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JohnGOhio
48
Jul 4, 2017
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                                                                      A CLOTHING VALET- DO I REALLY NEED ONE?  
  I have had two similar valets for 25-30 years. One upstairs and one in my den that folds up and slides out of the way. If you want to optimize the longevity of your clothes or prepare an outfit for the following day,  EVERYONE needs a valet/butler stand and at least two pairs of shoe trees.  This is particularly true if you go with quality over quantity regarding your wardrobe and footwear.    Some of the greatest damage to your clothes, especially suits, sports jackets and shoes is sweat or not letting clothes air out properly.  Sweat buildup and not letting clothes or shoes air out cause a breaking down of the fibers and also leads to more cleanings as a result. In most cases unless there is a major OOOOPS!,  suits, jackets, and outerwear can be spot cleaned and left to air out. This prolongs the fiber life and helps keep the item looking newer and often helps preserve the color and the "crisp look" of a jacket or suit or even pant/ slacks and  heavy shirts/blouses. (Yes blouses is correct. Ask a marine about "Dress Blues" if you don't believe me.) It also allows wrinkles to "fall out" naturally.      We even have special hangers that attach to the headrest in our vehicles. We hang our jackets, coats, blazers, etc. on them when traveling. Not only do the valets and hangers help keep the clothing looking "crisp" or unwrinkled but it allows a bit of time to dry out even when you do not realize you have sweated wearing the item. Too, from having a best friend who was brought up in the dry cleaning/laundry business and whose dad was the president of the Ohio dry cleaners for a number of years.... I can tell you ALL cleaners eventually take their toll on clothing.  And, not all dry cleaners change their chemicals as regularly as they should to save money. That is why, if you "brush up" ( pun intended) on proper cleaning  of clothes, most recommend suits, sports jackets, wool slacks,  etc.,  to be cleaned only once or twice yearly assuming no major faux-pas.   If I am going to invest in good clothing I want to get the maximum potential out of the items.       Folks, it is an old adage but it is true. Clothes DO make the man. ( Or at least help a heck of a lot.) From my years of weddings, special occasions and being on both sides of the job interview I have learned a constant. A  $300.00 suit with a bit of tailoring worn over a tailored shirt and well shined shoes will be remembered or be MUCH more impressive than the $2500.00 2 piece suit on top of a wrinkled $300,00 shirt and dingy or scuffed bespoke  footwear. Too, it is kind of flattering when you get a second look from a lady walking buy BECAUSE you take the time to get the max effect from your clothes.     Ladies and gents,  whether you think you need a clothes valet or not.... you really do. You just haven't seen the actual benefit of one yet. Better looking longer lasting clothes and by preparing your outfit for the following day the night before it saves a LOT of time. It gives you the leisure of switching out an item and even pick the watch or other jewelry and accessories that go together the best.     Last bit of advise ( Or is it unwanted preaching?)  before I claim down off  of my soap box- invest in a good quality clothes brush or two and a good shoe horn. A small steamer is a major benefit too, for when your clothes have some deep or heavy wrinkles. And, if you don't have a steamer or for when you travel, hang the items in the bathroom while you clean up and shower. The steam from a hot shower works fairly well in a pinch to help the wrinkles "fall out".      Respects to all- John
Jul 4, 2017
The_Plant
18
Jul 5, 2017
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Except don't steam your suits (especially anything that was expensive)! When the garments are constructed, there is shaping done to stretch the cloth in certain ways, and steaming them afterwards relaxes them too much. This is how you end up with blown seams on trousers and jackets. Dry pressing (not "rubbing the iron all over" but pressing down and lifting up) is the best way to remove wrinkles in suit pieces. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, check this out from Jefferey Diduch: http://tuttofattoamano.blogspot.com/2011/02/ironwork-or-why-i-hate-steamers.html Also by Jefferey: https://www.styleforum.net/threads/guide-to-touching-up-your-suit-without-wrecking-it.88504/
Hanging them is better than steaming them.
Jul 5, 2017
JohnGOhio
48
Aug 15, 2017
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Apologies for the very late reply. Due to internet provider having problems, by the time mine was fixed (resulting in to new modem/routers and running new line to house finally.) 2 1/2 weeks had passed. During this time, due to an adversity, I was stuck mostly in bed for a period of time. I had over 3k in emails. Thank Brell for fast group deletes.
  Anyhow, to address your reply. Based on what was taught to me by drycleaners, you do not want to use a steamer by holding it right up or on the material. It WILL cause the item to loose it's form from the weakening of the fibers. A suit will begin to look or hang like a burlap sack with little form. Hence the term "sacked out" regarding clothing that has lost it's overall shape. Sadly if you have ever seen the people at the clothing stores in the mall- they are inclined to hold the steamer as close as possible to the fabric, thinking the job will get done faster. They end up saturating the clothing to the point it is soaked.
  However it is ok to use a steamer as long as you hold it some inches away from the garment.  A bit of vinegar in the water helps also, about a tablespoon for each reservoir fill. The same applies to hanging the item of clothing in the bath when traveling or even at home. We really can't tolerate water hot enough or for a long enough period of time that it damages the clothes. Keep in mind this will only help light wrinkling to "fall out" because it is not that hot or direct in regards to the clothing article. It works great on 7 fold ties, and good pocket squares.
  Of course different people have different viewpoints. I learned this long ago on the "Style Forum" and others. But I can say what I have related to you all is from a  couple of dry cleaners and two tailors. The most influential was, as I have mentioned in the initial post, president of the dry cleaners union for a number of years, who was voted in due to his EXPERIENCE and KNOWLEGE, not his politics.  < Ahhh.... the good old days. > He even taught me how to check to see if it was a good idea to even consider taking your clothing to a new dry cleaners if you move or your old one retires. The two tailors, one worked for Oxford before starting his own shop and the other for Joseph A. Banks for their made to measure and even bespoke suits.( Yes it surprised me to when I first learned J.A. Banks did bespoke for certain clients in certain demographic areas.) I got to know both of them very well over the years until each one respectively retired.
  Take what you want from this reply, I am not insisting my views are the only correct ones. Too, I believe if you read Alan Flusser's  books, I believe "Style and the Man" in particular, Mr.  Flusser touches on this. I may be all wet on the specific book. It has been awhile.
  Anyhow, due what YOU feel is best. Don't be afraid to VERIFY whether the info is from a post of a very respected member of a forum, or some old dude that is entirely to particular about how his clothes are kept and cared for, with a wife that is just as bad... or some "mental giant" on YouTube spouting "the latest and greatest and the DEFINITIVE"  how-to.  BUT, in the end it is YOUR clothes or collection or whatever. YOU decide how best to care for it.    Respects to all,      John G.
Oops, scratch that last paragraph, after all, isn't everything we read on the internet TRUE.?  Wait, I am posting on the net, hmmmmmm!
<Edit> Failed to mention you were correct regarding dry pressing.  THANK-YOU very much. It is something I should have mentioned in the initial post. Also it is why you should be VERY cautious letting the hotel press out or do a "quick de-wrinkle"  of  the clothing for you.    John
Aug 15, 2017
spthomp
85
Nov 21, 2017
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As someone who's wanted a steamer for a while...you just convinced me to abandon that desire.
Nov 21, 2017
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