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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Selecting and Caring for your Dress Shirt

The dress shirt is an important staple in every man’s wardrobe, and every guy has his preference on what he likes.  For instance, my husband is incredibly picky about his dress shirts, especially when it comes to the amount of starch; he likes his shirts to be able to stand up on their own, but in order for his shirts to do that, he needs to purchase a shirt that’s 100% cotton.  Given that he was purchasing a poly blend and was unhappy with how little starch they held, I thought it might be a good time to share some information so that you can both choose and care for your perfect shirt.

Fabric and structure: 
  • If you are like Matt and like your shirts to be rather stiff, then 100% heavyweight cotton is the way to go.  The thickness and weight of the fabric determines how much starch the shirt will hold, and heavyweight 100% cotton shirts are the only shirts that can be heavily starched.  In addition, oxford weaves allow for heavier starching than finer pinpoints.       
  • If you are a hot-natured person, choose natural fibers like cotton and silk because they breathe well.  Keep in mind that silk is more difficult to care for than cotton, and of course, there is no starching with silk. 
  • Finally, when purchasing, check for quality.  Look for things like a symmetrical, straight collar; removable collar stays; a split yoke; neat, tight side stitching; cleanly finished button holes, tightly sewn buttons, and spare buttons; hand-sewn cuffs; patterns that match; and a small button at the sleeve placket.   
Caring for your perfect shirt:         

  • Rotate your dress shirts regularly to reduce the amount of wear they receive.
  • Wash your dress shirt after each wearing to avoid perspiration and deodorant stains, cologne stains, ring around the collar, and overall dull looking shirts.
  • Keep in mind that heavy use of starch can impact the life of your shirts over time because the starch residue settles in the shirts, which eventually causes the threads to break and fray.
  • A beard or five o’clock shadow rubbing on the collar can reduce the life of your dress shirt.
  • Watches and jewelry can cause fraying, especially along the cuff area.
If you feel like your dress shirts need a bit of extra attention, just drop them off at any A Cleaner World location.  We’ll gladly give them the care and attention they deserve to look like new again.

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