark white handkerchiefs. This is what I’ve collected so far…
1. This is the original handkerchief that started it all. It looks a bit ratty & torn, but I can attest that this handkerchief has been well loved & well taken care of. I have named this handkerchief Tom Hanks-erchief. I call him Mr. Hanks for short. I had originally named him Mr. Hanky, but that quickly became a joking reference to the Christmas poop character from the cartoon South Park, so I immediately changed the name. The new name is a nod to the awesome actor Tom Hanks. I really enjoy Tom Hanks’ acting, & I just think he’s cool.
2. This was my second handkerchief. Because of this, I named this one Colin Hanks-erchief. Obviously, I named him Colin after Tom Hanks’ real-life son & fellow actor Colin Hanks. Therefore, I had to also nickname this one Mr. Hanks Jr.. As you can see, I have a thing for white cotton handkerchiefs. These I was given not stolen from my dad.
3. I got this purple plaid handkerchief while I was in Japan. This was at the time when the brand UNIQLO had not become known worldwide, & was only popular/available in Japan. At that time, I had just learned about the casual affordable clothing brand & was completely obsessed with the brand. I didn’t bother to check the size, & was surprised when I found it was larger than the handkerchiefs I normally used at home. I don’t particularly go for purple colored things, but this pattern happened to be the most tame of all the ones on the store shelves, so I ended up choosing this one (but also because it’s 100% cotton).
4. There was one point in my life where I was completely immersed in Japanese street wear & Japanese urban pop culture. I was addicted to this particular Japanese lifestyle brand called A Bathing Ape (a.k.a. BAPE). I still am in love with this brand. I’ve got tons of items from this brand from things like: decorative pillows, kitchenware like mugs & glass cups, bath towels, blankets, bags, clothes, toys, accessories, & even vinyl toys/collectibles. I saw this handkerchief & was absolutely smitten. This is one of my favorite patterns from this Japanese brand that is mostly known for its outrageously multi-colored camouflage patterns. They call this a red plaid pattern. I have a matching raincoat, hand towel & umbrella in this same pattern. This handkerchief is a cotton-blend fabric, & it’s so soft. I only take it out for special occasions because this brand is pricey, & this pattern is no longer available within this brand. Ever since this brand got bought out by a major Chinese company, they have taken this brand in a different direction that I don’t I really agree with. haven’t felt the same love for this brand as I have in the past.
5. I recently got this (& the other two below) while I was in China. These handkerchiefs are from a Japanese brand called Hankachi (which I suspect is a shortened Japanese loanword for the full word handkerchief…a.k.a. han-ka-chiifu). Sorry for my lack of quality in these photos. I am not a professional photographer by any means, & I don’t really mind if the photos are not in super hyper HD quality…as long as you can see the photos relatively clearly & get my gist, then I’m fine with that too. Ok, so the first pattern I chose is this super cute bird pattern with stripes of bird footprints. I absolutely love this soft pastel color scheme. I am a complete sucker for soft blues, baby pinks, creamy yellows, & gray tones. Also, this handkerchief is pretty soft considering it’s got a mesh weave. The mesh weave gives the handkerchiefbreathability, which is good for when you want to wipe your brow on hot, sticky summer days.
6. Everybody around me knows I love pastries. I love cakes, & I love sweet pastel colors. So it’s a no-brainier that I would choose this pattern. I was originally going to give this as a gift to a friend who is obsessed with the Lolita lifestyle, but I ended up choosing a different pattern for her instead. I kept this one for myself. How could I not? This handkerchief is so delicate-looking, feminine, & lovely. I would be happy to carry this around in my purse. Just looking at it makes me hungry for sweets. LOL!
7. This last pattern I chose is a nod to Japanese summer festivals. Festivals & outdoor carnival-style events are popular in the summer in Japan. People of all ages love to walk around in their summer kimonos (a.k.a. ukata), eat street foods, & play carnival games. One popular prize to win at these festivals are little pet goldfish, hence the goldfishes on this handkerchief. I just love the bright color scheme of this handkerchief as well. This definitely reminds me of Summer’s spent in Japan, & since I am going back to Japan this July, I could definitely use this handkerchief! Hooray!
Well, that just about sums up my little blog post. I feel so winded after all of this writing. I’m kidding. Anyways, I’m going to go out & enjoy what little bit of warm weather Mother Nature has brought out for the day, & then I’m going to ℅ inure editing my photos from my Asia trip. (I’ve been procrastinating on those photos.) Cheers!
Today’s song of the day: