A wardrobe of men's clothing is an investment of time and money and knowing how to properly care for men's dress shirts can extend the life of that most important item of clothing for work and classy casual menswear. Dress shirts as you would know, are men's favorite attire. Be it an official meeting, anniversary celebration, hangout or a formal event, it's a perfect wardrobe choice and there is no denying this! However, if designer shirts are one of your priority clothes, it means that they probably get dirty every now and then. Proper laundering methods can be entrusted to specialists, but doing so at home can save money. Getting the most wear out of any dress shirt begins with buying quality, well-made pieces and then caring for them properly with careful laundering and ironing practices. If handled with care, quality dress shirt pieces can serve for many years. Professional laundering services and dry cleaners may be used, but it is simple and affordable to care for your dress shirts at home if you know how.
The key lies not only in washing them sporadically, but also correctly. No matter how sporadically you wash your precious dress shirts, if you don't do so properly, the fabric will soon begin to wear out. To figure out the best way to wash your shirt, read the washing instructions given on the label. Proper laundering of dress shirts begins with reading the label. Manufacturers provide detailed laundering instructions on garments and understanding a few key features on care instructions can help you make good choices in care. Commonly misunderstood are the dry cleaning instructions on garment labels. When a tag reads, "Dry Clean," it means that dry cleaning is a recommended cleaning method, but not the only method. "Dry Clean Only" means just that: only dry clean that particular garment. Also pay attention to the type of material in the shirt as some are safe for the wash, but are intended to be line-dried for best results. Review all instructions before beginning cleaning to avoid accidental mishandling. Here is a guide on how to take care of a dress shirt to make it fresh:
How to Wash your Dress Shirt
Caring for washable work shirts at home and extending their life is about gentle techniques. To start off, empty the pockets and the cufflinks from any content. Then, search the entirety of the shirt for stains. Stains are commonly found on the collar, cuffs, under the arms or on the front. As soon as you spot a stain, act on it right away so that it will come out as easily as possible. Get a stain stick which can aid you with this. The typical stains found in the pockets are caused by ball point ink. You can remove them by clipping them out or by applying some milk on the affected area.
Delicate laundry detergent costs a bit more but is gentle to clothes, minimizing wear and tear for all washable fabrics that are not heavily stained. When you get your new custom fit tailored dress shirt, make sure you wash it before you wear it. Sometimes there will still be some various chemical residue on the material from the manufacturing process, washing it will remove these traces. It will also make the material softer and thus more comfortable to wear. It is best to wash dress shirts by hand. If for some reason you are not able to wash your dress shirt by hand, then use lukewarm water in the washing machine on a gentle cycle.
Using cold water wash water on the gentle cycle provides effective cleaning that is easy on clothes and less expensive. Once the shirt completes the wash cycle, you must decide how you want to dry your shirt. Line drying takes time but is the best choice for extending the life of your shirt. Dress shirts can be dried outdoors where the sun's light can brighten them, but indoor line-drying is great for darker colors. The tumble dryer on a low setting or 'air dry' is ideal for quicker drying. Avoiding hot temperatures is always best.
When washing dress shirts, make sure to separate colored shirts from white shirts. If possible, also separate out your colored shirts into light colored shirts and darker colored shirts. This will prevent bleeding from occurring, which can permanently stain lighter colored and especially white shirts.
On that note, the three most common drying methods include hang dry, tumble and dry clean. Each method has its own set of pros and cons. For a more clear understanding, all three methods are described as follows:
1. Hang Dry Your Dress Shirts
This is probably the most common and easiest way to dry a shirt. It involves washing the shirt, giving it a shape-up and subsequently hanging it on a "hanger". To keep your custom dress shirts in a nice shape, use plastic hangers with firm shoulders. Wire hangers will destroy the shape of your custom shirts.
Moreover, it's important to keep in mind the type of hanger you choose to hang your shirt on. It's advisable to use a plastic hanger (as opposed to metal ones) because it ensures that the fabric doesn't get damaged. The reason why metal and wooden hangers are not such a great choice is due to the fact they cause puckered shoulders, the last thing you would want to happen to your custom made shirt shirt.
2. Tumble Dry Your Dress Shirts
Another method used for drying shirts is "tumble dry". As the name implies, it involves putting the clothes in a drum (generally heated), which then tumbles the clothes continuously until they dry. This method of drying is used widely because of the convenience it offers. You clothes get dry in comparatively less time, without much effort on your part (a fine example of how technology benefits humans).
Furthermore, there are many options available to people who wish to use this method for drying dress shirts. For example, they can either choose to tumble dry on low, moderate and high heat. The higher the temperature the less time it will take for the shirt to dry. However, high heat is not advised, as it can weaken the fibers of the fabric. One notable disadvantage of this method is that tends to create a great amount of wrinkles on the shirts and that is why is not ideal for shirts.
3. Dry Clean Your Dress Shirts
The third most common drying technique employed for shirts is dry-cleaning. Now this a technique particularly used by laundries. It quite different to the ones mentioned above solely because in this method the dress shirts are not washed in water, but a liquid solvent. So it's not literally dry cleaning. The clothes are soaked in a liquid/chemical "perchlorethylene". One of the biggest advantages of using this method is that it removes oil and grease stains exceptionally well.
How To Iron Dress Shirt
For a fresh-from-cleaners look, knowing how to properly iron a good dress shirt will give it that polished look professional men love. Set your iron according to instructions on the shirt's care label. When ironing a shirt, make sure that it is slightly damp when using a hot iron. Doing this will prevent damage to the fabric. Using a steam iron will achieve the same result. A dress shirt needs to be completely unbuttoned before you lay it flat on the ironing board. If you like an extra-crisp finish, the use of an ironing spray with starch will yield the most stiffness. Other ironing sprays offers varying degrees of crispness, so choose your favorite or simply mist with water. When it comes to ironing, be sure that you have ironing board, a
The first thing that you do is to set up your flat and wide ironing board near an electrical outlet, and make use of a regular or a steam iron and a sprinkler. There are different settings on your equipment. Put on the right setting for the shirt you are going to press. It is usually found on the label of the shirt. If there are no instructions, then place your equipment on the lowest setting in order to avoid ruining your shirts material. Wait for a minute for the iron to heat up. The steam setting should only be used on very durable materials, like heavier cottons. Again, the care label should indicate your ideal iron settings.
The trick to getting a professionally-pressed look to your dress shirt lies in the collar and the sleeves. For the collar, begin by opening the color and laying it flat on the ironing board. With outward strokes, firmly and quickly give the color a few passes of the iron. Using the pointed tip of the iron, carefully smooth the collar corners so they appear free of puckers. Next, go to the yoke of the shirt. Start at neck of the shirt and iron towards the center. If you have a pleated shirt, iron in the same direction as the fold so as not to ruin them. Turn the shirt over and iron the other side of the collar in the same way. This is the professional's secret for great results.
For the sleeves, getting that outside edge crisp and straight is the key to achieving professional results at home. Find the shoulder seam on the shirt and use that as the starting point for your sleeve line, arranging the shirt to keep that line moving straight down to the cuff.
The last part of your dress shirt you are going to iron is going to be the torso. Lay the shirt in such a way that the line keeps it shape and quickly press the line in quick strokes with the iron to lock it in. Once that line meets your approval, iron the rest of the sleeve from back to front, top to bottom. With all ironing, it is crucial to keep the iron moving at all times. Hesitate and delicate fabrics can be scorched.
How To Fold Dress Shirts
Initially it may feel a little difficult, but folding a men's shirt is actually very simple. All you have to do is understand the steps. In many ways folding a shirt is just like tying a tie. It might be easy to do for yourself, but teaching someone else is a very different story.
Please understand that there are several different kinds of dress shirts out there. The goal of this process is to minimize wrinkles while making the smallest reasonable footprint for the shirt. This lets you fit any dress shirt into very small spaces such as, a suitcase or a small drawer. Although some shirts are now wrinkle-free and wrinkles are not a problem for others, the goal of wrinkle avoidance remains the same.
1) Lay your shirt on a flat surface.
2) Fasten all the buttons, or at least every other one.
3) Grip the shirt by the shoulders and then lay the shirt down with buttons against the flat surface.
4) The sleeves should be in the shape of the letter "T."
5) Take one sleeve and fold it in so that it then lies on top the other sleeve. Be sure to bring about one-fourth of the shirt body along for the ride.
6) Follow it down to the hem of the shirt, and then make a diagonal fold at the shoulder.
7) Then follow the same process for the other sleeve. When making the initial fold onto the shirt you will have to imagine that the other sleeve is still part of the original T. Be care to try and keep any overlap between sleeves or shirt body to minimum. Press the shirt down to force out any air pockets and wrinkles.
8) Take the shirt from the hem and fold it 1/3 of the way towards the neck. Flatten and remove wrinkles.
9) Then take the remaining section in half along the edge of hem. Your now nearly finished except for checking for wrinkles.
10) Finally make sure you have no creases or wrinkles, and then flatten again.
The shirt, now one-sixth as big as it was on the flat surface, is now ready for packing, placing in a shirt drawer or into a vacuum bag for storage.