What’s the best way to care for your dress shirt?

Are you the owner of a dress shirt? If you do, you want the quality of material and fit of the shirt to last. Without locking it away and bringing it out only once a year, how can you care for your dress shirt? From washing it at the right temperature to storing it without misshaping, read on as CT Shirts, retailers of Charles Tyrwhitt dress shirts give you their top tips:

Store it correctly

Since a dress shirt usually only comes out in special occasions, it’s likely that your dress shirt will spend more time in your wardrobe than on your back. So, how can you make sure it stays in top condition and will still look great when you put it on?

You want to try and avoid your shirt collar curling. Thankfully, there are some things that you can to do avoid it. First of all, it’s often humidity that causes a collar to curl; the moisture in the room causes the material to change shape. Try and keep your dress shirts cool and dry or invest in a room dehumidifier to try and reduce the risk of this happening.

Don’t leave your shirt sitting after the washer or dryer spin has finished. This can also lead to collar curling due to the damp. Once washed or dried, remove your favourite shirt from the dryer and let the collar settle. When your dress shirt is hanging up, a good tip is to keep the top button fastened — this helps the shirt keep its shape and reduce the curling risk. One great investment is a collar stiffener. These can be used to try and bend collars slightly in the opposite direction of the curl and prevent it from being too obvious.

Ahead of purchasing the shirt, make sure it’s a good fit. If your collar is a little too tight around your neck, they’re more likely to curl and create that look that you really don’t want.

Keep your shirt well-spaced when hanging them up. If they don’t have space between them, the shape of the shirt can become distorted meaning they will no longer be as fitted.

Want to keep your cufflinks gleaming? A handy trick is to keep them in an airproof bag as this prevents them from losing their shine so quick.

When you iron your shirt, it’s best to steam it whilst it’s still damp. Begin with the underside of your collar and iron from the outside to the centre — keep the outer corner nice and taut.

Wash carefully

You might have a few worries when you put your shirt in the wash. Is it going to come out discoloured? A different colour? Follow these tips for a worry-free-wash:

Examine your shirt for any obvious stains, spillages or any signs of yellowing around the cuff and collar before you put your dress shirt in the wash. These areas need some extra treatment if you want your shirt to come out sparkling clean. If you do spot a few of these marks, create a paste with mixing detergent and water and rub this in — leave it for two minutes and then put it in the wash.

Take out your collar stiffeners before washing your shirt. This is especially important for those with brass collar stiffeners, as they can stain the shirt and cause issues in your washing machine filter.

Did you know that even soft detergent can be harmful. This is why you should turn your shirt inside out before putting it in the washing machine. You’ll also want to unbutton the shirt and cuffs so that the buttons do not become loose during the wash. This can cause them to become damaged and not look as neat as they once did. Similarly, the hot temperatures of a washing machine can be harmful for a shirt and lead to crinkling and misshaping — try to keep the heat low to prevent damage.

Look at the label

Take a look at the label to see which materials are listed. If it’s 100% cotton for example, many cotton mills advise against tumble drying at all. Instead, remove your shirt from the machine whilst it is still damp and hang it out to dry. You’ll probably notice that many of the creases come out this way too.

Dealing with a non-iron shirt? With these shirts, tumble drying can actually help with the properties of the shirt rather than damage it.

Whatever the material, always be careful when ironing. Always iron shirts when they are still damp, perhaps take them off the line before they’re fully dry. Use a steam iron too if possible as this keeps the material moist. Avoid ironing over the buttons whenever possible, they can become damaged and crack under the heat of an iron.

Those are our top tips! Invest in a collar stiffener, make sure it’s stored the right way and follow our hints on washing and drying. Remember to always check the label for product specific advice!

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