There’s something about a white shirt that lets everyone know you mean business. That is, until you spill something on it like I tend to, in which case please allow me to sing the praises of the Tide To-Go pen. But I digress…back to the white shirt. It is the simplest piece in your closet that makes the boldest statement, guaranteed. Caring for your button-down is just as important as choosing one (or more, many more) that suits you. So I spoke with Krista Lynch, merchandising manager at Brooks Brothers, about her expert tips for keeping your white button-down white and other care tips:
When on the hunt for the perfect white button-down shirt, what should we focus on and look for in terms of fabric, fit, and general wearability?
For fit, what’s the goal? Work or play? Our non-iron shirt gives you that crisp clean sophisticated look for the office, and it will take you through till date night. The cotton stretch boyfriend shirt will give you that weekend casual look to pair with skinny jeans and cute boots.
White is amazing because it goes with everything but horrible because every stain and wrinkle shows. How do you recommend white cotton button-downs are laundered, barring any specific stains?
I am a big believer in never leaving home without a Tide pen for the big stains or the little ones. Then when it’s time to wash, Oxy Clean is always a winner. As for wrinkles, there is NOTHING better than our non-iron shirt. You look as fresh and crisp after a 12-hour flight as you did the morning you put it on.
When is it time to trade in your much-loved white shirt for a new one, and when can it still be brought back to life?
Hoarders have a hard time letting go, usually giving those shirts on their last legs one more time to shine, again and again. For it’s second life, there’s always the beach cover-up or the shirt you wear when you’re traveling alone
Do you have specific tips for specific stains? Sweat, red wine, oil…
You can be a true stain chemist and pre-treat with the Oxy Clean spray, but when going for specific stain, use Carbona stain removers. They are stain specific and it’s like having a laundry laboratory, but they work! They have saved some of my favorite pieces of clothing from certain death.
I’ll be using those tips ASAP! How about you?
Good thing too, because designers such as Altuzarra, Max Azria of BCBG, and Rachel Comey, showed white shirt styles that ran the gamut this season. Is there anything more heavenly than an oversize white shirt and jean shorts? More chic than a slim white shirt and mid-length pencil skirt? Or anything easier than the white shirt that hangs perfectly long enough to wear it as a dress? The short answer is no. Behold the magically transitional power of the white shirt.