By Mikey Rox |
From suit bags and seam rippers to good ol’ needle and thread, here are 10 tools and accessories you should own (and use!) to help preserve your favorite pieces.
The tumble dryer doesn’t catch everything in its trap; rogue lint can and will make it onto your clothes, especially cotton and cashmere. A lint roller quickly and easily removes stray lint so you can step out looking fresh. Roll your garment before you put it on; it’s hard to roll your back when you’re already wearing a linty top.
This may seem like an odd item to have if you’re not a tailor, but it will come in handy. When you buy suits, the pockets are usually stitched together and the seam ripper is the perfect tool to use to separate the fabric; using your hands to remove that thread could tear the jacket’s pockets. Another use for the seam ripper includes removing sewn-in tags on T-shirts. If they’re bothersome you can take them out with the seam ripper without damaging the neck of the tee.
If you don’t sew, learn how – even if your skills are rudimentary. You can still take big projects to the tailor, but if it’s a simple issue like reattaching a small button or clothing a hole in a pair of pants, you’ll save time and money if you can do it yourself.
To prevent the collars on your button-downs from curling up, invest in collar stays. Plastic stays often come with prepackaged shirts – and those are perfectly fine to use – but for the shirts that don’t have stays there are better versions that you can buy, like fancy monogrammed stainless steel.
It’s perfectly fine to leave suits you wear on a regular basis unbagged in a closet – the air is good for them – but if there’s a suit that doesn’t get much wear, place it in a suit bag to prevent it from getting dusty; no need to go to a dry cleaner if you don’t have to. When you’re traveling, of course, you always want to bag your suit to keep it clean and together.
There are some items on this list that are negotiable, but an iron is not one of them. Every man – whether he’s a professional or not – should own an iron (and use it) to eliminate wrinkles in his clothing caused by washing, drying and improper folding. “Hot mess” isn’t a look you should be complacent about.
To help reduce the wrinkles in your tees – so you don’t have to break out the iron as much – pick up a T-shirt folding board like the ones used in retail stores to make everything look nice and neat. You can find one for cheap on eBay, or, if you’re handy, you can make your own T-shirt folding board with cardboard. A small-but-sturdy plastic cutting board for the kitchen will work just as well, too.
Fuzz balls are different than lint. Lint can be removed with a roller – or tape even – but fuzz balls (known as pilling) cling to clothing because they’re still attached to the fabric. They’re usually on the underside of your sweaters and jackets because your arms rub against the fabric, resulting in pilling. A battery-powered shaver uses spinning blades (just like an electric shaver for your face) to pick up the pills that are sticking out and deposits them into an attached compartment that can be removed and emptied.
In order to keep the shape of your shoes, stuff them while you’re not wearing them. You can buy wooden shoetrees, but you’ll need several pair to stuff all your nice shoes – and that can get expensive. Instead, take old newspaper, crumple it up, and stuff it in the shoes whose shape you want to preserve. It’s a quick, easy, and cheap fix for long-lasting footwear.
If your closet is a hodgepodge of plastic and wire hangers, it’s time for an upgrade. Wooden hangers are expensive compared to their plastic cousins but the benefits outweigh the cons of lesser-quality hangers. The biggest benefit of wooden hangers is their sturdy structure. While flimsy hangers bend, bow, and break, wooden versions stay put to give your clothing the support it needs to keep its shape. Wooden hangers are also appropriate for all clothing, while wire hangers can only handle lighter objects. Plus, they make your closet look like a man keeps his clothes in it, and that’s worth the price right there.
Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He spends his time writing from the beach with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Twitter @mikeyrox.