Dress Shirt Care: A Gentleman's Guide to Keeping Dress Shirts Dapper and Fresh

So, you've invested in a luxurious custom dress shirt that exudes style and sophistication. But now comes the important question: How do you keep that shirt looking sharp and impeccable? Let's dive into the nitty-gritty of dress shirt care.

Washing and Drying:

First things first, always check the care instructions on your dress shirt. Each fabric will have its specific requirements, and you certainly don't want to tumble into a mishap. In general, though, most dress shirts can be machine washed in cold or cool water. 

To respect the fine craftsmanship of your custom dress shirt, stick to a gentle cycle and avoid harsh chemicals like bleach or aggressive detergents. Opt for a mild, color-safe detergent instead. 

If you are aiming for longevity, the best option is to skip the dryer. Instead, air dry your dress shirts by laying them flat or hanging them up to dry. This reduces the risk of shrinkage, maintains the shape, and prevents those dreaded ironing sessions. 

However, keeping practicality in mind, not all of us have the space or time to opt for air-drying in which case tumble drying on low or no heat is the next best option.


Ironing and Steaming:

Ironing your non-iron dress shirts is a necessary evil to achieve that perfectly crisp and polished look. Setting the iron to the appropriate temperature is key. Too much heat can damage the fabric, while too little will leave your shirt looking less than dashing.


An alternative option is to invest in a garment steamers. These devices effortlessly remove wrinkles and creases, turning your morning routine into a breeze. Just remember to steam the shirt while it's hanging or laid flat, and watch those wrinkles vanish into thin air.


Are you supposed to dry clean dress shirts?

Not really. Dry cleaning is the required option for sensitive fabrics like silk and wool. It is not a required option for cotton based dress shirts. In fact, washing a dress shirt in water is the most common way of cleaning it, and most professional cleaners will do the same unless you explicitly ask for the shirt to be dry cleaned. Dry cleaning is actually not effective at getting perspiration and water-based stains out of cotton. That said, if your cotton based dress shirt has an oil-based stain that is difficult to get rid off, dry-cleaning will have a better chance of getting the stain out.

Do 100% cotton shirts always shrink?

Pre-shrunk cotton usually only shrink 2-5%. For most people, if your shirt is not too snug the difference will not be noticeable. However, non- pre-shrunk cotton can shrink significantly up to 20%.

High heat is usually the reason cotton shrinks. The best way to protect your 100% cotton dress shirts is to wash them in cold or cool water. And dry them on low or no heat.