As a kid were you “forced” to always carry a hankie? What other memories?

“Here, take my handkerchief.

 Never, at any crisis of your life, have I known you to have a handkerchief.” Rhett Butler: Gone With The Wind





Are you a fan of the humble hankie?

Were you were “taught” to always carry a hankie?

I’ve been thinking lots about hankies this week – partly because it’s winter and cold and flu season in Australia.

Also because I’ve been thinking about retro fashion as in one of my favourite shows Mad Men – and I’ve been thinking about the power of retro as businesses plan client gifts for Christmas.

Yes – I know that’s an interesting jumble of thoughts – but it all came out fine.

Please allow me to explain.

In a future post I will explain how advertising helped kill off the hankie and how the hankie is staging a stylish comeback.

In this post  -I’ll share some really cool views on the hankie from The Art of Manliness and reflections on how certain generations were “forced” to carry hankies.

This site is funny and informative:

Handkerchief AOM

What memories do YOU have of hankies?

I always remember when going to primary school – having a hankie was an essential part of your checklist.

Sometimes your bus money or tuck shop money was tied in the corner.

I also remember the cruel and unusual punishment dealt out in class if you didn’t remember your hankie.

Offenders had to stand up while he rest of the class pointed at them and sang the “Piggy Sniffle” song. (I haven’t thought about that in decades – maybe I’d blocked out the painful memories!) I can’t remember the words – just the mocking faces and pointing fingers!

When did such a punishment stop in schools? Were you a victim of the cruel Piggy Sniffle punishment?

(I understand Piggy Sniffles also refers to swine flu in children)

handkerchief fathers day gift

Also a set of hankies was a standard Fathers Day gift! and still is for men of a certain vintage – probably once the young boys who were “forced” to carry handkerchiefs.

I also recall the satisfaction of being able to offer a nice clean handkerchief to others to help them. Maybe it was some deep desire to appear gallant like Rhett Butler as in the opening quote in this post.

I remember giving my handkerchief to crying women and to a male businessman stranger who had been sick in the street.  Probably still dragging him into work even though he was ill. I gave him my handkerchief to help him clean himself up.

If I was a single guy these days (and if I’d thought of it when I was single) – I’d have some cute message and my contact details on “give-away” handkerchiefs I’d hand to damsels in distress.

Probably I’d only get calls from dudes in distress I’d help.

TB hankie

I find the hankie also comes in handy on hot days – to wipe away the sweat  to look calm and collected for business meetings

Anyway, so many more ideas popping into my head for future posts – like the hankie as fashion statement and the hankie hat.

Gumbys hankies

Hadn’t thought about the hankie hat in decades either!

As the Art of Manliness explains – it’s important to note the difference between a handkerchief and a Mad Man style pocket square.

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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.


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