Why every man should carry a handkerchief...again

Virtus Cardinalis offers some of the finest handkerchiefs and pocket squares in the world. While we can happily attest to the fact that many men still carry handkerchiefs, there remains a prevailing misconception among modern men: that carrying a handkerchief is an outdated pastime. Regardless of where you currently stand on the issue, we invite you to reconsider the iconic symbolism of the handkerchief. We hope you will receive our invitation, because every man should carry a handkerchief.  

Let’s first define our terms. We at Virtus distinguish between a handkerchief and a pocket square. A handkerchief is a practical accessory that may be utilized in place of a tissue, while a pocket square is for show.

Until fairly recently, it was the norm for men to have a handkerchief as part of their everyday carry. Men would often carry two handkerchiefs; one for themselves and one to offer someone in need, usually a lady. They never asked for this one back. It was the sign of a gentleman. A close friend, who serves in the US Army, recalls being issued three handkerchiefs at basic training twenty years ago. Like most men at that time, he carried one every day. He carries a Virtus handkerchief today.

Despite its more recent neglect, the handkerchief remains a relevant and enduring accessory. Whether it is offered by a gentleman to comfort the woman he loves, or used to wipe the blood and sweat from his own brow, the handkerchief has withstood the test of time.

And in case it wasn’t relevant enough for you before, both the handkerchief and pocket square have been imbued with a new and more profound symbolism in the founding of Virtus Cardinalis. Our handkerchiefs and pocket squares represent our fraternity as gentlemen who aspire to a superior way of life: a life of virtue. Like virtue, our handkerchiefs and pocket squares are relevant for every occasion. 

A Virtus handkerchief offers something more than utility. It is a tangible reminder of our brotherhood and common commitment to aspire to learn and live the Cardinal Virtues. Furthermore, Virtus handkerchiefs are proudly made with American Pima cotton: a superior cotton with particular virtues of its own. The fibers are stronger, longer, and softer than other cottons. Like the men who carry them, Virtus handkerchiefs are made to endure.

When we reach into our pocket and feel our handkerchief, we are reminded of Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance.

When we are tempted to act rashly or not to act when we should, Prudence will be our guide. When we are unaware of the needs of others, Justice will remind us of the dignity and rights of our fellow man.  When we know the right thing to do but we waiver in our courage to do it, Fortitude will strengthen our resolve. When we are prone to excess in what we eat and drink or prefer to choose comfort over our workout, Temperance will teach us self-discipline. 

We invite you to become a man of VirtusIncorporate our iconic handkerchiefs and pocket squares into your everyday carry and be fortified and challenged by our content by signing up for our newsletter. Together, we will contemplate the wisdom of the ages, be inspired by stories of heroic exemplars, and learn practical ways to practice virtue. We will become better sons, brothers, friends, husbands, and fathers. We will become better men. So join us as we aspire to live the Cardinal Virtues.