Men's Handkerchiefs: A Fashionable Father's Day Gift

Handkerchiefs have been around for centuries and during that time have seen a transformation in their use, style and symbolism. Today, men’s handkerchiefs accommodate both style and practicality to provide a great gift and fashionable accessory for the gentleman in your life.

A handkerchief adds an air of sophistication to a suit or outfit whilst coming in use during day to day life. The highest quality handkerchiefs are made from 100% cotton, a fabric which absorbs moisture, is non-allergic and actually gets softer as time goes on. From smart white cotton handkerchiefs featuring elegant detailing about the borders to stylish tartan handkerchiefs with a satinised feel, the vast collection of handkerchiefs available ensures there is a handkerchief suitable for every man this Father’s Day.

Double Grey Border Mens Cotton Handkerchief


The handkerchief dates way back to the Middle Ages as the fabric was initially used as a functional cover-up for the head and was simply referred to as the “kerchief”. This term originated from the French words “couvir” which means “to cover,” and chef, which means “head”.

Around the 16th century, many people in Europe began to carry their kerchief in their pocket for wiping one’s nose or forehead. This development in functionality brought about the name we recognise today as “handkerchief” to help distinguish its use between hand and head.

Up until the 1920s, handkerchiefs for the average man were often white in colour. However, during this time women began embroidering their husband’s handkerchiefs and their role in fashion began to develop.

Historically, handkerchiefs have often symbolised nobility and the more embellished the handkerchief, the higher status and position of the owner. The aristocratic roots of the handkerchief still echo through today as many associate the handkerchief as a fashion accessory which indicates the socio-economic class of the modern gentleman.

Blue Tartan Mens Cotton Handkerchief


Aside from exuding a refined gentlemanly style, men’s handkerchiefs have many practical uses too. Although a handkerchief can come in handy during any moment of a gentleman’s day to day life, here are some of the most common uses of the handkerchief:

To blow the nose. This is what the handkerchief was originally designed for and prior to the introduction of Kleenex and disposable tissues, this was the most common use. The greener way to stay hygienic, handkerchiefs are often used throughout the day and laundered for re-use. Men’s cotton handkerchiefs are much softer and gentler on the skin then abrasive tissues and only get softer the more they are used and laundered.

To clean glasses. The soft fibres in cotton handkerchiefs are great for cleaning spectacles, glassware and many other items to remove dust and provide a lustred finish.

To be chivalrous. Being able to offer a lady a clean handkerchief at any moment in their life shows the true mark of a gentleman. Tears, spillages and children’s adventures may all require handkerchiefs from time to time so they are always incredibly useful to have in your pocket.

Elephant Maroon Mens Cotton Handkerchief


More recently, the handkerchief can often be found in the suit jacket pocket of a gentleman who is looking to accessorise his suit. A handkerchief can be folded in a number of different ways from the classic Straight Fold to the more intricate Presidential. However you choose to fold the handkerchief, it must sit comfortably in the breast pocket without creating too much of a bulge.

Sometimes referred to as a pocket square, the handkerchief is a great way to lift the suit by adding a pop of colour and a decorative flair. Men can match their handkerchief to their button-down shirt, tie or even their hat to coordinate the overall look. Whilst some men prefer simple handkerchiefs to combine style and practicality, others may opt for a timeless print such as tartan to draw the eye to the decorative details of the suit.


Our full collection of men’s handkerchiefs are supplied in attractive envelopes and make excellent gifts for the discerning gentleman in your life this Father’s Day.

Browse our collection of men’s handkerchiefs online and order online for delivery. If you are unable to find what you’re looking for, visit our shop in Harrogate for one of the most extensive selections of luxury handkerchiefs in Europe.