Of all the garments we make, custom shirts go through more intense wear and tear on an everyday basis than most others. They touch much more of your skin (and therefore absorb much more of your sweat) than your sport coats. More closely hugging the contours of your body, even the best shirt fabrics will wrinkle to some extent with normal use. Today, we’ll discuss how to maintain and care for custom shirts.
5 Custom Shirt Care Tips
All custom clothing requires higher quality care than you might otherwise give to cheaper, ready-made clothes. Below are our top five tips to get the most wear, confidence, and enjoyment out of your shirts.
High-Quality Cloth Is Your Friend
Just like a superior burger starts with high-quality beef, a superior shirt starts with high-quality fabric. Fabrics with thread counts in the 80’s-120’s made with robust 2-ply weaves offer the most bang for your buck in terms of performance and comfort. Cloth in these ranges have a luxurious handle, resist wrinkling naturally (to an extent), recover more quickly after wear, and even release smells better.
Why is this relevant? When your clothes perform better in the first place, they require less maintenance and are thus easier to care for.
Hang Them Up When They’re Not On You
As we alluded to above, your shirts – or any garments, really – need time to recover after being worn for hours on end. To allow shirts to recover most efficiently, hang them on a hanger, button the collar, and let them breathe outside of your closet for about twenty-four hours (they need physical space to air out). If the cloth is good quality, lots of wrinkles will naturally fall out and (minimally offensive) smells will be released.
Invest In A Steamer
Not all wrinkles will fall out on their own, and having a steamer around is an extremely convenient hack for this. Judicious use of a steamer will make a tired shirt look refreshed and ready to go in two minutes or less.
Clean Them On An As-Needed Basis
You will eventually need to clean your shirts – it’s inevitable. The schedule varies from shirt to shirt, but if you follow the suggestions above, you’ll get about 5-6 wears per shirt in between launderings. Over time, you’ll notice that collars and cuffs tend to wear the fastest – they get dirty more quickly and receive more stress than other parts of the shirt.
Note that we mention “laundering” instead of “dry cleaning” for shirts. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t dry clean shirts, of course. Other forms of cleaning – namely “wet cleaning” work well for shirts, the vast majority of which are made of cotton. Talk to your dry cleaner about it when you drop off your clothes – in case you missed it, here are some questions to ask your dry cleaner.
Ask About Repairs Before Replacing
One of the less-discussed benefits of a custom shirt collection is the ability to repair and/or replace parts, pending availability of those parts. Let’s take the example of a shirt that’s in great condition, save for a frayed collar. Instead of replacing it or throwing it away, we can simply put a new collar on it. The same goes for cuffs – in fact, the practice of wearing white collars and cuffs with differently-colored shirts arose from the fact that these areas wear the fastest. Replacing only these areas minimized waste and maximized the lifespan of the shirts.
If your cuffs are fraying, let us know. Has a button popped off for some unknown reason? Again, let us know. If fabric or other parts are available, you can extend the life of that shirt you love so much that you wore through part of it!
Maintaining and caring for your custom shirts isn’t difficult, it just requires a bit of thought.
Up-and-down as things continue to be, many of us are returning to offices sooner or later. Take a look through your closet and take stock of your shirts – do you still like them? Do they fit (highly relevant as many guys have either lost or gained noticeable amounts of weight as a result of pandemic-induced lifestyle changes)? If it’s time for a refresh, give us a call at 215-310-0219 or email email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.