Shoe Care for Women

shoe care for womenI’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: shoe care and upkeep is very important when it comes to your appearance and general presentation, for both women and men.  Yet why is there so much more information directed at men?  Today I’ve brought in The Fine Young Gentleman to give us a few tips on shoe care — welcome, FYG!  While pondering these tips, you may also want to check out The Corporette Guide to Comfortable Heels and the Newbie’s Guide to Buying Designer Shoes. – Kat

Care for men’s and women’s shoes (including high heels) is not that different.  Which is why you have a guy menswear blogger talking about the subject.  Don’t believe me?  Think about it like this; both men’s and women’s shoes are made primarily from some menagerie of leather, cotton, rubber, and plastic.  They are even made using some of the same techniques and methods.  And they are worn the same way by both sexes; that is, they are used, abused and often neglected.  The unfortunate, and inevitable, result of such negligence is that the shoes expire well before they should.  No doubt resulting in varying levels of emotional and monetary harm.  Yes, as a guy, I also hate it when I have to throw out my favorite pair of shoes because they are no longer wearable; weird, right?  No, in fact, few things cause me more anguish when it comes to my wardrobe.  But, fear not, there are ways to properly procrastinate the inevitable.

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Everything You Need To Know About Dry Cleaning Your Suits

everything you need to know about drycleaning women's suitsHow often should you dry clean your suits? Is dry cleaning bad for suits, and something to be avoided?

If you had asked me before last Thursday’s post on whether you can create a black suit from different black pieces, I would have said that we had absolutely, totally talked about this before on the blog, at least once or twice.  (At least in our Guide to Interview Suits, right?) But going through the archives, I couldn’t find any post really on point.  Since I do think these are important basics — particularly since it’s the end of the season and many readers are likely considering what to do with their winter suits — let’s talk about it today.

Here are a few simple propositions:

- Dry cleaning is something you should generally avoid as long as possible because you’re exposing your clothes to a lot of chemicals.  [Read more…]

How to Deal with Deodorant Marks on Suiting

deodorant-marks-on-clothesHow do you deal with deodorant marks on your nice work clothes?  Reader A has a great question:

My question is about sleeveless dry clean shift dresses underneath suits. I don’t dry clean mine every time I wear them, and I notice pretty significant deodorant marks on the bottom of the armhole. Is there any way to prevent this? Or a good way to remove after the fact?

I’m excited to see what the readers say here.  Personally I’ve always preferred to wear something with sleeves beneath suits, in part because it “protects” the suit from your deodorant and sweat, and in part because it’s much easier to toss a t-shirt or blouse in the wash than it is to take it to the drycleaner.  (Remember, ladies: frequent drycleaning is bad for your clothes.)  You could always look into a different deodorant (we’ve actually talked about the best deodorants for women — I’m curious if anyone has any new favorites?) or a “dress shield,” which you could tuck into your dress.  Failing that, I think I might try a deodorant sponge, such as the one above (Hollywood Fashion Secrets Deodorant Removing Sponge, available at Amazon for $5.97, or Miss Oops Rescue Sponge, available at Amazon for $12), to try to remove the deodorant stains.

Ladies, how do you remove deodorant marks on suiting and other nice fabrics?  Have you found a better way to prevent them?

How to Keep Pet Hair Off Your Clothes

how to keep pet hair off your clothesHow do you keep your clothes looking nice when you live with animals?  Reader A has a great question about pets and clothes:

I have a question about caring for your clothes when you live with animals. I have a wonderful dog, who unfortunately sheds. His fur also builds up a lot of dander, and when he walks past me, the dander often brushes off on my pants leg or tights and leaves a white-ish residue (similar to the texture of dry shampoo). I use a lint roller constantly to get rid of the hair, but I can’t seem to get rid of the white residue unless I dry clean it. Any tips, other than washing my dog every day? Thanks!

Pet hair can be a real problem.  Having never had a pet, I’m really looking forward to the wisdom from the readers here.  Some suggestions, off the top of my head:

1)  Lint brush, lint brush, lint brush.  In a pinch, the FedEx pouches are great lint rollers.  Your dog’s dander sounds like you might also want to try out something like a special pet hair remover sponge or some of the other offerings on Amazon such as the magnets, stones, mitts, or brushes.  There is even a Furminator (which seems to be, ahem, pretty popular). [Read more…]

The Hunt: The Perfect Camisole

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

For today’s Hunt, I thought I’d search for the perfect camisole.  In my mind, here is what is a perfect camisole: It’s machine washable (and, usually, can be tumbled dry).  It doesn’t roll up around your sides.  For the office, in my mind the best camisole does not look like lingerie — the less lace and mesh, the better.  It’s a solid color.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I hate the nude camisole for most office looks.  And, I think, the best camisole serves the purpose that you want it to serve — for my busty self that usually means raising the neckline of blouses, sweaters, and dresses.  I’ve also used camisoles over the years as a way to put a layer between myself and the sweater so I didn’t have to launder it so often — so high armholes can be helpful.  My perfect camisole doesn’t have a “shelf bra” attached to it. — and for me, it is almost never a shaping camisole.  (I’ve bought a number of brands through the years and have always been disappointed; I’d much rather wear a high-waisted shaper (like this or this) or even a bodysuit if I want to smooth out my midsection/back area.)  And, of course, the perfect camisole is inexpensive — this is one of the few times where I would rather have 5-10 inexpensive camisoles to throw away at the first sign of wear, rather than to “invest” in a single, expensive piece.  Readers, what do you look for in the perfect camisole?  Which brands have you bought in the past; which have you bought recently? [Read more…]

How to Avoid Ironing

How to Avoid Ironing | CorporetteCan you look professional — without ironing your clothes every day?  Reader K is particularly curious about how to avoid ironing t-shirts:

Not sure if you or the commentators have any tips or tricks to keep folded shirts from creasing. Certain kind of fold? Only stacking two high? Certain detergent that is less susceptible to creasing? I know this sounds like a silly question, but I hate ironing my cotton t shirts (under cardigans, blazers, etc) first thing in the morning! Thanks.

Wow. I have to say, I’m impressed — much of my laundry routine is based around the fact that I will do almost anything to avoid pulling out the iron. I hang-dry my washable pants so the waists drag them down, straightening them. I buy non-iron blouses and hang-dry those after 15 minutes or — ha ha — I wear sweaters and other things don’t require ironing. But part of this may be because I’ve always lived in NYC, and it’s a pain to get the ironing board and iron set up in the inevitable small space that is an NYC apartment.

I’m curious to hear what the commenters say, but here are some thoughts: [Read more…]