WARDROBE CARE TIPS

During a career, a professional will invest more money in his wardrobe than the combined services of his CPA, attorney, and physician. Protect your investment by following these important tips.

Suits, Sport Coats, Blazers

Hang on a curved wooden hanger. This permits the suit to breathe and encourages the coat’s “memory” to return the coat to its original shape.

When in the car, take off the coat. This will keep it from wrinkling. This also prevents pulling on the seams and lining. Keep a hanger in your car.

When a hanger is not available and you wish to remove your coat, turn the coat inside out with the shoulders touching. Lay the coat on a flat surface or drape over a chair or car seat. By turning the coat inside out, the outer shell is protected from lint and other soil.

Do not wear a suit more than once a week. By doing this, it allows the wrinkles to drop out and permits the fabric to breathe. It also helps the coat to return to its natural shape.

Leave suits out overnight before returning them to the closet. This permits the garment to air-dry without introducing moisture to your closet environment.

Dry clean only when absolutely necessary, not more often than once every three months. If badly soiled, blot with a damp cloth. If you get caught in a rain shower or have a very long humid day, just having the suit pressed properly will restore its neat appearance.

If your coat or pants are wrinkled, have them pressed only. This not only will save the cost of dry cleaning, but will maintain the natural oils and bounce that are inherent with fine fabrics.

To keep your suit looking new for many seasons, brush it with a good cloth brush frequently to remove the buildup of dust, lint and pollutants. This also will fluff up the nap of the wool and help prevent shining.

Trousers

Generally, you would follow the same guidelines listed above for your suits.

Additionally, hang trousers on a clip hanger by the cuffs. This will allow the wrinkles to hang out, prevent hanger bar creases and rolls, and help the trouser to breathe more easily. Use the pant bar to hang coordinating ties for the suit or sport coat.

To avoid associated stress on pocket and trouser side seams, do not walk with your hands in your pockets.

In the winter, static electricity may cause your trouser leg to cling to your socks when you stand up or walk. If this happens, dampen your hands with water and lightly rub them over your socks. This will allow your pant crease to drop straight.

Shirts

The advantage of a blend instead of all cotton is that a blend is wrinkle resistant. Cotton shirts wrinkle. Do not look for other advantages in wearing blends; there are none. Cottons are far superior in all other categories with durability and comfort at the head of the list.

Have shirts professionally laundered. They will last longer, and look more crisp. Only use a laundry facility that does the work on the premises. Light or no starch is a personal preference.

Tuxedo shirts should be laundered with no starch. The reason for this is that starch gives shirts a yellow tone over a period of months. If you prefer starch, wash the shirt at home after the event, and then before the next formal event, have it professionally laundered with starch.

Neckties

The most economical way to get a new look is to change your tie.

Do you have sixty or a hundred and wear only six or seven favorites? Do yourself a favor and pick out four favorite ties for each outfit and hang them with the jacket or pants. Then as hard as it may be, give the others to charity, your son, or throw them away.

Untie your tie the same way you tied it. This reduces wear and tear, particularly to the lining at the small end of the tie. It also prevents wrinkling. Never jerk the small end of the tie without loosening the knot.

Having a tie dry cleaned ruins it. Try to wash by hand with Woolite if possible. Otherwise, sorry, but it is time to let go.

Keep an extra tie in the office in case you dip one in your chili.

Shoes

When not in use, always use quality toe and heel cedar shoe trees.

Baking soda, lightly sprinkled inside the shoe, will absorb moisture and act as an odor guard.

Do not wear the same shoes on consecutive days. Allow them to dry thoroughly and rest between uses. Air out shoes overnight before returning them to your closet.

Spend the proper time having your shoes shined. They are an investment just like the other items in your wardrobe. Extend their life with a shoe shine about every third time that you wear the shoe (probably more often in winter).

Belts and Leather Goods

Like shoes, all leather collects moisture. It is the natural enemy of leather goods. Permit them to air-dry thoroughly prior to returning them to the drawer or closet.

Remember to always coordinate the color of leather shoes to belts or suspenders. Do not wear the same belt on consecutive days. It will crack the lining and may ruin its appearance.

Socks and Underwear

Quality over-the-calf socks are recommended. They are the best way to improve the look of the trouser, and they remain in place best.

Boxers versus briefs? I won’t even touch that one. You should know by now what you like!