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.



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!