Proper Clothing Removal

It is important that you have an appropriate way of removing your clothing and keeping it in good shape for the next time you wish to wear it. The following are some suggestions I have garnered from other people that I respect in this regard. Look through this list and let me know what you have ideas or suggestions on that I may have overlooked.

Shoes : Lace Ups – Sit down and unlace the shoes, loosen the laces and remove with your hands, not the toe of the other foot. This damages the heel of the shoe and results in skinning up the back. Place the shoes in their respective positions where you keep them, turning them on their side to allow for better ventilation for at least one hour before putting in the cedar shoe trees you have for this pair of shoes. Make sure you don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Allowing the shoes to air dry appropriately is a good way to keep bacteria and yeast from growing inside. This is also a good time to inspect the shoes for scuffs and clean them for the next use. Use a horse hair shoe brush to clean the shoes thoroughly and if needed, apply a quick coat of shoe shine.

Shoes : Loafers – It is fairly easy to use the toe of your foot on the heel of the other shoe to push it down and lift your foot out of the shoe. This damages the heel of the shoe and results in skinning up the back. Sit down and remove both shoes carefully with your hands. Place the shoes in their respective positions where you keep them, turning them on their side to allow for better ventilation for at least one hour before putting in the cedar shoe trees you have for this pair of shoes. Make sure you don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Allowing the shoes to air dry appropriately is a good way to keep bacteria and yeast from growing inside. This is also a good time to inspect the shoes for scuffs and clean them for the next use. Use a horse hair shoe brush to clean the shoes thoroughly and if needed, apply a quick coat of shoe shine.

Pants – It is very easy to remove your leg from the pants by holding down the cuff with the big toe of your other foot. This damages the cuff, so the better way to do this is to prop upon a wall and reach down to pull with your fingers your pants cuff down and pull your leg out. Do the same for the other leg. With wool and other natural fibers, you will then want to spread your pants out on a bed and open the waist to form an “O” to let the perspiration evaporate from your hard day at work. After about an hour, hang your pants from the cuff with either the suit hanger or a pants cuff hanger. Your pants will last much longer.

Belt – Leather belts tend to curve from use in the middle due to the way they wrap around your waist. After removing the belt, pull at both ends and massage the middle portion in an attempt to straighten the belt after each wear. Periodically, work some leather oil into the belt to keep it from drying out and it will last even longer and continue to look like new.

Tie – Loosen the tie at the knot and pull it in reverse from the way you tied it. It is much easier and faster to just pull the small end through the knot but this damages the fragile silk fibers, especially when you reach the end which flares out. If your tie is wrinkled from the knot, smooth out the tie over your index finger and then roll it up beginning with the smaller end. Leave it this way for at least a day or two and you will have a flatter tie with very little wrinkling.

Shirt : Barrel cuff  If necessary, treat the collar and the cuffs with a mild diluted clothes detergent spray and allow to thoroughly dry before placing the shirt in the laundry hamper. This loosens the dirt and oils left over from your neck and wrists.

Shirt : French cuff – Unbutton the shirt first allowing you more mobility across your chest, especially if you have a slim cut shirt. Remove the cuff link from the first two button holes and leave the cufflink in the outside of the cuff to remove after taking off the shirt if necessary. If necessary, treat the collar and the cuffs with a mild diluted clothes detergent spray and allow to thoroughly dry before placing the shirt in the laundry hamper. This loosens the dirt and oils left over from your neck and wrists.

Socks – Roll your socks off starting at the top and down to the toe. Never pull your socks off from the toe as this stretches the cloth and strains against your heel creating a hole in an already vulnerable place. Have a wash bag for your day-end socks in your laundry basket so you can place them in washing machine to minimize the loss of one of the pair.

Wristwatch – As with shoes, it is a good idea to wear a different wristwatch than the one you wore the day before. This is especially true for watches with leather bands as the leather needs to dry appropriately. Create a safe place for each watch so you know where it is for quick retrieval.

Cufflinks – Make sure you have a definite place for each set of cufflinks you have in your collection. This will make sure the set remains intact and your chance of losing one is minimized. A good cufflink box helps to organize and keep your collection complete.

Hats – Have a place where you can hang your hat. Hats hold your perspiration and need to dry out. This is especially true for wool felt hats. Felt hats, that become wet from the rain, may need to dry on a mold that gives the hat back its shape. Use a Styrofoam head mold if you need one for this. Your hat will last longer.

Coat/jacket – After removing your coat or jacket, place it open on your bed with the inside up to air out for at least half an hour. Thereafter, make sure you have an extra wide wooden hanger (suit hanger) to keep the shoulders supported while hanging.

Overcoat – An overcoat is great for damp cold days and may need to dry out in an area where it can drip dry. If you need to, place it on a double plastic hanger in the shower to dry for at least one hour. This will keep your carpet or rug from getting wet.

Underwear – Since this clothing is next to your body to wick away your sweat and body odors, it is a good idea to hang it on a plastic hanger and let it dry out before placing it in the clothes hamper. Wet clothing left in a hamper will quickly attract the growth of bacteria and yeast. You may even need to give it a quick spray of diluted clothes washing detergent while it is hanging to help get rid of the underarm stain and ring around the collar.

I hope this will help you in taking better care of your expensive clothing so that it may last much longer and provide more enjoyment in the future. Taking pride in your clothing is apparent when you show up with a fresh pair of socks and a matching attitude.

How to dress up your appearance inexpensively using your local Goodwill.