Wardrobe Care Tip: Caring for Your Shirts

Law of Style #23 from the book The Laws of Style: Sartorial Excellence for the Professional Gentleman by Douglas A. Hand

Because your shirt lies close to your body, whether or not you wear an undershirt (a practice for and against which there is certainly some fair debate), it should be laundered regularly and, as such, will be exposed to the most wear and tear of any of the items of your wardrobe other than your shoes.

The easiest way to care for your shirts is, like your other business apparel, to outsource their cleaning to reputable dry cleaners. As we’ve discussed, this relationship is an important one. If there are specific stains on your shirts that need to be addressed, point them out to your cleaner. If you’re not sure if they will unbutton button-down collars before cleaning or remove collar stays, ask them. If they break buttons, ask them to replace them, and further, ask them to do this before they send your shirts back to you. You are a Professional Gentleman. Your cleaner should know that you are not a man who wants to walk into any professional situation with a broken button, a stain, or some other imperfection of his shirt that could easily be avoided by the partnership with a good cleaner. Tip your cleaner for good service. Give them respect. Develop this important relationship.


Law #23
“The Professional Gentleman shall have and maintain a
good relationship with his cleaners”


If you have the time and the inclination (or have a trusty housekeeper who does laundry well), cleaning and folding your own shirts is not only perfectly acceptable but may bring you into a more intimate relationship with your clothes — and not in a creepy way.


Law of Style #23 from the book The Laws of Style: Sartorial Excellence for the Professional Gentleman by Douglas A. Hand