Dress shirts are a staple in most wardrobes.
It is important to understand how to care for them and what fabrics are the right choice for your lifestyle:
- Natural fibers such as cotton and silk breathe well and are good choices for the warmer months. Although silk is higher maintenance than cotton. The higher the percentage of cotton, the better the shirt will breathe, so, if you perspire heavily, cotton is your best choice.
- There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to starching shirts. However, there are variables on how a shirt takes on starch. The thickness and weight of the fabric will determine how much starch the shirt will hold. Poly blends do not absorb starch at the same rate as 100% cotton, therefore, you may notice a difference in stiffness depending on the type of shirt.
- Collars and cuffs are either sewn, which have a softer feel, or fused, which are stiffer. While sewn collars tend to wrinkle or crease more, fused collars shrink more and hold more soil. While your personal preference should govern, check the quality of construction at the time of purchase.
- There are several conditions that can shorten the life of shirts:
- Heavy beard or five o’clock shadow rubbing on the collar
- Use of cologne, without immediate washing and attention
- Watchbands and jewelry that fray cuffs
- Heavy and regular use of starch
- Deodorant (be sure to rinse out perspiration as soon as possible)
- Lack of rotation (shirts are meant to be worn once every two weeks)
- Wearing shirts more than once without washing (biggest reason for ring around the collar and dingy-looking shirts)