The Handkerchief is Back

The handkerchief used to be a standard item for most men in the 1900’s. I think most people had a dad or a grandfather who used to carry one with them all the time.  They’d use it throughout the day to wipe their mouth, wipe sweat from their forehead and wipe their nose (maybe even grossly blow their nose).  It was a really functional article that made their life easier.  Then all of a sudden they vanished. 

Handkerchiefs became a relic. Now you only see a handful of people using them.  When you search “handkerchief” on Google you find a lot of white pocket squares.  You don’t see functional handkerchiefs.  It’s about style now.  Not function.  The issue is that guys haven’t stopped sweating or needing to wipe their face. 

My grandfather used to carry a red or blue old school cotton handkerchief. I remember it vividly.  He used it all the time.  As I’ve talked the handkerchief idea to people they all have memories of their dads or grandfathers carrying handkerchiefs.  One friend of mine remembers how his mom would iron all of his dad’s handkerchiefs every weekend.  They lived in Puerto Rico where it was incredibly hot.  His dad needed the handkerchief to wipe sweat from his brow throughout the day.

The reason I thought a handkerchief would be a great idea for me was because of my sweating. I’m a sweater.  I sweat a lot in the office for usually unexplained reasons.  Walking to a meeting that’s more than 200 yards away.  Talking with people can bring it on.  Eating food that’s hot.  Getting stuck in a warm room for a meeting.  God forbid if we had a team lunch in the summertime at a restaurant!  It just happens.  Everyday. 

I would usually have to awkwardly wipe my face with my hand or snag a napkin. I’d rush to the bathroom to get a paper towel.  I have some nightmare stories too where I’ve started to sweat during VERY bad moments in the office.  I never had a way to effectively and in a classy way manage my sweat.  I have just been embarrassed and self-conscious about something I really have no control over. 

We had already been making undershirts for Sloane, so I have some familiarity with fabrics. I figured I should just start testing the idea of a handkerchief by bringing some rough prototypes to work.  Would I use it?  How would it feel?  How would it absorb?  How would it dry?  What would people think?  I ended up using the prototypes ALL THE TIME.  I never realized how much I would casually sweat throughout the day! 

 Once I realized I actually needed the product I got serious about what would be the best experience.  I would actually start sweating from anxiety whenever I forgot the product at home!  I knew I would need it that day and would have to go back to using the back of my hand to wipe sweat.  I couldn’t imagine doing that anymore! 

After a number of prototypes I finalized on a bamboo and polyester mix that was soft to the touch, ultra wicking and dried quickly. It also looked cool.  I wanted it to have some substance, so made it double layer for max absorption and a nice feeling in the hands.  It’s not super flimsy, but not so thick that it can’t comfortably be put into your pocket.  I carry it in my back or side pocket with my phone, wallet, keys, etc.  I rarely even notice that it’s there. 

I use the product multiple times a day and there are a number of times where it has REALLY saved me from a bad sweat situation. I love that it can immediately stop the sweat before I get anxious and start sweating more…….because I realize I’m sweating. 

It’s been a game changer in how I manage my sweat. I want as many guys who sweat to use the product to help control their own sweat.  Sweating sucks.  There’s no way to stop it.  You might as well be armed to fight it though!