Your shirts are an investment both in fashion and in function, so it pays to take care of them. Wear & tear of clothing is inevitable, as the phrase suggests, and you’re bound to have to replace them eventually, but there are some things you can do to make them last longer. The process itself is not overly complicated, but as long as you stick to a few basic rules, you will be able to extend the lifespan of your shirts and get the maximum out of them.
1. Alternate Shirts
The biggest cause of wear & tear on a shirt is, obviously, wearing them. But unless you’re a surfer, there’s no way to spend most of your days without wearing a shirt. So the best thing you can do is alternate between shirts. Have more than 5 shirts in your wardrobe and alternate between them. Don’t wear the same shirt so much that it deteriorates, and switch between them often enough and you’ll be able to keep your favourite shirts for much longer. Pay attention to the collars and cuffs for fraying, and you’ll know when to replace them.
2. Wash with Care
Pay attention to the instructions on the shirt when it comes to washing. Wash with cold water. The first wash might cause some shrinkage, depending on the material. Avoid bad or overly strong detergents. Avoid tumble dryers as they will erode the fabric. Instead, air-dry them.
3. Store on Hangers
Store your shirts on hangers. Wooden ones are best. Don’t have hangers that are wider than the shirt shoulders or it will stretch the shirt out. Keep the shirt shoulders well laid out on the hanger and give the material a little pull to make sure the wrinkles are tugged out. Store them in your wardrobe with some space in between them, so your shirts hang smooth.
4. Iron Damp
Try not to dry iron a shirt. Either use an iron with steam or use a spray to dampen the shirt slightly before ironing. This will prevent both the shirt material from getting damaged and that shine you see sometimes from an overly hot iron. Iron the shirt in this order - first the collar, then the cuffs, then the rest of the shirt.
5. Pack Properly
You’re going to need to take your shirts with you when you travel, so packing them well is important. Button your shirt up completely, place a cardboard band under the collar to keep it stiff, and a piece of paper on the back before folding the shirt over it. This will help keep the shirt from getting squashed too much when baggage handlers throw your luggage around like a football.
6. Watch out for the Deo
The marks you see on the underarms of many of your friends’ shirts come from their antiperspirant. Aluminium-based antiperspirants will rot the material of your shirt and stain it quite a bit. There’s no way we’d suggest not wearing something for underarm sweat, but you can either stick to deodorant, get an antiperspirant that is not aluminium-based, or just wear an undershirt.