Theory of Shirt Care - Tips to increase life of your luxury shirts

Why it's important to care for your shirt?

A well fitted custom shirt takes time, effort and costs money. When you make such an investment in a custom made shirt, it pays to take proper care of your prized possession. Whether in the office or at home, your shirt is bound to undergo some wear. Read these tips to prolong your wardrobe's life and ensure it stays looking as fresh as the day you bought it. If an average garment stays in use three times longer than today, its carbon footprint is reduced by 65% and its water use by 66%. By caring for your shirt in the right way, you not only increase its life length, but also decrease its negative impact on the environment.


General Guidelines:

  • Always separate your whites from your coloured shirts
  • For emergency stain removal, mix cold water and seltzer to prevent it from setting. Otherwise, Marseille Soap does a great job at removing common, yet stubborn stains
  • Unbutton your shirt, turn up the collar and turn the shirt inside out
  • Do not overfill the washing machine. If in doubt, a 30-40 degree C temperature is usually a safe bet for shirts
  • Set the washing machine on a low spin-dry. However, it is recommended to hang clothes out to air-dry
  • Once the washing program is finished, hang it on a hanger and button the collar. Stretch the cuff, collar and front placket softly. Do not wring the shirt
  • A light ironing may be desirable for that extra finishing touch. Avoid ironing the cuffs and collar on a high heat setting, lower the heat and iron them gently


How to wash and keep your shirt crisp?

Before washing, separate your whites from your coloured shirts and turn it inside out in order to protect the buttons from chipping. Prepare the shirt by unbuttoning the cuffs and removing the collar stays. For normal wear shirts we recommend a 30-40 degree C washing program. For more soiled shirts you can use a 40-60 degree C washing program and if needed pre-treat any stain with a good detergent approximately 30 minutes before washing. Set the machine on low-spin dry program, which saves energy and reduces the wear and tear. Always try to fill your washing machine – without overfilling. Measure washing powder accurately and follow the advice on the washing powder package in order to reduce any surplus. The amount of washing powder is determined by the hardness of your water. Softer water requires less washing powder. Furthermore, we do not recommend using a fabric softener since it is unnecessary to get the shirt clean. If possible let your shirt dry on a hanger in room temperature.


Drying & Pressing:

To save some time, throw the shirt into a machine dryer—but for a few minutes, no more. Take the shirt out while it’s warm and damp. Hang it out to dry on a plastic hanger. When it’s still slightly damp, remove the shirt from the hanger and lay it on an ironing board. It’s time to iron.


What are the recommendations for dry cleaning?

Due to its high impact on the environment we do not recommend dry-cleaning our shirts. It involves chemicals that shorten the lifespan of a shirt, and causing major stress to the buttons. However, if need be please ask your cleaner to use light press and no starch. Do not press the shirt collar, cuffs and front placket.


How to prevent underarm stains?

Underarm stains are often caused by the reaction between anti-perspirant ingredients and the salts in sweat. Most anti-perspirants contain aluminium compounds to reduce wetness. The aluminium causes a build-up and yellowing on the fabric after continuous wear. To best avoid these stains try switching to an aluminium-free deodorant or a deodorant with minimal aluminium. After applying deodorant, allow it to dry before putting your shirt on to prevent rub-off on the fabric. If you have perspired while wearing a garment, wash it as soon as possible since stains are more difficult to remove once they have set.


How to remove common stains?

Stains can ruin any shirt as well as your mood. Try to treat the stain as soon as possible to avoid permanent damage. Avoid rubbing the stains, which can fray the fabric. These stains must be treated specifically before introducing your shirts into the wash. Red wine, chocolate and sweat stains are among some of the tougher ones to lift, but you can fight them using Marseille Soap, also known as Savon de Marseille, that does a great job at removing common, yet stubborn stains. Marseille Soap is cheap, durable, cost effective and easy to use. Below you will find general tips for removing common stains. Please note that none of the tips are guaranteed to remove stains.

  1. Put some cold water on the stain and rub the soap against the stained area
  2. Leave for a 5-10 minutes so the soap can lather on the shirt
  3. Rinse the lather from the shirt with cold water
  4. Place shirt into the washing machine and wash

How to iron your shirt?

First, spay a little water on your shirt to make it damp, but not soaking wet. Unbutton the shirt. Now, start with the collar back, then fold the collar and iron the top side. Hang the shirt of the end of your ironing board, and iron the shoulder and the shirt yoke. Then iron the sleeves and the cuff. Place the shirt across the board and iron down the back. Complete the ironing with the top button buttoned.

Expert Tip: Cotton shirts are much easier to iron when slightly wet.


How to fold your shirt?

Being able to expertly fold a shirt not only minimizes creases and makes best use of the space when travelling. It also means that you’re ready to do a quick change and get going the minute you reach your destination. Folding should be done in such a way that the shirts are kept neat, especially while traveling. First, lay the shirt down, ensuring it is smooth. To help you, place a piece of A4 or magazine on the back, just below the collar. Fold over the first side, behind the collar and alongside the paper. Fold the sleeves and repeat on the the opposite side. Fold it twice, start from the bottom and then in the middle. Turn the shirt over. With a bit of practice it should be easy to achieve a smooth front. Once you get this, it'll be ready to go into your bag and remain in great shape.