Dressing for a Heat Wave

We are now into the warmest time of the year. As a Dry Cleaner, I know heat and humidity like no other. I know how hard it is to look and feel your best in hot weather. The following is a list of things that you can try to feel your coolest most polished self, despite the heat and humidity.

WEAR NATURAL FIBERS
Try to wear clothing made of cotton, silk or linen. These fabrics will give you the most breathability. Most people have a love/hate relationship with linen. I happen to love linen because of its cool factor but also because it looks good rumpled, if you can stand the wrinkles. Rayon and Viscose can also be good choices because they are silky and soft.

KEEP IT LOOSE
Silhouettes that are loose and not skintight feel great in hot weather. They blow in the breeze providing necessary ventilation. Who wants clothing stuck to their sweaty body?? Not I!

SHORTS, DRESSES AND SKIRTS
If your office allows, tailored shorts can be dressed up to keep you cool. Otherwise dresses and skirts are the breeziest options for the hottest days.

OPEN TOE SHOES
No one likes hot feet. If your feet feel cool, it can help the rest of you feel cooler. Dressy sandals for the office look great and keep your toes cool. Make sure that if you have visible toes they are well manicured for the most polished look (pun intended).

SUN EXPOSURE
If you need sun coverage, a long and loose silky sleeve is the way to go. This will provide you with coverage from the sun and those pesky mosquitos later in the day, just remember to stay away from tight sleeves.

HATS
Many different types of hat are popular now: Fedoras, floppy straw hats, baseball hats and panama style hats. No one likes a burnt up scalp! They also can help keep hair up off of your neck when tucked inside.

Clean’n’Press can help you keep your summer wardrobe clean and ready for the next heat wave. You won’t have to heat up your hand iron and you’ll have more time to spend on your extended summer vacation!
-Dry Clean Diva

To Hang or to Fold…

Hanging Sweater2  Hanging Sweater

 

“Why does Clean’n’Press FOLD my sweater over the hanger?” – Concerned Customer

This is a great question!  I believe in many professional communities, one of the motto’s is to “do no harm”.  That is exactly what we like to think about when choosing how to handle each and every garment at Clean’n’Press.  For sweaters this means that each one is professionally cleaned first.  When it comes time to press and/or steam the sweater, we make the decision to HANG or FOLD.  When sweaters have a bit of weight to them, we choose to FOLD.  As you can see in the red sweater picture above, when a heavy sweater is HUNG on a hanger, the weight of the sweater will pull at the shoulders and create what I love to call a “hanger horn”.  That’s really not a good look for anyone!   Most of our sweaters are folded to prevent these “hanger horns”.

When it comes time to put your sweaters into your closet after cleaning, I advise to remove the plastic packaging.  This type of packaging is not meant for storage.  You can then leave your sweaters folded on the hanger and hang up on your closet rack, or take them off of the hanger (still folded) and stack neatly on a shelf or in a dresser drawer.

As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments!!  Thanks for reading!!

-Diva

 

New Year, New You

That title may be a little overused, but sometimes oldies are goodies.  The new year gets me reflecting on this last day of 2014.  Is 2014 going down in the memory books as a good one, or not so good?

For Clean’n’Press it has been another year of dirty laundry!  Without that dirty laundry, you wouldn’t be reading this wonderful new blog.  I am thankful for new adventures.  So, with that in mind, please tell me what it is about this time of year that gets us in the mood for reflecting and wanting to make improvements in our lives.  Do you have a New Years Resolution?  Let me know what that is, if you care to share.

One that comes to my mind is a saying that I’ve repeated quite a few times this year: “Look good, Do good”.  Now, that isn’t to be confused with superficial appearances.  That isn’t what I have in mind.  What I do have in mind is that I believe that we perform better, work harder, care a little bit more about ourselves and the people we choose to be around, when we all try to put our best-dressed self forward.  I’m not saying that you have to have the newest trend or the most expensive suit, with a “Designer Name” sewn on the inside.  No, no,  that’s not it at all.  What I’m saying is this: how many of you remember your parents, grandparents, great grandparents and the clothing that they used to wear?  I do.  My grandfather, no longer with us, used to wear a full three-piece suit on weekends.  This was in the late 1930’s.  He truly wanted to present his best self to the public when he was out.  This is how he met his future wife.  Dressed in a suit to go dancing on a Saturday night.  During the week (weekends too) he was a Farmer.  But come the weekend, it was time to let loose and have a little fun, it was time to get dressed up.  It was fun for him to change out of his “work clothes” and put his best self forward a couple times a week.  It paid off too, right Grandma??  This is one of my earliest memories of how to dress, well.

I wish as the year turns, that our current standards for getting dressed would include thinking about the phrase, “Look Good, Do Good”.  Take off the pajama bottoms and leave them on your bed (lady at Bakers Square, I’m talking to you).  Find some dress slacks and get dressed.  Go out into the day dressed like you are going to DO GOOD.  Even if you’re just going to the grocery store or the dry cleaners.  People will take notice, they will take you seriously.  It’s hard sometimes to get out of a rut that you have found works for you.  No one has objected, right?  Wrong.  We all do better when we put our best-dressed selves forward.

That guy (or gal!) over there with the suit on- I’m watching you!!  (and not the one with the pants hanging doooown…)

Share with me your resolutions, your style memories, or anything.  I’m listening.

—Diva

 

The Diva herself, in downtown St. Paul

The Diva herself, in downtown St. Paul – 2014

 

Holiday Time is Travel Time

Many of us are planning to travel at some point over the upcoming Holidays.  The lucky ones will get to escape the Minnesota winter and go someplace warm (lucky ducks!!).  Whether you are travelling near or far this Holiday season, the following are some pointers to get you to your destination with your great looking wardrobe wrinkle free.

Lighten your load.  Try to avoid jamming your case with too many items.  Plan outfits ahead of time and put together items of the same color family.  For example, pick out blacks and greys or neutral browns and tans.  Throw in a piece or two of a bright color, like a tie or scarf or a pair of shoes.  You will be able to pack less and have a mix and match wardrobe where the items can do double duty.  For some of us this is easier said than done, coughcough!  Just don’t cram too many pieces into one case to alleviate wrinkles.

Plastic.  Try using your Clean’n’Press dry clean bags in your packing.  Friction causes wrinkling, plastic reduces friction.  If you are using a hanging garment bag, try putting each outfit into an individual plastic bag.  This will keep your outfits neat and wrinkle free.  Your clothes may arrive more wrinkle free than you do during your long journey to Grandma’s house!  Another great plastic tip: use zip-lock bags for dirty shoes, liquids or anything else you want to keep away from your clothing.

Roll ’em up.  If you’re not using a hanging garment bag while travelling, you can fold items or ROLL them.  Rolling clothing is a great space-saving and wrinkle-free choice for everyday items like denim and tees.

OR, Fold it.   For sweaters and dress shirts, try the square fold.  First, button all or every other button on button up items and lay them face down on a bed or other flat surface.  Smooth out any wrinkles in the fabric.  Fold material in at the shoulders, about one-third of the way into the body and lay arms flat along the body.  Next, fold up one-third of the material from the bottom hem and again another third until you get it folded to the top of the garment.  You will end up with the nicest little package that is worthy of being displayed in your favorite retail shop!  This is also how we fold (or “box”) your shirts at Clean’n’Press when requested, perfect for travel and you don’t have to do the work!!

Delicates.  A great way to pack your delicate items is to put them into a nylon mesh bag.  If your bag needs inspection at the airport, no one will need touch your personal items as the inspector will be able to see inside the bag.  For socks, roll up the pairs and place them inside shoes or other areas that have gaps in your case.

Finish line.  Once you’ve settled on all items to pack, put all of your folded clothing in the center of the case and any rolled items around the perimeter of the folded clothing.  Shoes should also be placed around the edges of the folded clothing along with socks neatly tucked inside.  Keep all toiletries in an outside compartment as to not explode inside with your clothing, this also will be easier to reach when you need to take them out for air travel.

There you have it!  Your clothing will now travel as wrinkle-free as possible!!!  Don’t forget to get your items cleaned after your travels so they will be fresh and ready to go on your next adventure!

How to get rid of, and prevent deodorant stains

“It never fails!  I’m rushing to get ready and out the door and I end up getting deodorant stains all over my clothing!! Do you have any tips for getting the marks out or just preventing them in the first place?”-concerned customer

 

I can identify with this dilemma!  This happens to the best of us, when we rush we get dressed in a hurry and end up with a white mess on our hands, or should I say clothing.  Don’t fret!!  The following will help you through your temporary stained situation.

Step 1- Try to use an invisible solid deodorant.  Unlike regular white solid deodorant, this product is less likely to leave visible marks on your clothes.

Step 2- Apply a thin layer of deodorant.  If you slather it on thickly, it’s more likely to rub off on your little black dress.

Step 3- Wait for about 30 seconds after applying deodorant before you put your clothes on.  This allows your skin time to absorb the deodorant.  Even  better, put it on at night before bed after you’ve showered.

Step 4- If you can, wear an undershirt under your clothing.  This blocks the deodorant from touching your dress clothing.

Step 5- Roll the bottom hem of your shirt or dress outward before putting it on.  After you’ve pulled the garment over your head, unroll the bottom of it.  If any deodorant gets on the garment, it will be on the inside.

 

If you’re already dressed and have found unsightly white deodorant marks, try using a piece of foam from your Clean’n’Press dry clean hangers. As crazy as this may sound, I have tried this method and it has worked for me!  Gently rub the foam on the white marks. The foam should create a slight bit of friction that will lift the white marks making them not noticeable.  If you are worried and unsure, do a test on an inconspicuous area of the garment first, especially if your item is silk.   DO NOT overly rub, you could cause color loss or abrade the fibers in the area.   Whether you have your item cleaned at Clean’n’Press or do so yourself at home, time is of the essence.  The longer a garment sits after wearing without cleaning, the antiperspirant left can cause chemical damage (i.e. holes and discoloration) because of the acid-based chemicals and aluminum chlorides it may contain.

As soon as possible after wearing, have your items cleaned by the professionals at Clean’n’Press to remove any residual stains still sitting in the garment.