Have you ever washed and dried one of your ties, or pulled a wrinkled shirt out of your suitcase on a business trip? If so, you’re not alone. Keeping your dress clothes looking sharp and crisp takes some effort, but not an excessive amount of time if done right. Here are some techniques I use to keep my dress clothes looking good.
Laundering your dress clothes.
Rule number one: always make sure that your article of clothing is machine washable! I’ll give you a hint right from the start, suit coats and ties are not machine washable. If you happen to have already washed them, the shrunken clothes make great hand-me-downs for your middle school aged son or nephew. Instead, you should take your suit coats, ties and other delicate clothing to a professional dry cleaner. I’m often asked how frequently suit coats should be dry cleaned and I suggest every five to six times you wear it.
For your machine washable shirts and pants, check to see what water temperature they should be washed in. It’s also a good idea to wash different fabrics separately, as they often require different types of care. When you dry your nice dress clothes, avoid drying them on high heat or they will shrink. The most important thing to remember though, is to remove them from the dryer as soon as they are finished to prevent wrinkles.
Preventing wrinkles in your dress clothes.
It’s inevitable that you will get wrinkles in some of your clothing. Fortunately, our A.K. Statesman dress shirts are ‘non-iron’, meaning they come out of the dryer virtually wrinkle free. Again, the most important thing you can do is to hang up your clothes fresh out of the dryer. That being said, even ‘non-iron’ shirts need touched up once in a while. For your simple wrinkles, they will come out of your clothes easily with an iron.
What about preventing wrinkles after they come out of the dryer? For your dress shirts and dress pants, it’s all about how you hang them. Assure that your dress shirts are hung straight, and not smashed against each other in your closet. For your pants, always hang them on the creases (or you will have extra, unwanted creases). When you store your ties, roll them up or hang them instead of storing them folded to prevent wrinkles. If your ties do get wrinkles, it works best to steam the wrinkles out instead of ironing them.
Traveling with your dress clothes.
If you’re a business person and often travel with your dress clothing, put your shirts, pants and suits on hangers inside of the plastic hanging bags. Then, you can fold them in half and store them inside your suitcase. When you arrive at your destination, your dress clothes should be minimally wrinkled compared to if you don’t use plastic hanging bags.
For your ties, roll them up and store them in heal of your shoes. This will prevent them from getting smashed and wrinkled during transport.
Other care tactics.
Generally speaking, most people know how to care for and iron their dress clothing. So for you clothing professionals out there, here are a few advanced tricks.
- Never starch your dress clothes; it will cut down on their life span. Instead, take them to be professionally pressed if you don’t want to press them yourself.
- If you hang your ties, don’t hang them on a plastic hanger. The edges plastic hangers often creates snags in them.
- Give your shoes two days rest in between each wearing to give the leather a break. Also, store your leather shoes with a ‘shoe tree’ in them to keep the leather stretched. Shoe trees made out of cedar wood work great to keep your shoes from smelling bad.
- Remove the unused dress clothing that has been hanging in your closet for a long period of time. Clothing that hangs in a dark closet for an extended period is more likely to have moths. You can even stick cedar wood blocks in your closet to help prevent moths.
- If your expensive suit gets a snag or tear in it, there are places that can repair clothing to make your suit like new again. If you’d like information on this process, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taking a small amount of time to properly care for and store your dress clothing can save you hours of ironing and extended the life of your clothing. If you’d like answers to more specific questions on caring for your dress clothing, email me at email@example.com!