A handkerchief is a small amount of cotton, silk or linen fabric designed usually in a square or rectangle. A handkerchief is used as an object for cleanliness, normally situated in a trouser pocket or a breast pocket of a suit jacket. For women, a handkerchief often has a lace fabric composition and is held in their purse being an accessory rather than a necessity. It is thought that the handkerchief first graced us in the late 1300s, invented by King Richard II of England.

During the late 1800s and early 1900s women often carried lace handkerchiefs, particularly if they were middle-upper class, which defined their elegant stance within fashion. They are often viewed as a luxurious and elegant object. Today, handkerchiefs are normally worn by men in suit breast pockets for important occasions such as weddings and will be designed in an array of colours but are mainly composed in a silk or satin.

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Written by Hollyann Prince

Hollyann Prince, graduating in International Fashion Business at Nottingham Trent University next year, currently writing the Silhouette & Looks and Accessories section of the Dictionary for Catwalk Yourself. A lover of fashion history and everything unique.

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