{stupid title employing the phrase 'hanky panky' here}

May 15, 2009 in Craft and Art, Fashion, Textile Addiction by Analogue Chic

In the northeast US, it’s full-bore allergy season, and if you’re like me you’ve been going through eye drops and tissues like it’s the apocalypse.  Every week, I empty my bedside trashcan, containing 99% used tissues. 

I do make an effort to order 100% recycled tissues from Seventh Generation, but as far as I know, we still don’t have a way to safely recycle booger-filled paper tissues.  And we haven’t yet implemented the people’s revolution at my condo, so I have no way to compost them, which would be ideal.

So this year, I’m bringing back the handkerchief as an essential ladies’ accessory.

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Hankies, clockwise, from: thevintagelaundry, VintageSewandSew, no longer available from pattispolkadots, hankylady, (thevintagelaundry again), hankylady, heirloomlinens, SerendipityTreasures

Till now, I have known only three other people, of the male persuasion, who use pocket handkerchiefs on a daily basis: my grandpa, my dad, and my fiance – who is not older, just a cool retro guy. (Actually he just told me he got them as a gift from a student – how thoughtful!)

I recently found a few really cute, hand embroidered guest towels at a thrift store, that I have in rotation for runny nose service.  They’re quite a bit bigger than a standard handkerchief, and also a bit thicker.  But regular, light cotton handkerchief squares, with or without the painstaking stitching of some bygone lady, are readily available at pretty much any thrift store, flea market, or tag sale you may find yourself in, in real life and online.  Two of the images above are from this shop on Etsy – all handkerchiefs, all the time.

My fiance uses standard white cotton men’s hankies, which are still available at most department stores.  Alternately, he puts regular bandanas to double use as hankies, mostly for cleaning his glasses.

There are tons of shapes, colors, and embellishments out there, and they make fantastic gifts.  A vintage set with the appropriate monogram would make a lovely birthday or wedding gift, and it’s eco-conscious to boot.

If you’re ambitious, crafty, and have some free time, you could hem up some squares of light material and add embroidery or lacy edges.  This vintage book is available in many places online.

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So, you heard it here first – hankies are the it accessory this year in eco-chic. 

And even if you don’t suffer from allergies, you can always use them as in ye cartoons of olde: the not-so-subtle flirtatious hanky drop.  Here, Minnie gets her man:

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