When you get home from an enjoyable night out, the last thing you want to think about is doing your laundry. Quickly taking care of your black-tie attire after you get home greatly increases the lifespan of your clothing. It also saves you time, money and stress later when you’re in need of a particular shirt that might have been dirtied up at your last event. Learn how to properly care for your black-tie clothing articles, and why you should take your clothes to your local Kitsilano dry cleaners.
Care for Formal Shirts
Caring for your formal shirts is a delicate process. Formal shirts should only be laundered, never dry cleaned. Starching reduces a shirt’s longevity, so only have it starched every other cleaning to get the maximum lifespan out of your shirt. When cleaning your stiff-front shirts, most of the shirt should only be lightly starched or not starched at all. Only heavily starch the bib, cuffs and collar.
Shirts that have turndown collars need to be hand-pressed when they are professionally laundered. Hand-pressing turndown collars avoids that unwanted sheen that can develop along the edges of the collar where the fabric is thicker.
Care for Suits
The best way to care for suits is to briefly clean them after each time you wear them. After you get home from your event, brush off any superficial dirt on your suit with a clothes brush. Raise the nap of the fabric, and remove any minor stains that you see with a damp cloth. At the end of the night, hang up your suit in a laundry room or washroom to allow any odors to air out. If your suit managed to wrinkle on your night out, iron the wrinkled spots at home, or have it professionally pressed at the dry cleaners as soon as you can.
The chemicals used in the dry cleaning process have a tendency to dry the natural moisture out of a suit’s fabric. Because of this, your suits should be dry cleaned as little as possible to maintain their good condition. When getting your suits cleaned, have your jacket and trousers cleaned together just in case the cleaning process affects their coloring.
Remember, cleaning your suit as soon as possible after you wear it reduces the need for more professional cleaning later, while also increasing its lifespan. Additionally, prompt cleaning allows your suit to already be ready to wear again the next time you need your best attire.
Care for Patent Leather Shoes
Cleaning your patent leather shoes after you get home for the night also keeps them in their best condition for much longer. Before you clean your shoes, use a soft shoe brush to remove any visible dirt or other particles from the seams. Then, use a soft, cotton cloth with either warm water and dishwashing detergent or mineral water to wipe down your shoes. Once your shoes have been cleaned and are completely dry, shine them up by rubbing them down with a soft, smooth cloth.
Over time, the edges of your shoes’ soles and the heels become scraped and worn, at which point you should take your shoes to a reliable shoemaker for touch-ups. Keep in mind that patent leather should be cared for like a plastic, not a natural material since it is made of leather coated with a synthetic finish.
Put Your Black-Tie Attire Away Until Your Next Event
Properly storing your clothing is essential if you want to keep them in optimal condition. Hang your suit jackets onto wooden hangers that are shaped to mimic the design of your jacket. Rather than covering your jacket with the plastic cover it came with from the store, cover it with a garment bag made of cloth to allow the fibers to breathe while keeping out moths and dust.
Patent leather shoes best maintain their size and shape when you insert a shoe tree before storing them away. Trees made of cedar are best at absorbing any excess moisture in your shoes. Protect your shoes further by storing them in individual cotton shoe bags to prevent them from getting scratched.
Take Your Clothes to a Kitsilano Dry Cleaners
Now that you know how to provide basic care for your black-tie attire at home, you can keep your clothes looking newer, longer. When your clothes need professional care, West Boulevard Cleaners, your local Kitsilano dry cleaners, is here to help.