Interesting story. A gentleman came in to my store today and asked how to properly take care of his new bespoke dress shirts I made for him in Italy. Though there are many layers, dress shirt care is possibly the most underrated habitual process for most men and women wearing them. So I want to make a series of this subject and feel free to comment below about your own experiences. I try to educate daily on proper cleaning all of our dress shirts. In fact, I'm sure there are numerous blog posts about how to do this but luckily I have worked with many tailors and dry-cleaning professionals on how to properly do this without resulting to chemicals. For me, acquiring this knowledge is very important since we sell so many custom and stocked shirts. My selections go way beyond regular two ply cottons. Often I am making luxurious sea island cotton and higher counts with the hand of tissue paper and for most the issue raises some concern when spending the money to get these high quality hand made products. Below is a article that will help you with both cleaning and naturally removing stains. Particularly pit and collar stains! Let me know what you think in the comment box below and don't forget to get my free newsletter on clothing care advice and pro tips. Enjoy!
How to wash my shirts?
The best advice starting this out is to quit getting all of your dress shirts dry cleaned!! It is best to actually "COLD WASH" them yourself with a detergent that has a very limited fragrance added. I personally use baby detergent because of it's lack of chemicals and unnecessary fragrances. The result being that they keep the shirts looking and feeling fresh without the dryness and brittleness from dry-cleaning. Most dry cleaners will want to dry-clean your shirts because of the higher up-charge which equals more profit for them. The sad reality is that after chemically cleaning those shirts with the combination of tens of other people clothing can cause the fabric to never be the same again. Also, if the fabric is scorched after pressing then you may find that your dress shirt feels lacking in the body and stiff to the touch. Try to always cold wash your dress shirts together in a load yourself. Set the water temperature setting on cold wash, then hang up your shirts to dry naturally. If you live in a humid state like mine ( Florida ) then make sure to hang up your shirts inside your house as the humidity often leaves the shirts stiff and deeply wrinkled.
What if I have Pit Stains or Collar Stains?
Any pit and collar stain is from oil and perspiration blended deeply within very cotton fibers of your shirt. But don't worry, there is a way to get rid of this I promise. Not only can we get rid of it but we can do it naturally. But first I have to ask you a couple of questions that could help you in the future with this.
1) If you are perspiring enough to cause pit stains in your dress shirts then don't you think you should change your deodorant to a better anti perspiring stick?
2) Should you also consider wearing a undershirt if you are still sweating like a hog?
3) Are you wearing a aftershave that has oil based ingredients in it such as aloe? If so, this will totally stain your shirt collar. Search for a non oil based aftershave to use. There are hundreds out there just google search for them.
Now that you have applied these common solutions, it's now time to take off the existing stains on your dress shirts shirts. For me, this was common sense. I am a cyclist. I love riding. Sometimes when my bike chain gets incredibly gunky, and dirty from the road, I will take off the chain and put it in a bowl of hot water and dish washing soap. Yes, dish washing soap. The soap will degrease and properly take off all of the dirt, grime and oil. It's like having a brand new chain again minus the natural stretching from pushing those high 30mph speeds! So it is only logic if that one day I tried using Dawn as a natural way to remove oil based pit and collar stains. If it's really hard to get out, I take sea salt pieces and rub the wet fabric with it on my finger tips. This usually rubs out any existing stains. This method can be used for any stain actually. The reality is that I've only had to do this only a couple of times because I don't really cause stains in my shirts anymore because I use proper deodorant and aftershave eliminating the cause.
Here's a tip: The more you launder a shirt that has pit and collar stains, the harder it is to get out. It is better to attempt on taking off the stains immediately after noticing it with these methods.
Most people that I've given the advice to have thanked me with relief. If you found this helpful then let me know below. Also, if there are other clothing care advice you would like to know then just type away loudly at me.
written by: Tim Beasley
Pictures: Suit by Canali worn by Tim Beasley
Dawn Soap via web search
Spotlight with Leo Vanweersch: How this Optician Took His Love For Design To Create A One Of A Kind Bespoke Success read
The Personal Style of Geniuses Like Steve Jobs read
What German Scientist Found When Scanning People's Brains While Looking at 'The Dress' read
Trend Alert: The Shades of Purple read
The Spookiest Luxury Accessories For This Halloween read
Notes on Italian Wines read