Recently a reader wrote in and asked
“Hi guys, awesome site. Could you do some articles about a topic that eludes I think quite a few of us…how to take care of the clothes (especially expensive or not so) we buy. I’m really lost when it comes to maintaining anything over throwing it in the laundry and maybe giving it to a dry cleaner.”
This is a very good question that begs consideration. Once you get to the point of your life where you can afford to buy nicer articles of clothing, you’re going to want take care of them and keep them fresh. Otherwise you’ll find yourself spending more money on replacing nice clothes than wearing them.
One thing you’ll want to think about once you start buying nice clothes is where you’re wearing them to. Location and how often you wear the clothes are things to be considered. A suit you wear to a crowded dive bar and out all over town needs more care than maybe one you wear to work in a controlled environment without alcohol and smoke. This goes with nice shoes or nice anything you own the number one question might be how often will items get dirty, smelly, and worn. The second question is how often your nice clothes should be cleaned. Also if we’re talking dry cleaned over machine washed etc etc etc. Below are my thoughts on some items
Suits- Will always be dry cleaned. How often is the real question. Believe it or not suits have a dry clean breaking point. The more expensive the suit is the less you should really dry clean because of that breaking point. So let’s say you have a $2,000+ custom made suit. You should really be wearing that thing out to high end lounges, fancy occasions, big business deals. Let’s just say it’s not suit you wear every day. For this reason the only real upkeep you should need after a wear is getting wrinkles out. For this you simply put back on the hanger and let it hang in the bathroom while you take a hot shower and a few minutes after. The steam should get rid of most of the major wrinkles. A super expensive suit / Tuxedo shouldn’t be dry cleaned more than once every three to six months. Now an everyday work suit or one where you wear club hopping on Saturday night and is less expensive can get the once a month or two treatment. Just know there is a breaking point with this suit so the more often dry clean the sooner the breaking point.
Dress shirt- Dress shirts are pretty straight forward. Especially button up for work. Again there’s a breaking point. For dress shirts you wear to work I’d say dry clean them after every two wears depending and for the first three to six months. After that though might as well throw them in the washer on delicate.
Nice jeans- This year I really fell in love with a pair of selvedge jeans from J crew. I plan to do a post on these jeans later on. By now you’ve heard the rumors an I’m here to tell you that with these types of jeans and most high end jeans you don’t really have to watch them as much as you think. With each wash they lose the ability to conform to the shape of your legs. Most jean experts I’ve read recommend throwing them in a plastic bag and putting them in the freezer overnight to get rid of any odor. Also spot cleaning is highly recommended. If you must machine wash your jeans turn them inside out, use detergent that’s made for dark colors only, and let air dry. Again I’ll have future post on this alone.
Shoes – Nice leather dress shoes you should go ahead and be a real man and shine those puppies at least once a month. Kiwi sells all kinds of kits that are in expensive as hell and worth it. This is just a simple smart investment on a great pair of shoes. A quick fix for those who don’t know how to shoe shine or might not have the time is to buy some leather shoe cleaner from different store brands like Aldo or at any shoe store on the planet.
That should be about it. But to cover ALL your cleaning needs to really take care of your clothes a great sight to check out that’s one of my favorites for dress cleaning supplies is The Laundress. Honestly I could write a whole blog post about this but once you reach that certain grown age where you’re buying expensive shit this is the one stop place to keep it all clean. You’re jeans, your fancy sheets , shoes, soaps for that oil wring around your collar on your white dress shirts. You really need to get into this site if you’re serious about fabric upkeep.