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Is there a difference between a handkerchief and a pocket square?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Can I use a cotton handkerchief as a pocket square?
post #2 of 19
Anything but a piece of white cardboard. I use linen white handkerchiefs as pocket squares for standard and TV folds.
post #3 of 19
Yes ... if the edges are hand-rolled.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by insolentpup View Post
Can I use a cotton handkerchief as a pocket square?

Only if it is a Brioni...
post #5 of 19
Srsly:

If you could blow your nose in it, it's a handkerchief.

A handkerchief can be used as a pocket square (before you blow your nose in it, or, if after, with the grotty bits unseen)

I think well-dressed men used to carry both -- one in the breast pocket, another (if the first was silk, for example) in a pants pocket.

The idea of transporting one's own snot after expelling it is abhorrent to other peoples, for ex the Japanese, who use disposable tissues. Now most Americans do as well.
post #6 of 19
^^ agreed. Although, when I have a cold, using a handkerchief is really nice because it doesn't irritate your nose skin like all tissues do. Brooks Brothers sells hand-rolled linen handkerchiefs. I use them as pocket squares although they're a bit larger than my silk ones.
post #7 of 19
I use my RLPL white irish linen 'pocket square' as a handkerchief, in fact I found it to be machine washable.

It mops up blood with efficiency.

Hand rolled edges are completely over rated.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mack11211 View Post

I think well-dressed men used to carry both -- one in the breast pocket, another (if the first was silk, for example) in a pants pocket.

I believe the expression was "One for showin' and one for blowin'."
post #9 of 19
I carry a cotton/linen white handkerchief in my suit trouser pocket while wearing a pocket square.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba View Post
It mops up blood with efficiency.

Hand rolled edges are completely over rated.

on both accounts, Skinny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KObalto View Post
I believe the expression was "One for showin' and one for blowin'."

post #11 of 19
post #12 of 19
please help me visualize "hand rolled" edges with some pictures
(yes, help a noob out)
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by XKxRome0ox View Post
please help me visualize "hand rolled" edges with some pictures
(yes, help a noob out)
post #14 of 19
The reason why hand-rolled edges are better is that they look better when presented in a fold. They have a more three-dimensional look. Pocket squares also tend to be a bit smaller than handkerchiefs so they fit in the breast pocket better. I've used some of my cotton pocket squares as handkerchiefs and have washed them. The edges aren't quite as neat after washing, but not bad at all really. I wouldn't hesitate to wear them as pocket squares again if in a pinch.
post #15 of 19
I think they are essentially the same thing, but if you use them 'as' handkerchiefs, you're going to be putting a fair bit of wear and tear on them, since you want to wash them. Well.

I find most north americans whine about handkerchiefs being unsanitary in comparison with tissues. However, they are unable to carry enough tissues with them when taking trains/etc. So basically they just sniffle a lot, and eventually get it on their hands. Yeah, that's better.
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