Care For Your Dress Shirts
When you walk into a room wearing a cool outfit, you want to be noticed for your style, not just your smile. Wrinkle-less slacks that flow with ease are very impressive. So are high-quality Italian leather shoes. But if you really want to keep your appearance stellar, make sure you're wearing a well cared for dress shirt.
Men's dress shirts are designed to be stylish and formal while showcasing the physique. The wrong dress shirt can create an undesirable appearance that is either too baggy-looking, or too tight-fitting. Off-the-rack shirts often belong in one of these groups.
However, if you're fortunate enough to have custom-made dress shirts, the design and style of your shirts can take on a more tailored look.
Whether it's off-the-rack from Macy's, or a custom-made button down, there are a number of things you can do to keep your shirts in good condition. Over time, this will save you money and keep your dress shirts looking like new.
- Wash 'n wear. Before wearing your new dress shirt the first time, wash it in cold/warm water. This removes manufacturing chemicals and dye residue, which may irritate the skin.
- Be gentle. Wash dark-colored shirts in cold water and light-colored shirts in warm water. This will help retain the fabric's color. Also, use your washers' gentle cycle to help preserve the fabric quality of your shirts. If you have lot of time on your hands, wash your shirts by hand. They will last a lot longer.
- 1, 2, 3 ... The higher the thread count, the better the quality. If you're buying off-the-rack, look for Twill or Pinpoint style shirts. For custom-made shirts, Poplin and Broadcloth styles fit the bill since they are woven with a finer yarn and have a softer texture. If you're not sure about the thread-count or shirt pattern, be sure to ask a salesperson for help.
- Don't clean. Don't dry-clean, that is. Dry-cleaning fluids can destroy the fine fabric of a dress shirt. If you must use a dry-cleaner, have them wash your shirts instead. Better yet, try washing them on a gentle cycle or by hand.
- Spray away. If you use spray deodorants or spray colognes, be sure to spray them on your body (neck and torso) and allow them to dry before dressing. The mixture of anti-perspirants, deodorants, or colognes with natural body oils, can cause staining and may weaken the shirt over time.
- Steamy subjects. Do not use a hot iron on a stained shirt. The heat will cause the stain to become permanent. Also, be sure to use the steam option when ironing. Or, you can dampen your shirts with a mist of water before using an iron.
- Hanging around. To retain your shirts' manly shape, use wooden hangers with broad shoulder extensions. Mahogany, oak, and walnut hangers are the best. Avoid using wire hangers since their thin structure can alter a shirts' appearance over time.
Whether you're sporting a button-down collar, point-collar, or spread-tab-band dress shirt, these tips will help maintain the quality of your apparel.