Ten Tips for Ironing Shirts

Most people hate ironing, but I admit to finding a strange pleasure in it. There’s something gratifying about passing a hot iron over cloth, and seeing a wrinkled mess transform back into a smooth, familiar garment. It is, however, a chore, and like all chores, there are better and worse ways of doing things. Over the years, I’ve picked up ten practices that I think not only help speed the process, but also improve the results. 

  • Dampen your shirts. Most irons are terrible at giving off steam, so before your start ironing, dampen your shirt with some water from a spray bottle (set it on mist, not stream). This will help soften up the fibers. 
  • Put damp shirts in a plastic bag. Let the water soak in and evenly distribute by rolling up your damp shirts and putting them in a plastic bag. This will also prevent the water from evaporating. I typically spray down three shirts at a time, and let them soak while I work on the others. 
  • Press down. Get the job done faster by actually pressing down on the iron. Do this to the back though, not the front, otherwise you risk pushing in new wrinkles. 
  • Don’t crease the sleeves. Unless you’re in the military, sleeves shouldn’t be creased to the edge. So, iron right up to the edge and stop. You can also use sleeve boards. 
  • Iron the thick parts first. To avoid having to do touch-ups, iron things such as the collar, placket, and cuffs first. They’re less likely to wrinkle than the thinner, larger areas such as your shirt’s back.
  • Gently iron around buttons, snaps, and hooks. Don’t iron over them, as they can crack or melt.
  • Don’t flatten the collar. Iron your collar so that it’s flat and smooth, but don’t use your iron to fold it down entirely. Instead, iron just the back of the fold, where the collar would touch the back of your neck, then use your hands to fold down the rest of the collar. 
  • Get a good ironing board. Countertop ones are small, but they don’t give you enough space to work. Foldable, four-legged ones are the business. I like ones with slightly narrower, pointy ends, so I can get to tough-to-reach places on my shirt (just under the arms can be a pain).  
  • Avoid over-ironing. Remember this bit from Seinfeld? Yes, something can be “over dry.” Iron up to the point where the last bit of moisture can evaporate after five minutes of hanging. Otherwise, you risk making the fabric shiny, brittle, or even a bit yellow with time.
  • Button everything up. If you iron in batches, button your shirts all the way up before hanging them. This will help you avoid that wavy, bacon-like placket that can result from a shirt hanging too long in your closet.   

(Video by Garra Style)

eBay Roundup

Many thanks again to our buddy the RJcat for contributing to today’s finds. I particularly like this motorcycle jacketfloral shirt, and pair of wingtips. Weird mix, I know. 

As usual, if you don’t see anything you like here, you can also use our customized search links to find more menswear related auctions. We’ve made them for high-end suitsgood suitshigh-quality shirts and fine footwear

Suits, sport coats, and blazers
Outerwear
Sweaters and knits
Shirts and pants
Shoes
Ties
Bags, briefcases, and wallets
I just wanted to share this photo of our director, Ben Harrison, and his beautiful fiance Rachel on board The Atlantic Ocean Comedy & Music Festival. Ben thrifted this jacket just before setting sail, and he looks like a million dollars in the perfect context for summery, tropical black tie. And of course, Rachel always looks like a million dollars.

I just wanted to share this photo of our director, Ben Harrison, and his beautiful fiance Rachel on board The Atlantic Ocean Comedy & Music Festival. Ben thrifted this jacket just before setting sail, and he looks like a million dollars in the perfect context for summery, tropical black tie. And of course, Rachel always looks like a million dollars.

Breaking News: Waxed Cotton Jackets are Waxy
I recently ruined a brand new leather jacket, which taught me a thing or two about storage and cleaning. First, waxed cotton jackets are apparently waxy – waxy enough that you don’t want to store them uncovered and pressed up against other garments. If you do, the waxes and oils can stain other clothes. Like the sleeves above, which are connected to a lambskin leather jacket I just bought last winter, and then stupidly stored next to my Barbour Bedale. After finding the damage, I sent the jacket to RAVE FabriCARE – the best dry cleaner I know of – and asked what could be done. I learned a few things.
First, leather jackets are hard to clean. Much harder than wool sport coats. So when you’re choosing a leather jacket, think about the overall design. Something with a rugged sensibility, such as jackets from RRL or Schott, might still look fine (if not better) with a stain or two. Something from Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, or any of the high-end Italian brands, on the other hand, will not.
Similarly, think about the color and material. Suede is harder to clean than regular leather, and light colored materials will be harder to upkeep than anything dark. Black, of course, is the easiest to maintain.
Second, leather can react to dry cleaning in unpredictable ways. Sometimes the color can fade or bleed; sometimes the leather can lose its suppleness; sometimes the garment can shrink. Always bring your jacket to a specialist who knows what they’re doing (not someone who will just dump your jacket off at a local plant), and before dry cleaning, see if the company you’re working with can apply a topical treatment first to remove the stain. Maybe you can avoid the dry cleaning process altogether. 
Lastly, garment bags aren’t just for suits or sport coats. Waxed cotton jackets should also be bagged, particularly if you’re storing them next to other clothes. Breathable ones made from natural materials will be best – not just because waxed cotton can get a bit musty, but also because cheap synthetic materials can degrade and let off a gas that can damage clothes. RAVE FabriCARE sells some for a reasonable price of $9/ piece.
As for my jacket, RAVE applied a topical cleaner, which reduced the visibility of the staining by about 50%. We decided to save the dry cleaning for later. Meanwhile, all my waxed cotton and oilcloth jackets from now on will be bagged.   

Breaking News: Waxed Cotton Jackets are Waxy

I recently ruined a brand new leather jacket, which taught me a thing or two about storage and cleaning. First, waxed cotton jackets are apparently waxy – waxy enough that you don’t want to store them uncovered and pressed up against other garments. If you do, the waxes and oils can stain other clothes. Like the sleeves above, which are connected to a lambskin leather jacket I just bought last winter, and then stupidly stored next to my Barbour Bedale. After finding the damage, I sent the jacket to RAVE FabriCARE – the best dry cleaner I know of – and asked what could be done. I learned a few things.

First, leather jackets are hard to clean. Much harder than wool sport coats. So when you’re choosing a leather jacket, think about the overall design. Something with a rugged sensibility, such as jackets from RRL or Schott, might still look fine (if not better) with a stain or two. Something from Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, or any of the high-end Italian brands, on the other hand, will not.

Similarly, think about the color and material. Suede is harder to clean than regular leather, and light colored materials will be harder to upkeep than anything dark. Black, of course, is the easiest to maintain.

Second, leather can react to dry cleaning in unpredictable ways. Sometimes the color can fade or bleed; sometimes the leather can lose its suppleness; sometimes the garment can shrink. Always bring your jacket to a specialist who knows what they’re doing (not someone who will just dump your jacket off at a local plant), and before dry cleaning, see if the company you’re working with can apply a topical treatment first to remove the stain. Maybe you can avoid the dry cleaning process altogether. 

Lastly, garment bags aren’t just for suits or sport coats. Waxed cotton jackets should also be bagged, particularly if you’re storing them next to other clothes. Breathable ones made from natural materials will be best – not just because waxed cotton can get a bit musty, but also because cheap synthetic materials can degrade and let off a gas that can damage clothes. RAVE FabriCARE sells some for a reasonable price of $9/ piece.

As for my jacket, RAVE applied a topical cleaner, which reduced the visibility of the staining by about 50%. We decided to save the dry cleaning for later. Meanwhile, all my waxed cotton and oilcloth jackets from now on will be bagged.   

Put This On’s Inside Track for the week of July 27th - August 2nd

Here are our hand-selected favorites from eBay for this week, plus heads-up on recommended sales. If you’re a member of the Inside Track, click through, and log in with your Member.ly username and password. If you’re not a member, you can join now for just $5 a month - you’ll get access to one of these members-only lists every week, and your membership supports Put This On. 

See the rest →

More Vintage Finds

Pictured above: Some more vintage finds on eBay. If you like looking at vintage clothes and ever want to kill an hour, just dig around eBay’s “completed listings” section. I filter for “sold listings” and sort everything according to the highest prices ended. That way, I can see what serious collectors recently fought over. Useful terms (at least for the kind of stuff you see above) include: Buco, motorcycle club, car club, motorcycle jacket, bomber jacket, flight jacket, WWII jacket, USN jacket, vintage varsity jacket, etc. 

You can read more about these kinds of searches here

A New Way of Making Shoes

Here’s something awesome. Eugenia Morpurgo and Juan Montero have come up with a new manufacturing system for shoes. Through laser cutters and 3D printers, they’re able to produce design patterns, and then have those patterns transformed into separate components, which they assemble by hand without the need for stitches or glue. Their idea is to take the process of shoe production and bring it directly to the consumer. So, instead of having your shoes made in England or China, the “factory” would be brought into your local store, where you can choose what you want and have your shoes made within an hour. 

The system at the moment is still more of a novelty than anything practical, but if it develops, it could have a lot of interesting consequences. For example, it could reduce waste and the need for overproduction, as well as the size of storage facilities necessary for producing and selling footwear. This, of course, could greatly lower our environmental impact. It could also blow open the doors for collaboration and customization, as the manufacturing process becomes more digitalized. And, perhaps if these systems become cheap enough, maybe one day you can have one in your own home, so that you can design shoes based off of templates you’ve downloaded from the web. 

You can learn more about the project at Don’t Run (the project’s name) and Domus

eBay Roundup
Many thanks to Pete and the RJcat for contributing to today’s roundup. I’m particularly fond of the Ettinger briefcase pictured above. Anyone still looking for swim trunks this season might also want to check out these from Orlebar Brown.
As usual, if you don’t see anything you like here, you can also use our customized search links to find more menswear related auctions. We’ve made them for high-end suits, good suits, high-quality shirts and fine footwear. 
Suits, sport coats, and blazers

Brooks Brothers blazer, 37
Suede and tweed suit, 40
Yellow windowpane sport coat, 40 and 42
Polo cream linen/silk sport coat, 42
Brooks Brothers blazer, 43
Ivory sport coat, 44
Chipp tan cotton sport coat, 44
Brooks Brothers chambray sport coat, 44
Tuxedo, 44
Outerwear


Black vest, XXS
Crescent Down Works 60/ 40 jacket, S
Aero leather jacket, 36
Barbour fishing Bedale, S
Belstaff leather motorcycle jacket, S
Belted Engineered Garments jacket, M
Our Legacy jean jacket, 40
Navy varsity jacket, M
Invertere single breasted raglan coat, 42
Nom de Guerre blackwatch International-style jacket, L
Invertere corduroy hunting coat, 42
Wings + Horns parka, XL
Wings + Horns varsity jacket, XL
Grey shirt jacket, XL
Black wool Raf Simons jacket, 44

Sweaters and knits

Grey v-neck, 38
Charcoal sweatshirt, M
Grey sweatshirt (XL, XXL)

Shirts and pants

Our Legacy popover, 36
Linen madras shirt, 38
Chimala chambray shirt, S
Yellow OCBD, S and XL
Grey plaid button down shirt, 15.5
Blue plaid shirt, M
Blue dotted shirt, M
Blue t-shirts, M (1, 2)
Grey corduroy shirt, 16.5
Bengal striped Kiton shirt, 17
Green madras shirt, XL
Our Legacy star shirt, XL
Vintage Polo Sportsman shirt, XXL (tagged L, but prob runs very big)
Benjamin Bixby chinos, 32
Vintage L.L. Bean “Nantucket Red” shorts, 32
LVC brown cord trousers, 32
LVC tan twill trousers, 32
Cucinelli grey cotton trousers, 33
Charcoal trousers, 36
Grey chinos, 39

Shoes

Carmina tassel loafers, 7
Crockett & Jones cap toe oxfords, 8
Alfred Sargent suede cap toe oxfords, 8
Tuczek button boots, ~8.5
Allen Edmonds tan cap toe oxfords, 8.5
Carmina quarter brogues, 9
Common Projects Achilles Highs, 9
Crockett & Jones semi-brogues, 9
JM Weston crocodile penny loafers, 9
Oliver Spencer cap toe bluchers, 9
John Lobb chukkas, 9-10?
Alden cap toe boots, 9.5
Crockett & Jones pebble grain bluchers, 9.5
Ralph Lauren tassel loafers, 9.5
Russell Moccasin chukkas, 9.5
Tuczek formal pumps, 9.5-10?
Common Projects high top sneakers, 10
Crockett & Jones spectator derbys, 10
Loake suede tassel loafers, 10
Crockett & Jones penny loafers, 11.5
Russell Moccasin boots, 11.5
Carmina wingtip boots, 12

Ties

Navy geometric motif tie
Navy striped tie
Burgundy puppystooth tie
Solid navy tie
Dotted blue tie
Green square motif tie
Red faux-grenadine
Burgundy striped tie

Bags, briefcases, and wallets

Nanamica briefcase
Ettinger briefcase (pictured above)
Valextra card wallet
Leather carryall
Whitehouse Cox purse
Whitehouse Cox wallet

Misc.

Green vest (L, XL)
J. Press tweed cap, L
Sunglasses
Brown fedora, 7 1/2
Bunch of Jay Kos stuff
Green fedora, 7 1/8
Arnys cap, 7 1/8
Navajo blanket
Orlebar Brown swim trunks, various sizes

If you want access to an extra roundup every week, exclusive to members, join Put This On’s Inside Track for just five bucks a month.

eBay Roundup

Many thanks to Pete and the RJcat for contributing to today’s roundup. I’m particularly fond of the Ettinger briefcase pictured above. Anyone still looking for swim trunks this season might also want to check out these from Orlebar Brown.

As usual, if you don’t see anything you like here, you can also use our customized search links to find more menswear related auctions. We’ve made them for high-end suitsgood suitshigh-quality shirts and fine footwear

Suits, sport coats, and blazers
Sweaters and knits
Shirts and pants
Shoes
Ties
Bags, briefcases, and wallets
Misc.
If you want access to an extra roundup every week, exclusive to members, join Put This On’s Inside Track for just five bucks a month.

If you’re not yet tired of seeing photos related to the Duke of Windsor pop up on menswear blogs and forums, here’s a collection of images of his home in Paris

More images by the photographer, Fritz von der Schulenburg, can be found here.

Boxers, Briefs, or Coil Spacers and a Restraint Layer?
Alyssa Shaw visits the Smithsonian’s Suited for Space exhibition, currently in Philadelphia, and considers the evolution of astronaut undies: 

On display in the quirky exhibition are a few different models of spacesuit underwear, including a beige cotton one-piece with coil spacers affixed strategically to allow airflow…. A sketch from 1965 shows the Gemini EV spacesuit with its many layers, the first of which labeled “underwear,” others including “comfort layer,” “pressure bladder,” and “restraint layer.” In the late 1960s, Atlas Underwear Corporations designed the Apollo 11 “biobelt,” a soft layer worn against astronaut’s skin designed to monitor things like blood pressure, but not necessarily designed with the wearer’s comfort in mind. Commander Chris Conrad of the Apollo 12 mission wasn’t a fan of the biobelt. He mused, “It looks like I’ve got poison ivy under these things.”
Space underwear have come a long way since their first use fifty years ago. They still resemble those one-piece men’s pajamas your great-grandfather probably wore, but today’s technology replaces elements like coil spacers. Some of the most recent underlayers are composed of stretchy material that provides the flexibility astronauts need when navigating and working in space. They are typically fitted with cooling tubes and sweat-wicking fabric to keep their body temperatures at a nice medium between the coldness of space and the heat pent up in their tight suits.

It’s July and I’ve already shed all the layers of clothing basic decency and the law allow. Who’s down for some cooling tube underwear? Via Andrew Sullivan.
-Pete

Boxers, Briefs, or Coil Spacers and a Restraint Layer?

Alyssa Shaw visits the Smithsonian’s Suited for Space exhibition, currently in Philadelphia, and considers the evolution of astronaut undies:

On display in the quirky exhibition are a few different models of spacesuit underwear, including a beige cotton one-piece with coil spacers affixed strategically to allow airflow…. A sketch from 1965 shows the Gemini EV spacesuit with its many layers, the first of which labeled “underwear,” others including “comfort layer,” “pressure bladder,” and “restraint layer.” In the late 1960s, Atlas Underwear Corporations designed the Apollo 11 “biobelt,” a soft layer worn against astronaut’s skin designed to monitor things like blood pressure, but not necessarily designed with the wearer’s comfort in mind. Commander Chris Conrad of the Apollo 12 mission wasn’t a fan of the biobelt. He mused, “It looks like I’ve got poison ivy under these things.”

Space underwear have come a long way since their first use fifty years ago. They still resemble those one-piece men’s pajamas your great-grandfather probably wore, but today’s technology replaces elements like coil spacers. Some of the most recent underlayers are composed of stretchy material that provides the flexibility astronauts need when navigating and working in space. They are typically fitted with cooling tubes and sweat-wicking fabric to keep their body temperatures at a nice medium between the coldness of space and the heat pent up in their tight suits.

It’s July and I’ve already shed all the layers of clothing basic decency and the law allow. Who’s down for some cooling tube underwear? Via Andrew Sullivan.

-Pete