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The Hidden Power of the Handkerchief

An in depth guide about handkerchiefs: why you need them and where you can get them!

By Carlos Perez

Months ago my sweat was out of control. Yeah okay, that sounds gross but I found a way around it! Hear me out.

One day I was walking with one of my good friends towards IGA at UNSW, when he decided to obnoxiously blow his nose (as usual). Instead of tissues, he pulled out this elegant white handkerchief from his pocket. After minutes of questioning why he had a handkerchief at 20 years old and in 2019, I came to the conclusion that while an old man in his head; my mate had a good point. From then on I was converted, which was perfect timing for the summer, since I was a hot mess.

The handkerchief is an incredible pocket-sized tool perfect for any occasion. Want to look elegant af? Pull out a handkerchief. Unexpected hay fever? Handkerchief. Sweaty monstrosity? Two handkerchiefs.

So question is, where do I get one?! Well, it depends on how deep your pockets are:

a

Ebay

The ol’ reliable. I personally own this set and I love it. Five is the perfect amount and although generic, they are a really nice addition to my wardrobe. They feel rough at the beginning, but after the first wash they become soft and awesome to rub your nose against! They’re 100% cotton, and start at just $6 for a pack of 5, or $11 for a 12 pack with slightly more variety.

Big W

My mates go-to. He owns the white set of three and rocks it with class. Coupled with a long trench coat on a cold day, this really makes the set. Big W does it well too by keeping it affordable and also introducing the red and black polka dot variety. Regent and Emerson are the brands to keep an eye for in the shop, going from $5 to $14. All are cotton.

Gazman

I love Gazman. You know who else loves Gazman? Forty year old men. If you can get over that, then you’re in for a beautiful (yet limited) set. They tend to have more colour and designs in a pack though, all coming in full cotton. They are reasonably priced at $13.95, and for the prestige of Gazman; are well worth a try.

Myer – Polo & Jeff Banks

Polo is Polo. We all know it and love it. So why not love it in your pocket? With only a $8- $13 price tag depending on the set, this a highly prestigious option which won’t break the bank. They have a heavy focus on light colours, so if you want some contrast to the black in your wardrove or even some coordination with your jeans – this is your pick. They come in cotton three packs, and with that brand prestige you can finally say “yeah, I can afford Polo”.

Jeff Banks. All I have to say here is quality over quantity. You get five in a pack, but you’re going to spend a bit more (~$23). What I like here is the HEAVY variety per pack and the brand prestige. Cotton also.

MJ Bale

Our final pick is from MJ Bale. MJ are amazing for suits, let’s be honest. So if you want the next step up, this is the go. The selection is surprisingly broad, but it comes with a price. A standard hankie starts at $30 and is fully cotton. But, if you want that pocket square look to match your new made-to-measure suit, you’re going to end up forking out $40-$50 per square. Luckily, you have the option of fully knitted silk with elegant patterns, really adding to that fancy look. Well worth the cost.

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