This is an aspect of dressing a lot of men gloss over – taking care of your clothes, especially your dress shirts. You splurge on a few high quality dress shirts and then, within 6 months, you realize you need some more. Hang on though – aren’t high quality clothes supposed to last longer? What gives? The issue is that most men are not aware of how to properly take care of their dress shirts. This week’s topic is about the four steps to ensuring your dress shirts not only help you stand out, but also last longer!
First Step To Taking Care: Washing
A lot of us are probably unaware of the amount of stress our dress shirts go through with each wash. If you send out your dress shirts for dry cleaning all the time, STOP IT! Why? Because most dress shirts are not meant to be dry cleaned and every dry clean uses chemicals that deteriorate your garment.
Even a normal wash in the washing machine causes the dress shirt color and pattern to fade out over time. So what’s the solution? Wash sparingly – try and get as many wears out of the shirt before you put it in to wash! Try wearing an undershirt to absorb the sweat if you sweat more, so that you can reuse the shirt. Put it to wash only when the dress shirt starts stinking. By reducing the number of times you wash your dress shirt, you are prolonging its life. And consider hand-washing instead of machine washing – where you spot clean instead of stressing out the entire dress shirt.
Second Step To Taking Care: Maintenance
By spending a little time on dress shirt maintenance, you will be taking much better care of your shirt and making it look fresh longer. The parts of the shirt that get stained most are the collar and the cuffs, which come in constant contact with the skin. These are usually oil-based stains, so before putting your dress shirt to wash, apply some heavy-duty stain remover to these areas and rub/scrub the area based on severity of the stains. If you’ve spilled something on your dress shirt, then consider removing stains using old school methods like vinegar and baking soda. You may not need to wash the whole shirt just because of a small stain – just clean that particular area out.
Third Step To Taking Care: Drying
Ever noticed a dress shirt feeling tighter after you’ve pulled it out of the dryer? That is because the heat causes the garment to shrink. Consider drying your shirt the natural way. Some tumble dry dryers also cause wear and tear in dress shirts so avoid those to ensure you are taking good care of your dress shirt.
Fourth Step To Taking Care: Storage
Go to your wardrobe right now and take a look at the type of hangers you are using. Are they common wire hangers? If so, you may want to consider investing in wooden hangers which are thicker. Why? Using wire hangers will cause your dress shirt to stretch itself out over its thin frame due to greater pressure. A wooden hanger frame reduces this stress, taking care of your shirt and allowing it to last longer.
Now take a whiff of your wardrobe. Is it musky? Make sure to always use napthalene balls or moisture absorbers in your wardrobe to keep away unwanted pests from getting to your clothes and keeping them fresh.
So there you have it – four different aspects to keep in mind when taking care of your dress shirts to make them last longer. Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments!