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Difference Between Handkerchief and Pocket Square

What Is Handkerchief?


A handkerchief is a folded piece of thin cloth that can be kept in one’s pocket or purse for personal grooming needs washing one’s hands or face, or blowing one’s nose, for example. A handkerchief is frequently referred to as a pocket square when seen as a basic decorative addition in a suit pocket. Handkerchiefs are indeed utilized in a number of folk performances around the globe, including the Balkans and the Mideast; one such traditional dance is Kalamatianos.

Not just because some fabrics seem to be more pricey, but because other fabrics are, the material of a handkerchief can indeed be reflective of the person’s socio-economic class, as it is significantly more porous and useful for people that use it for over style. Linen, cotton-synthetic mixtures, synthetic material, silk, and cotton can all be used to make handkerchiefs.

When a bag or basket is not available, handkerchiefs can also be utilized to transport little objects on the go. These can also be used rather than a cloth to treat a minor injury. For many individuals, placing a handkerchief with tied edges on one’s brow just at beach has become a seaside picture cliché. Handkerchiefs are indeed a common sight in certain types of English traditional dances, like the Morris dance.

Handkerchief Vs Pocket Square

Handkerchief Vs Pocket Square

The main difference between handkerchief and pocket square is that the handkerchief is mostly used for wiping and is stuffed into the sides or front pockets of one’s pants, as well as the lower zippered pockets of one’s jacket. On the other hand, pocket squares are meant to be noticed and should be slipped into one’s shirt or chest pocket.

A handkerchief is a small piece of cotton material often used to cover your face. Other varieties of handkerchiefs, including such flannel, are also available. A hanky is a small piece of fabric that is used to replace paper tissues and is designed for everyday use. It’s usually comprised of a single layer of fabric, but it can come in extra-large sizes and even be doubled for added absorbency.

A pocket square looks a lot like a handkerchief, but it’s typically rather thin to keep it flexible and easy to fold into wonderful, eye-catching pocket square creases. It comes in a variety of textiles, including cotton, linen, and silk, which is the most popular. The pocket square is tucked into the suit pocket and is always visible.

Comparison Table Between Handkerchief and Pocket Square

Parameters of Comparison Handkerchief Pocket Square
Use The handkerchief is supposed to be utilized and should be kept in the pocket. The pocket square is merely decorative.
Material Cotton is used to make the bulk of handkerchiefs. Linen and cotton handkerchiefs absorb more liquid. Because pocket squares are rarely used, they can be constructed of more delicate fabrics, such as silk.
Size Because handkerchiefs are meant to be utilized, they are much larger. The bulk of pocket squares is small, making them easy to slip into the garment’s breast pocket.
Thickness Handkerchiefs are relatively thick since they are used for a variety of purposes and must absorb moisture. Pocket squares are thin to fit into a jacket pocket without appearing clumsy.
Placement A handkerchief isn’t for the jacket’s breast pocket since it creases after being pulled out and put back in. Pocket squares are produced for the jacket’s breast pocket only and are meant to look fancy.

Main Differences Between Handkerchief and Pocket Square

  • The handkerchief should be used and maintained in the pocket, whereas the pocket square is purely cosmetic.
  • Handkerchiefs are much larger than pocket squares since they are meant to be used, whereas pocket squares have a modest bulk, making them easier to slide into the garment’s breast pocket.
  • Cotton is the most common material used to produce handkerchiefs. Handkerchiefs made of linen and cotton absorb more liquid, but pocket squares made of more delicate fabrics like silk absorb less.
  • Handkerchiefs are generally thick since they have multiple functions and must absorb water, whereas pocket squares are narrow to fit into a jacket pocket without looking awkward.
  • A handkerchief isn’t appropriate for a jacket’s breast pocket since it wrinkles after being pulled out and reinserted, but pocket squares are designed specifically for the jacket’s breast pocket and are meant to look fancy.


Fashion is something that everyone enjoys following. From new to classic trends, everyone wants to get in on the action. Handkerchiefs and pocket squares are two examples of goods that have a variety of functions, brands, and products that appear and sound familiar but are different with varied uses. These two may appear to be the same square material made of various fabrics, but their functions are not the same.

A handkerchief is used for fundamental tasks like cleaning one’s face or for cleanliness, whereas a pocket square is used for decorative and fancy purposes and is typically worn in one’s shirt pocket on formal occasions. 

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