On the MaxFunForum, rossination asks:
Jesse, let’s talk about laundry. Do you have your shirts cleaned and pressed at the dry cleaner’s, or do you do wash (and iron) yourself? Starch or no starch?
As a poor student, I don’t have the money to send my shirts out. Plus, I kind of like ironing. But I’ve been finding lately that I’m pretty unhappy with the slouchiness of my collars (even with metal stays). I’m thinking about going against my dad’s admonitions and getting some spray starch. What do you think?
I’m a public radio host, Rossination, not an oil magnate. I wash and iron my shirts myself.
First: I’m glad to hear that you’re already in the “kind of like ironing” camp. Ironing isn’t a lot of work, and it’s a great thing to do on Sundays while you’re watching football, or, in my case, Mondays when you’re watching The Roadshow. (As an aside, I highly recommend spending a hundred bucks or so on a good iron. The weight, steam and smoothness are very much worth it.)
Most cleaners use the harshest methods when washing and pressing your clothes, and should be avoided whenever possible. There are exceptions, but they’re tough to find and expensive. Especially if you have access to laundry in your home, there’s no reason not to launder your clothes yourself. You care for them in a way a cleaner never will.
Starch is harsh on clothes and completely unnecessary. Remember: your collar isn’t supposed to be like cardboard. It’s made of fabric and is supposed to behave as such. A collar stay is plenty to keep your collar sharp — beyond that, let them roll!