When it comes to formalwear, every component must be perfect. A tie out of place or an ill fitting trouser can ruin the sharp, simple look of a dinner suit or tuxedo. Nowhere is this more evident than the shirt – a creased or badly looked after shirt will immediately make your outfit look rushed and sloppy.
But do not fear, TSK has a selection of easy tips to keep your shirt looking fresh, smart and ready for any formal occasion. Obviously, the best and simplest way way to clean and press your shirt is to take it to a dry cleaners. Although worth it for a special shirt or an important event, take a bit of extra care washing and drying it yourself and you will achieve almost the exact same effect for a fraction of the cost.
Always Read The Label
This may seem a fairly obvious piece of advice, but it is crucial to read the care instructions on your shirt – they are there for a reason. Although ignoring a ‘Dry Clean Only’ symbol will not immediately ruin your shirt, it will soon lose its luster and shape. The same goes for tumble drying – always heed the instructions. Sometimes this may seem a more time consuming option, but it really will protect your shirt in the long run.
Preparing Your Shirt For The Wash
If it is an Oxford shirt, undo the collar buttons, otherwise, undo the rest of the buttons as well. Leave a few in the middle done up to prevent the shirt getting tangled up with your other clothing. That’s all you need to do.
Washing At Home
Whilst it is tempting to do your shirt washes on quick, fast cycles, take the time to put them on a more gentle wash. Shirts are a lot more delicate than you may imagine (particularly dress shirts) so a gentle wash makes the most sense. On a lot of newer machines you can choose the strength of the spin cycle, but if not go for a delicates or hand wash setting. For more day-to-day shirts, this is not necessarily as important, but do this from the start and you will really see the difference in time.
Ironing Your Shirt
If your shirt is very creased after being washed and hung out to dry, spray a little water on to the shirt before ironing. Less intense than using a steaming setting, the moisture will help remove heavy creases. Make sure you set your iron to the correct setting – often slightly cooler than the cotton setting works best for shirts. If adding steam try and used distilled water.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about hanging a shirt apart from ensuring that the shoulders fall properly onto the hanger. A wooden hanger works best but most shirts will be fine on a metal or plastic hanger. Shirt pressing experts argue that leaving your shirt undone will make it crease less, but here at TSK we recommend at least doing up a few of the buttons.