Photograph by Philip Sison
Style Grooming

Shoe and clothing care wisdom from the cleaners of Prince Charles

Practical advice on how to look after your wardrobe from Jeeves of Belgravia, cleaners of H.R.H. Prince Charles.
| Oct 29 2018
Shoe care

Waxing and polishing your shoes regularly protects them from the elements. Wipe them clean after each use with a dry, fine cloth to remove any surface dirt. At the end of the day, make it a habit to scrub off grime from the soles and heels of your shoes and air them before parking them for the night.

High humidity is the perfect breeding ground for fungus and mildew, so store shoes in a dry environment. Use a wooden shoetree for dress shoes that are seldom worn and then store them in a cloth bag.

Don’t forget to pop a desiccant square into each shoe. It also helps to have dehumidifiers in shoe cabinets or wardrobes.

Never store or leave your leather shoes in the trunk of your car. Extreme temperature and lack of air can accelerate the growth of mold.

Finally, don’t wear the same pair every day. Allow the moisture in your shoes to evaporate. It helps extends the life of your footwear and maintain its original shape.

Caring for neckties

Stains are the great leveler when it comes to neckties. Whether it’s expensive silk or of the regular variety, ties with stains are not acceptable. However, never remove stains on your own. A careless or too enthusiastic attempt to get rid of stains can damage the fabric. Rubbing a silk tie can chafe and discolor it. Applying water or club soda (a myth) can push the stain deeper into the interlinings and work to set it in (especially with wine, coffee, or juice stains).

When you spill something on your tie, gently dab the stain using a fine tissue. Dab sideways and not downwards to maximize absorption while confining the size of  the stain.

The quicker the stain is attended to, the higher the chances it can be removed successfully. If you know what caused the stain and how long it has been there, mention this to your cleaner. It increases the likelihood that it can be removed.

Cleaning suits and shirts

The less you dry-clean a suit or shirt, the longer it will last. The more washing a piece of garment undergoes, the shorter its lifespan. And suits worn in temperate climates tend to last longer than those used in tropical or polluted cities.

In general, suits will last through at least 100 cycles of proper dry cleaning if done by a reputable cleaner. If you wear your suits in an air-conditioned, non-polluted environment, wash it only after four or five uses, or sooner if it is soiled or stained.

When sending suits to the cleaners, turn over both the jacket and trousers to maintain the same color shade.

Have your suit professionally pressed when needed. Don’t use wire or plastic hangers to hang your suit. Buy the proper hangers.

Tuxedos, dinner formals, and suits that are not worn often should always be clean when stored. Nothing attracts moths more than perspiration and body oils around the collar.

Perhaps the most distressing example of aging is the soda or cola beverage stain —especially slightly visible ones. Left untreated, it turns brown because the sugar syrup oxidizes with heat and time.

Pressing dress shirts

The best way to iron a shirt is to do so while it is slightly damp. This results in a very crisp shirt. Begin by pressing the inside placket panels (where buttons and buttonholes are fastened) and then work on the outside last.

You can use a bit of fabric sizing to improve the finish, but Jeeves does not recommend starch as you lose about 50 percent of the life of the shirt.

French cuffs are not pressed with a hard crease; instead, a soft roll is desired. To achieve this, iron cuffs flat on both sides, first on the outer and then on the inner side.

 

Jeeves CPU, LGF Worldwide Corporate Center,, Shaw Blvd, Mandaluyong, (02) 696 3232

Shop 3, New World Hotel Makati corner Arnaiz, Makati Ave, Makati, (02) 811 3232

Estancia at Capitol Commons Parking Level 1, South Wing, W Capitol Dr, Pasig, (02) 654 3232

 

Photographs by Philip Sison

This story first appeared in Vault Magazine Special Issue 2012