Words by Vlad Tichen
A great wardrobe is not complete without good shirts. But once you build a quality selection, how do you make them last? Here are a few tips worth talking about.
How to store your shirts
The obvious and most optimal way to store your shirts is to have them hanging on a hanger. This will keep them from creasing in your wardrobe.
To maintain the structure of the collar, make sure to button up a couple of the top buttons on each shirt. If you don’t have much space in your closet, you could keep a few shirts on the same hanger, one on top of the other.
If there is no space at all and if you're not too fussed about having a few wrinkles, the next best thing would be having your shirts folded up on shelves.
How to get your cuffs and collar spotlessly clean
The collar and cuffs are the first to get dirty, simply because they're in constant contact with the body. So even if the rest of the shirt is clean, I suggest washing it after one or two wears in order to prevent visible marks appearing.
Just spray the affected areas with a good stain remover before washing. (We recommend Sard Multi-Purpose Stain Remover or Napisan Vanish Oxi Action.)
Make sure to unbutton the cuffs, turn the shirt inside out and set the temperature to a 30 degrees cycle, without a tumble dry - we don’t want to create too much stress on the fabric.
How to avoid armpit staining on shirts
The yellow staining appearing in the armpit area of your shirts is a combination of aluminum-based antiperspirants and your sweat. If this happens, I suggest washing shirts straight after wearing them as the armpit stains are much harder to remove once they set in. Same way you deal with your shirt’s collar and cuffs, apply a stain remover spray to the area prior to washing. It would also be worth looking into finding a non-aluminium antiperspirant.
How to avoid fabric tearing
1. Wear-and-tear solution
Contrary to popular belief, a shirt that is made out of more expensive fabric might not serve you longer. It’s quite the opposite, actually - a thin premium poplin fabric shirt is more likely to wear down faster than your inexpensive, but sturdy button-down made out of thick oxford cotton. So my advice to those building up a long lasting shirt collection would be to find a few mid-weight cotton shirts with durability.
2. Occasional damage solution
I'm the first one to say that fit is the most important thing. But “well-tailored” doesn't necessarily mean “tight”. When getting a new shirt, make sure that while it's still fitted, it has enough room in the chest, armholes and around the waist. An easy way to check whether it works would be to try and lace up your shoes while having the shirt on - if it’s not uncomfortable and doesn’t pull badly around the armpits, it’s good to go.
How to give a second life to an old shirt
There are a few ways to up-cycle your old, but dearly loved shirt. If it’s a quality make, it might pay off to invest a bit of money into it.
For instance, if you notice that the cuffs and collar of your formal blue shirt has started fraying at the edges, you could replace them with a set of fresh white ones for that Wolf of Wall Street look.
Or if the shirt in question is a bit more casual, take it to a local tailor and ask them to remove the top part of the collar and cut its sleeves off. These simple alterations will turn your old, beaten-up shirt into a refreshed summer shirt complete with band collar and short sleeves.