Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dirty Girl

AAAAAAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!!





Would you just look at that cuff??? It's filthy!! And I swear, I haven't had this shirt for very long. It's not like I'm digging for coal while I'm wearing my white shirts -- I'm just undertaking normal, everyday activities like writing a blog and shopping and... well, mostly shopping, but you know what I mean! I'm not exactly a stevedore -- I don't understand what it is that I'm doing to make my shirts so dirty.

This picture makes it look better than it is, actually -- it's truly filthy, there's no way I can wear this shirt like this in public. I can just roll up the sleeves, I guess, but the point of a shirt with French cuffs is the, ya know, cuffs, and I have all these faboo cufflinks I want to wear & show off. It's really disheartening.

I guess I'm going to have to have my white shirts professionally laundered if I want to wear them more than twice. This really grates my cheese -- I should be able to wash my own cotton shirts, for Miuccia's sake (I'm trying to swear less and am casting about for substitute strong language -- it kinda flows, non?).

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on this topic? Will professional cleaning extend the life of my white blouses? Or are there other tricks I should try? I'm really at the end of my tether about this. There are a couple of really gorgeous white blouses in my closet that I'm not wearing because I'm so petrified of ruining them. And that's no way for a fashionista to live, dangit!


Photo: Style Spy



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17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have no advice for you about your shirts, but I sure can sympathize. I have a white trench, the most impractical piece of clothing I've ever bought. I think I've worn it two or three times in 2 years, and I've had it drycleaned twice already. Impossible to keep clean, and even my drycleaner can't get all the marks out completely. It's some cotton/nylon/polyurathane blend that's difficult, apparently. Live and learn (sigh). But it does look fabulous on me!
Karen G.

StyleSpy said...

Karen -- I had a vanilla gabardine trench that I had the same experience with. It was gorgeous & I adored it, but I couldn't look at it without getting it dirty.

Anonymous said...

Got it as well, I am on well water so it does not get whites very white. Kevin's shirts go to cleaners ,off and on I send mine. Does not get it out.grr. I have two ideas how I get it, one is they hang too long between wearing. The other is the furry child, pating brown Rhodesian fur or in your case Shine hair. It gets dusty.Thing I don't get is why is the neck clean , it is only my cuffs as well.I have heard a pre-soak does help but I have not tried it. Katie

Duchesse said...

Professional cleaning will yellow your blouse and be very hard on the fabric, as it has the opposite effect of what you seek.
It's important to pre-treat with the right product (I love Wine Away for organic stains and collar dirt), wash in enough water, extra rinse; if bleach, use only the 'colour safe' kind (sounds counterintuitive).

Hanging a white shirt to dry in direct sunlight brightens it. Never in dryer.

A white shirt is really white only for a year, maybe two with care. Even if you don't wear them much the fabric inexorably dinges in your closet. Therefore the 'basic' white shirt may be a more expensive buy than the lively print.

See this article, "Keeping a White Shirt White": http://www.nytimes.com/1989/06/13/style/by-design-keeping-a-white-shirt-white.html

Anonymous said...

I must agree with Duchess about the cleaners--they will yellow your shirt. I have good luck with oxyclean. I use the spray on collars and cuffs and I was my whites with only whites and put some of the oxyclean powder in the drum with the clothes (the instructions are on the package). This isn't perfect, but it has kept my whites white longer than anything else I've tried.
Melissa

dana said...

Simple. I don't wear the stuff. Even a tshirt.

StyleSpy said...

Okay, I'll put OxyClean on my shopping list. Dana, your is what mathematicians call an "elegant solution."

Glove Slap said...

I never wear white shirts. Sometimes people ask me, "What do your bosoms consist of?" And I tell them the truth: the left one is a powerful soy sauce magnet. The right one is a state-of-the-art marinara tractor beam. Therefore I never wear white shirts.

materfamilias said...

I agree with Duchesse -- although my favourite pre-soak is OxyClean. I wouldn't give up white shirts completely, as Dana has, but I lower expectations for them which means I'd never spend a fortune. I generally prefer them to be cotton 'cause then at least they can be bleached. And as someone who did cloth diapers for years and years, I can attest to the power of the sun for whitening -- I had diapers that had worn quite thin but still were bright, thanks to line-drying in the sunshine.

dana said...

Well, I do think they look cool. And if I ever found one that didn't gap open in the front, I'd be sorely tempted. But these days, I don't have the time to fool with it.

Deja Pseu said...

Ugh, I hate how easy it is to get white cotton dirty! My t-shirts seem to yellow from my sunscreen around the neckline. I've found two things that help if not totally eliminate: Shout spray and Arm & Hammer Plus Oxy detergent (am assuming you don't want to subject your babies to chlorine bleach).

Thumbelina Fashionista said...

Hmm...Even though you mentioned the stain's on the cuff, my mom (a former dry cleaners owner) always said that deodorant is what causes those big yellow marks on the pit area. Since I don't sweat much (I'm not one for running, etc.), it's never been much of a problem for me. Dry cleaners rarely ruin my shirts. The key is having a good number of white shirts to rotate so one doesn't have to clean them so ferociously and so regularly. And I guess one has to get rid of them after a while--which is why I never spend much on one.

Anonymous said...

Remembering Peroxide works well not harsh like bleach . Yes to handing outside but laying item on green grass works even better.If somehow there is oil in the soiled area try dish-washing liquid. And not to go from soap to detergent it can turn everything a odd colour.My Mother says old trick is to use caulk on mark on shirt if you can't get it out ,then cover it is the idea here.K

Mardel said...

Try soaking it before washing. I like plain old Biz more than Oxyclean. I would make a solution and soak it over night. That will get most organic stains out. Don't be surprised by how much Biz they say to use on the box, it does wonders.

StyleSpy said...

Glove Slap -- BWAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!

I love the idea of leaving my shirts out in the sun to dry, but I live in a apartment and my balcony is pretty shady. I'll see what I can do...

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!

sallymandy said...

Oxyclean is great stuff, and if you have pretty strong cotton fabric and a really bad stain, try a mix of one part Oxyclean, one part dishwasher detergent (the dry stuff), water that's as hot as the fabric will allow, and an overnight soak. I got this tip from a woman who sold second hand children's clothes and used it to get out baby formula--which really, really stains. The overnight soak is important--even if you just use oxyclean w/o the dishwashing detergent. This has also worked for me in some cases to get rid of underarm stains.

r r s said...

I have a pretty low limit on what I'll spend on white shirts, too. I have the same problem (cuffs get dirty), but since I usually only buy white on super-clearance, I don't have as much of an issue throwing it out.

I read somewhere that if dry cleaning makes your clothing dingy, it's because the solution the cleaner is using is dirty. Gross.

I like Oxyclean, too. I've also heard a diluted white vinegar pre-soak will get a lot of stains out, but I haven't tried it.