A white shirt is the true wear-anywhere closet staple and the workhorse of your professional wardrobe. There are many ways to style and wear it every day at work and in your free time. A classic white shirt is one of the most universal pieces of clothing a woman’s and man’s wardrobe.
We bet that if you work in a corporate environment, you probably have at least a couple of really great shirts. Although you are wearing it almost every day (or at least a couple times a week), you probably still face the struggle of taking care of them properly.
A button down white shirt is demanding. One wrong move and you can say good bey to your favorite shirt.
Taking it to dry cleaners every time? Well, let’s not get crazy here. It is such a waste of time! Who wants to wait in traffic after a long day at work? And at least once a week going back there? We are all busy people and time is the most expensive buy these days. So to save time and money here are seven tips that our office ladies use daily:
NO. 1 Preparation
Before you wash your white shirt, undo all the buttons - including the button cuffs - and remove any collar stays.
NO. 2 Pre-treat stains
We all know that feeling when freshly squeezed juice suddenly splashes on your perfectly white shirt… Usually, you don’t have enough time in the morning to take care of that, and after the long workday, we forget about them. Which leads us to a destroyed shirt. That is why for food, ink or sweat stains, you can pre-treat them with a stain remover. Let the formula soak in the fabric for about 20 minutes before you continue cleaning.
NO. 2 Avoid Antiperspirants
The marks you get under the arm are from aluminum-based antiperspirants, which will rot the stitching under the arms. Thus you should use deodorant and not an antiperspirant
NO. 4 Wash
If you want to keep your shirts white for a more extended period, you have to know how to wash it correctly.
Wash shirts in cold water using the delicate cycle on your washing machine. If you’re dealing with oil-based stains, warm water will improve the chances of the stain washing out. Just make sure you don’t do this too often as repeated warm washing can cause colors to fade.
Another important detail that some of us always forgets do not overload your washing machine. Clothing needs to circulate to get clean. If you fill your washing machine to the top, there will be no room for washing powder interaction with clothing.
NO. 5 Frequency
Wash your white shirts every one or two wears. Even if you can't see them, invisible body soils and perspiration can turn white fabrics yellow or grey over time.
NO. 5 Drying
Hang the shirt to dry on a plastic hanger and button up the top two buttons to maintain the shirt’s shape. If possible do not use the dryer - high-quality white shirts are often made with mother-of-pearl buttons which are not as strong as plastic and can break and chip in the dryer.
NO. 6 Ironing
Check the shirt’s label for its fabric content so you can select the appropriate heat setting on your iron. Cotton shirts or cotton-blend shirts can typically withstand higher heat than ones made of synthetic fabrics which require a lower temperature. For best results, shirts should be slightly moist. The usual order for ironing is collar, cuffs, sleeves, shoulders, fronts. Iron the back last then touch up anywhere that needs it.
NO. 7 Storage
Everyday shirts should be fully buttoned, hung on a sturdy hanger and stored in your closet. For shirts that you don’t often wear, store them in a cotton garment bag. The cotton allows for air to circulate and prevents the shirts from yellowing.
Hand washing is by far the gentlest way to care for your shirts and is the best method for prolonged wear. Usually, high-quality shirts are required to be washed by hands or if you have an opportunity - let the dry cleaning company to their job.
The best chance for removing ANY stain on white cotton or linen is to address it right away and wait for a while to soak up than wash it by hands or put it in a washing machine on a low temperature.
The usual order for ironing is collar, cuffs, sleeves, shoulders, fronts. Iron the back last then touch up anywhere that needs it. You can iron your white shirts with a regular iron or with steam - that is the safest way to keep your shirts form burning.
After ironing hang it on a hanger, button the top button, and hang outside the closet until remaining moisture evaporates.
Avoid bleach or use VERY sparingly. Instead, use non-chlorine bleach with peroxide or a detergent made especially for whites.
Avoid wearing anything too tight, especially if you washed it and the shirt shrunk - deal with that and move on to the next ones. You must feel comfortable 24/7, especially when you are at work and you need to concentrate on your job and not your outfit.
Always choose fine cotton and not a polyester or rayon mix, because these materials cause sweat and irritate the skin.
Of course, white shirts are the most wearable but don’t forget other colors. As a working lady, you should always invest in light blue, pink and beige colors - they always give you a great foundation to create different outfits every day.
Price is an important aspect when buying and taking care of shirts. There is an important thing to remember - good quality is never cheap. And if possible, you should not save money on a shirt that you would probably wear every day. Great cotton, mother of pearl button shirts, will cost you from 200 dollars and more, depending on fabrics, model difficulty, and brand. Of course, there is always a risk of overpaying, but it is better than underpaying because in the end you will lose your money and the shirt.
That is all from our team, but we bet that you have some secrets of yourself - maybe you could share it with us?