A staple of every man’s wardrobe, a good white shirt is as indispensable as a solid pair of indigo jeans or a chunky pair of tan brogues.
The problem is, white shirts are high maintenance. From the yellow sweat stains which can all too quickly take hold of your underarms, to the challenge of hanging without getting funny bumps in the shoulders, to good old red wine stains – we’ve pulled together a foolproof guide to taking care of your shirts. The golden rule? Ditch your antiperspirant and get a deodorant instead.
1 | Alternate Your Shirts
As with suits, it is always advisable to have more than five shirts in your wardrobe, one for each day of the working week. Never over wear the same shirt, alternate them evenly and you will get a much longer life span. As soon as they start showing signs of wear on the cuff edge and collar then it’s time to say goodbye. Don’t be too precious.
2 | Take Care When Washing
Wash your shirts on a cool wash temperature. Washing them on high temperature will make the fabric brittle and eventually rip. Washing will cause shrinkage for the first time, usually no more than 5-7 percent if you follow the instructions. keep this in mind when you make your purchase, make sure you can fit a couple of fingers between the inside collar and your neck. Losing blood circulation to your head is an unattractive look and not good for the brain.
3 | Avoid Dodgy Detergents
When it comes to the laundering process avoid the use of biological washing detergents as these tend to erode the fabric, and always remove the collarbones before washing.
4 | Buy Yarn Dyed
Invest in yarn-dyed shirts, as these are colorfast, but wash dark colors separately to start with to make sure there is no mass color loss.
5 | Don’t Dry Clean
Try to avoid dry cleaning, if you do dry clean you should wash occasionally to eliminate the dry cleaning fluid. The same goes for starching and tumble-drying, these will both shorten your shirt’s lifespan.
6 | Hang Your Shirts
Hang your shirts up as soon as you’ve washed them. This will help the creases fall out as they dry, and help avoid the mildew that can occur when folding shirts if they’re still slightly damp.
7 | Iron Damp
Iron them with plenty of steam, if they happen to be slightly damp then even better as this will result in the cleanest press and prevent the fabric from getting worn out on the face.
8 | Avoid Antiperspirants
The marks you get underarm are from aluminum-based antiperspirants, which will rot the stitching under the arms. Thus you should use deodorant and not an antiperspirant
9 | Know your colors
Make sure you always have at least two white shirts, two blue and one pink/lilac in your wardrobe. This will give you the foundations to invest in stripes and checks later on.
10 | Tailored, Not Tight
Avoid wearing anything that’s too tight in the body. Like a tailored garment, you must choose a fit that will give you comfort for the 10-12 hours that you will be wearing it. Always choose fine cotton and not a polyester or rayon mix – This causes sweat and irritates the skin.