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The Leather Hip Flask: Part of an Elegant Social Tradition

In the movies, it is common to see the well-dressed hero reach into a hip pocket, take out a silver flask, and enjoy a bracing draft of liquor. There’s a reason for that prop. The coolest men (and some women) have been carrying hip flasks for centuries. In fact, elegant versions were considered part of gentlemen’s wardrobes at one time. While that tradition may have changed, the handy containers are still popular and, in fact, are common men’s gifts.

What Is a Hip Flask?

Humans have been carrying their liquor around in portable containers almost since history has been recorded. In the beginning, they even carved out fruits and added liquor. Eventually, small, thin metal containers with caps were invented. By the 18th Century, a well-dressed man generally never left home without a container that could vary from a silver monogrammed style to a leather hip flask.

Flasks Have a Time-Honored History

Eventually, manufacturers began mass producing flasks that were generally thin and kidney-shaped, and most still are. Early versions were designed to fit easily into a hip or inside jacket pocket. Some were even kept in boots or socks. Users could discretely carry a supply of their favorite liquor and enjoy quick, discrete drinks whenever they wanted.

Over time, suppliers offered more elaborate designs, some of which included cigarette cases. Most flasks were made using silver, pewter, or glass. Although wildly popular, U.S. Prohibition outlawed them during the 1920s. In many areas, it is still against the law to have flasks of liquor in vehicles while driving. Nevertheless, millions of people still own and use flasks at other times.

Modern Flasks Make Elegant Gifts

Today, hip flasks have become traditional men’s gifts, especially for grooms and members of wedding parties. Some brides also gift bridesmaids with elegant flasks. They are welcome gifts because they make it simple to carry a warming drink on a cold, winter night. Flasks are perfect for concerts, on camping trips, or just a rowdy night on the town. Suppliers offer a wide variety of styles, and most can be personalized with elegant monogramming.

Centuries after being introduced to the public, hip flasks are still popular. Flasks are welcome gifts because they are elegant containers that make it possible for anyone to carry their own brand of liquor and grab a bracing drink in almost any situation.