What is the proper cleaning cycle for suits and shirts? After an investment in higher quality clothes, I want to make sure they last long and don't wear down from too many trips to the cleaners.—Paul, Massapequa, NY
A very good question. You know how guys like to be hands-on when it comes to washing and detailing their cars? Well, the responsibility for cleaning your good clothes should be in your hands, too. Like a sports car, your clothes help maintain your image. So launder your shirts yourself if you can, paying special attention to the care label. Avoid high heat and remove them when they’re just about dry. That way, when you—drum roll—iron them with the very good iron you’ve invested in, you can show off the skills you learned from Martha.
To complete your in-home care for your clothes, purchase a steamer and a stiff-bristled clothes brush. Giving your suits a steam between wearings will increase their longevity and keep them looking crisp. Once a season, have your suits dry cleaned. But because some dry cleaning establishments can hurt rather than help your wardrobe, consider asking your tailor to steer you in the right direction. Or ask the folks you bought your suits from. Chances are they’ll know of places that will display the same care for your clothes as you do.
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