Shirt Care

When wearing a dress shirt, do not attempt to wear it more than once. In fact, if you wear the shirt for more than 3 hours, it must be cleaned. I can understand a quick trip to Starbucks and your desire to impress the locals- you get a pass there. Remember your body secretes oils and perspiration that you may not notice. Don’t believe me, ask a significant other.

Pages have been written concerning proper garment care and we will thoroughly cover those topics over-time. In offering a line of quality custom shirts, we often share tips with our customers, regarding their shirts that many are surprised to learn. First and very important, do not starch shirts. Starch is bad for cotton and leads to untimely wear (usually frayed collars and cuffs) and the yellowing and crumbling of shirt buttons. If you want a stiff shirt, invest in burlap! Cottons are woven into soft and rich fabrics (Swiss and Italian cottons) don’t ruin them. If the aroma of your local dry cleaner is chemically laden, know that your clothes are getting a heavy dose of lye, hydrofluoric acid and or sodium hypochlorite. All of which shorten the life of your shirts and will have you back buying the same shirt much sooner than you would like- though your shirt maker will be happy to service you! If you can spare an extra few minutes to save yourself some money, consider the following:

  • Treat your collars and cuffs when you take them off at the end of the day; additional treating might be required just before cleaning.
  • Use an unscented detergent, avoid bleach and fabric softeners.
  • Wash your shirts in the washing machine on the Gentle Cycle; wash whites in warm water and colors in cold, dial up the temperature for heavily soiled shirts.
  • Hang dry on plastic hangers (white is safest), OR tumble dry on the ‘No Heat’ setting until damp then hang.
  • If you have the time and skill, you’ll find that by setting the iron on the Cotton setting and playing some good tunes (NPR and talk radio is good too), you can knock out a weeks worth of shirts in no time- with some practice you will do just as good a job as the dry cleaner.
  • (Really 5b) If you don’t have the time to iron shirts yourself, take your clean shirts to the cleaners and negotiate a price to have them press your shirts- STARCH FREE!.

If you cannot fit the above into your lifestyle, at the very least, find a dry cleaner whose cleaning agents don’t greet you before the staff does. As soon as you get home, promptly remove shirts from the plastic, and let them air out before closing them in the closet.