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A Cleaner World Blog

Common Problems with Men’s Dress Shirts

Who doesn’t love the look of a freshly pressed, crisply starched white men’s dress shirt?  The white dress shirt is a staple in every man’s wardrobe.  If you’re not wearing it with a suit, you could wear it with jeans and a blazer, with a pair of khakis or trousers, or with chino shorts.

Sadly, even the highest-quality men’s dress shirts do not last forever, and they are subjected to a good deal of abuse.  

  1. Fraying Collars – All garments are subject to wear over time, but the collar area of a men’s dress shirt seems especially susceptible to early fraying.  That is because the collar sees lots of activity thanks to repeated folding, rubbing from a beard or stubble, and starch which weakens the fabric.  To mitigate this type of damage, consider purchasing shirts with a heavy, tight weave because they are more durable than oxfords or thinner woven shirts.  
  2. Fraying Cuffs – This area, just like the collar, takes a lot of abuse and tends to wear out almost as quickly as the collar.  Technically, it can be repaired by a good tailor or seamstress, but the cost may make it more economical to just go purchase a new shirt.
  3. Discoloration – Shirts can dull over time, leaving them looking grayish.  That is because the optical brightness eventually fades, leaving the shirt looking dull.  Perspiration and deodorant buildup can cause yellowing under the arm.  To reduce this problem, allow deodorant to completely dry before getting dressed, and consider wearing an undershirt with your dress shirt.  These stains can be difficult to remove, but immediately washing after each wearing can reduce some of that buildup.  Finally, yellowish or brownish spots may appear with time.  These spots are likely from food or beverage spills and stains that were not completely removed which led the sugars to oxidize.  Sometimes these problems are difficult to reverse but seeking guidance from a professional could prove fruitful.
  4. Broken Buttons – Dastardly broken buttons our are nemesis!  Buttons can crack because of the heat or force from the shirt press, but our Quality Control Staff is trained to catch broken buttons and replace them before shirts go out the door.  Our policy is “In with 12, Out with 12.”  If we fail to deliver on that, return the shirt, and we will replace the buttons and refund the cost of cleaning.
  5. Sleeve Tears – Do you rest your elbows on your desk while working?  If so, this can cause the fabric to weaken eventually leading to a tear above the sleeve placket.  

How long will your dress shirts last?  Six months?  One to two years?  It really depends on how often you wear them and what type of care you provide.  If you rotate them regularly to reduce wear, wash them after each wearing, wear an undershirt, use caution with watches and jewelry, stay clean shaven, and do not use starch, you may extend their life.  

All that seems like a lot of work; instead, just bring them to A Cleaner World where we will use our professional grade detergents, state-of-the-art equipment, and tender loving care to keep them looking just as good as the day you brought them home from the store.

folded white dress shirt
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