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Wardrobe Maintenance

post #1 of 140
Thread Starter 
One of the annoying things about our little hobby, at least for me, is I find I am constantly having to take clothes into the "shop" for one reason or another. Shirts are one thing, I send them out, 5-6 a week, to be laundered and pressed but that's pretty easy

However, I can't use local cleaners for jackets and trou because they just don't do a good enough job. So I have to bring them to the city, the Hallack truck comes to my office, and returns the stuff to my office, and then I haul an extra suit home on the train again. Sounds easy, I guess, but it irritates me.

Then there's always some pair of shoes that needs to be re-soled. I wear the damned toes out so fast. I get steel toes and that helps but there's always a pair or two that needs something.

Now I have a vest and a pair of paints with little pin holes. Have to go to the re-weaver. Fack.

For a while it seems I was going to Tie Crafters constantly to get this narrowed, that shortened, this cleaned, etc. I think I am OK on ties for now but that was a pain.

Alterations: I lost some weight a few years ago, had all my pants taken in over a rolling period. Major PITA. Then, because I am picky, I notice little bugs that can be worked out here and there and am always getting those done. Haul into city, drop off, get fitted, pick up, haul home.

Clothes from overseas often have one little glitch that isn't worth sending them back over (espeically not to Naples, the sartorial black hole, once they go in, you may never see them again). So I get those little fixes done here.

Lately a lot of my nicely shanked buttons have been coming undone. Dry clears can't shank a button properly and they don't use the right kind of thread. So that has to go back to the tailor, too.

This summer has been super humid and I have been caught in a few thunderstorms. Well, nothing ruins a press quite like that. Forget about your trouser creases. Oh, and I now have first-hand experience with jeffryd's point about blown seams. Yeah, it's real. Can't trust the dry cleaner to press a suit correctly, oh no, not only that but cleaning is bad and should only be done when it's really necessary, and I know of no DC that offers a pure pressing service. So back to the tailor it has to go.

BTW, Frank (Ercole) does most of this stuff for me and I encourage him to overcharge me because he hates doing all of it. But I just don't trust anyone else.

It's really a lot of work keeping all this crap in working order.
post #2 of 140
You need a driver and a butler. I suppose they can be one in the same if you want to live on the cheap.

On a serious note, how do you burn through toes that often? I haven't killed the toes on my shoes but regularly go through toe taps, expect on the set that B Nelson put steel taps in. Regularly being an annual or semi-annual routine. I have 4 pair of shoes that I rotate though regularly and 3-4 pair that I wear on occasion.
Edited by SkinnyGoomba - 7/29/12 at 10:01am
post #3 of 140
This is what they call "rich people problems". In these situations it is best to do what the really rich do - hire someone to take care of all of this stuff for you. Otherwise just deal with it, I guess.

BTW, I hear you on Tiecrafters - I have several ties that I have needed to pick up the last couple weeks - their hours are terrible and I can't convince my wife to go for me even though she works 10 blocks away.
post #4 of 140
Manton, how has your weightlifting affected your stuff? Does that worry you?

I like Topies for keeping my soles in good shape, but I'm murder on heels.
post #5 of 140
Thread Starter 
The weights have made a very small number of jackets tight in the shoulders, but not unberably so. Shirts are all fine.

I am really not much bigger to be honest and not trying to get big.
post #6 of 140
Yes, maintenance can be a pain, but it can also be a pleasure.

Both aspects are intensified, imo, if you do the maintenance yourself. I'm lucky enough to have very flexible work hours and not to have any kids, yet. So I do some of this myself, such as wash and press my own clothes or sew my own holes and buttons.

In addition to these major repairs and refurbs, there is the daily upkeep: brushing a suit, sport coat or pants, polishing shoes, waxing laces, oiling bags, etc.

Helps to multitask too though, so I tend to do these things while watching TV or talking on the phone.
post #7 of 140
Waxing laces?
post #8 of 140
I take a beeswax candle (Easter vigil leftover), and run it over the laces. I think it strengthens them and prevents them from coming undone. I also do this to thread when shanking buttons. Never have had one come undone.
post #9 of 140
Originally Posted by Manton View Post

BTW, Frank (Ercole) does most of this stuff for me and I encourage him to overcharge me because he hates doing all of it. But I just don't trust anyone else.
It's really a lot of work keeping all this crap in working order.

Do you also have Frank press your suits? I've been thinking of trying Rave. Is Hallak good enough?
post #10 of 140
Thread Starter 
hallak does a good job pressing. but I only send them stuff when it needs cleaning.

Frank has pressed a suit for me a couple of times (after caught in downpours) but he really does it as a favor, even though I pay him. if he offered a paid pressing service and took stuff eagerly I would bring it to him by the truckload.
post #11 of 140
This is a great thread. Manton, do you have any ercole bespoke suits, or just repairs?
post #12 of 140
Thread Starter 
I have many ercole trousers and one vest but no jackets or suits.
post #13 of 140

Nice thread :)


I agree with waxing laces, that can be done also with beeswax (this one is softer than candle stick and also leave the laces to a good movement). Also, beeswax can be sofly brush on the sole to mantein the fibre and wear less.


About the suits, you should avoid to send them to a cleaner (dry cleaner or not). I suggest you to have more than two or three suits and to choose proper weight fabrics for every seasons.

Also avoid the brushing on a suit, it will ruin the fabric fibre and the suit will change its forms (this can be seen much more better on lightweight fabrics).

post #14 of 140

On a related theme, I have never found an ideal solution to the public transport dilemma.  The London underground is overcrowded, dirty and can get very hot.  It is not kind to quality clothes (or, rather, it is not kind to clothes, but one cares about the quality ones!).  Commuting in suits puts a lot of wear on them and leads to more dry cleaning than is advisable.  I tried changing in the office, but it is difficult to keep enough there to maintain a good rotation.  Anyone in the same boat? 


BTW, Manton - you have more than two to three suits, right?rotflmao.gif

post #15 of 140
Have you tried Rave Fabricare? Mail it to them in AZ and they will ship back to your home. Pricy but they do a great job. They definitely know how to sew a shank and iron a great lapel.They remove all jacket buttons before pressing and then re-sew them. A certain "Bill from Boston" who used to post here is a big fran as well. PM member Stu Bloom on here for details.
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