Caring for Your Investment

You have invested in your wardrobe and now you need to know how to make it last. We have the tips you need for long life.

Knit Shirt Care

Pretreat collars and stains with a spot remover (we recommend Spray n Wash)

Use liquid fabric softener in the wash cycle and wash in cold water

Do not dry knit shirts in the drier – hang dry

Suit Care

A good suit should last you a long time if you take care of it properly. And let’s be honest, it is one of the most expensive things in your wardrobe, so you should do what you can to preserve its longevity.  With that said . . .

Stuffing your pockets with keys, change and other assorted items will put strain on the seams, don’t do it.

Unbutton your suit jacket before you sit down otherwise you will be pulling on it.  Also, as you are sitting, pull your pants up at the thigh just a little so you don’t stretch the fabric too much. Both of these things will also make you more comfortable.

Hang your suit on a good wooden hanger that is made for suits and store it in a breathable garment bag for protection.  Avoid cramming it in between lots of other clothes, which will cause it to wrinkle.

Dry clean your suit only when necessary. In between cleanings, have it pressed or steamed and spot clean when required.

A clothes brush is a great thing–brush your suit with one when you take it off to keep it clean and looking good.

Shirt Care

Because proper care is defined by so many factors-the amount the fabric has been preshrunk, its weave and construction- we recommend that you read the care instructions on the label and launder the shirt before wearing it.

Launder shirts in cold water.

Detergents should be used sparingly and tumble drying avoided if possible. Starch and heat break down cotton fibers and shorten the life of your shirt. Request that the laundry use only light starch or no starch and that the shirts be pressed no longer than 19 seconds and at no more than 285F.

For soiled collars or stains, use a spot cleaner (Spray n Wash) on the area before washing or taking to the laundry.

If properly laundered, a shirt will reach its permanent stability after 4-5 washings.  Changes in size after that are due to improper care and are irreversible.

As with all things beautiful, natural fibers will reward your careful handling with years of beauty and dependable service.

Tie Care

Rolling up the tie from the narrow end first and leaving it for a couple of days will remove wrinkles in the tie.

Cut any loose threads on your tie. Pulling them can do major damage to your tie.

Don’t wear the same tie twice in a row, a tie needs time to return to its normal shape.

Always unknot your tie when you are not wearing it, leaving it knotted can damage the tie and create permanent wrinkles.

To untie your tie, reverse the tying procedure. Pulling the smaller end through the knot can cause the tie to stretch out of shape.

Steam your ties, try to avoid ironing your tie. Hard ironing flattens the body and can cause the material to shine.

Do not wash your tie, most ties will shrink unevenly when washed in water due to different shrink rates of the various materials inside of the tie.

Do not bring your ties to a commercial dry cleaner, when ties are pressed the inside “gum” of the tie becomes damaged and silk ties will lose their luster

Be careful not to get any cologne on your tie when putting it on, cologne can damage the color of a tie.

Do not rub stains, it causes fabric abrasion and loss of color, instead blot the affected region and let it dry. Then gently scrape the surface with your fingernail or rub the small end of the tie on the stain

More serious stains can be removed with spot remover or other mild cleaning agents, but test the remover in an inconspicuous area (such as the back of the tie) first to make sure the remover won’t damage the tie.

Fashionable Advice

What is Casual, Business Casual, Business Dress, Formal, etc. ?

Casual dress is attire that you may wear at social gatherings away from work or out on the town.

Acceptable business casual clothing includes sweaters, sport shirts, and slacks.

Business dress is formed around a suit.  The suit is typically dark-colored (with or without a pattern), grey, dark blue or brown. The suit is worn with a long-sleeved shirt and tie.  Socks should be matched to the color of the trouser.

Formal dress is broken down into several categories.  The two most common categories are white and black tie.  White tie is the most formal dress and worn only after 6 o’clock.    Black tie is considered semi-formal, although it is the most common formal dress.

Companies expect employees to use good judgment and professionalism when they dress for work.

What color shoe do I wear?

For the most part, this is a personal preference.  Most items look good with black or brown.  With today’s variations of brown, you can wear brown shoes with any color…olive, gray, and often even black!  Typically, when wearing brown shoes with a black pair of slacks or even a black sport coat, the accessories are what tie the entire ensemble together.  And don’t forget, your belt should always complement your shoes.

Can I wear a patterned tie with a patterned shirt?

Yes!  In fact, the style is now to where you can wear a patterned suit, shirt, and tie all together.  That said, the patterns should work with each other, not against each other.  If you are wearing a narrow pinstriped suit, you would not want to wear a striped shirt (of the same width) with a striped tie (of the same width).   It would look much better to wear that same suit with a checked or windowpane patterned shirt and a bold striped tie.

Don’t forget the accessories!

Accessories can make the outfit!  Clean, polished shoes and a matching belt go a long way in completing your appearance.  Also, don’t forget to finish an ensemble with a complimentary pocket square.

Seasonal clothing – when is it appropriate to wear what?

In the south, seersucker suits are a summer tradition.  That tradition also carries with it a certain window of opportunity to strut your stuff.  A lot of people will say that you can only wear seersucker between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  In today’s society, that is simply not correct.  The more opportune time period to wear seersucker is from Easter, no matter how early it may fall, until late September.  Just because you may get two weeks of hot weather in December, it is not ok to pull your favorite summer garment out of the closet.  And yes, you can wear a striped tie with suit.  Just make sure the stripes are not too busy.

Linen is another light weight fabric that makes hot summer days more bearable.  It’s “wearability” tends to fall relatively close to the same time period as seersucker.  Linen, however, can be worn into the fall easier and longer than seersucker due to it’s availability in earth tones and darker colors.

Corduroy and flannel trousers are great on a 40 degree January day when it is spitting rain, but have no place in a mid-June wardrobe.  Both of these garments should be worn from the first day of cool weather in the fall through the first warm spell in April.  The same goes for flannel suits and corduroy sportcoats.