Mens Dress Shirts for those who are Frugal?

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TraderER
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Mens Dress Shirts for those who are Frugal?

Post by TraderER »

Anyone have a brand they've grown fond of considering the cost vs benefit?

I've tried all the bargain brands ... Chaps Ralph Lauren, Arrow, Van Heusen, and Croft & Barrow.

Can't say I'm impressed by any of the shirts. All you need to do is grab my sleeve and viola, it's wrinkled. After sitting for a few hours at my desk and then attending a meeting the bottom of my shirt looks like garbage. Not even worth having them dry cleaned.

I've looked at some of the Charles Tyrwhitt clearance shirts and I'm impressed but at $60 (yes, that's on clearance) a pop that's not a cost that's easy to swallow.

... looking forward to what the other men wear or what the women purchase their husbands / boy friends.
Last edited by TraderER on Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gekko
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Post by Gekko »

Banana Republic Slim fit stretch poplin dress shirt

http://www.bananarepublic.com/browse/pr ... =509502042
sport
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Post by sport »

Costco has nice dress shirts that are inexpensive.
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jond2062
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Post by jond2062 »

Given some of the brands that you mentioned, I'm guessing you're looking to spend between $30-$40 per shirt. If that's the case, my recommendation would be to keep your eyes peeled for sales at places like Express, Banana Republic, Joseph A. Banks, etc. MSRP on their shirts are usually between $50-$90, but on sale you can find them for $30-40.

Based on the brands you mentioned, I am guessing you shop at Kohl's. So, if you can't wait for a sale I would recommend the Apt. 9 line of Men's apparel at Kohl's. I've found the quality to be on par or better than shirts that cost 2-3 times as much. Using a Kohl's 30% off coupon (they come around every couple months), I've been able to pick up Apt. 9 dress shirts for $15-$20 that retail for $40-$50.
Retiree
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Post by Retiree »

Ditto on the Costco "Kirkland" brand.

Also I like Penny's Executive Stafford line in the 100% cotton.

Take this with a grain of salt as it's been a few years since I've had need of new dress shirts. :lol: :lol:
Last edited by Retiree on Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Gekko
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Post by Gekko »

the problem with most men's dress shirts for me is that they fit like a parachute. there's way too much material in the middle and everywhere else because they are cut for the masses - your typical fat American male. that's why i like the BR shirts - they are cut slim without that excessive material that fits like a parachute. also, the material is 98% cotton with a 2% stretch material. this stretch material helps the shirt keep its shape, keep it from wrinkling, and makes it feel really comfortable. also, the poplin is very smooth and light and soft and comfortable and it feels/falls just right.

as far as suits go, i like Hugo Boss "Rossellini-Movie" 3-button suit with flat front pants. again, these are cut a little slimmer rather than for the typical fat American male ie cut like a paper bag. here's a tip - when trying suits on - always ask for the next smaller size down than what the salesman wants to sell you - many times salesman sell you a suit that's too big and thus unflattering.

for shoes, i like Kenneth Cole.

for me there is a law of diminishing return when you buy clothes/shoes. my "sweet spot" is:

shirts - $60
suits - $700 (includes alterations)
shoes - $150

for me, i feel like you get what you pay for within reason. for me, paying less gets me poor value and paying more gets me no additional value.

"The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory." - Aldo Gucci

Good luck!
Sotol
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ebay for used or overstock

Post by Sotol »

we've been able to buy some of the best for under $35 or 40 (this is our limit, including shipping) on ebay: try Zegna, Ralph Lauren, Paul Smith , Sulka, and other high end brands. the Italians are cut more narrow. be sure the measurements are right for you as some pre-owned shirts may have shrunk in the wash.
psu9932
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slim fit BR

Post by psu9932 »

Sorry, but at $98 a pop (unless I'm reading the price wrong), doesn't seem to frugal to me. That's about in line with BB's no wrinkle. Whew!

Lands End makes a nice dress shirt.
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Taylor Larimore
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"Wrinkle Free" shirts

Post by Taylor Larimore »

Can't say I'm impressed by any of the shirts. All you need to do is grab my sleeve and viola, it's wrinkled. After sitting for a few hours at my desk and then attending a meeting the bottom of my shirt looks like garbage. Not even worth having them dry cleaned.
I don't often make off-topic posts, but this time I may be qualified to help.

My first job was in the washroom of the Miami Laundry where my dad was manager. I also attended the American Institute of Laundry and Dry Cleaning. I have washed my own wash-and-wear shirts most of my life without ironing (it's possible if you know how).

A few years ago, a superior manufacturing technique was invented which make cotton fabrics stay fresh looking all day long. It's called "wrinkle-free." These shirts are hard to find, but usually available at Brooks Brothers and JC Penny. My wife bought me the BB shirts and they are far superior for home washing than any shirt I have owned. I suspect the JC Penny shirts are just as good.

Here is a link to the JC Penny shirts on their website.

http://www.jcpenney.com/products/C010082.jsp

Best wishes.
Taylor
edge
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Post by edge »

I buy custom tailored shirts. I have one in every major color and a few non-major ones. They are worth it (for me) because they fit perfectly and I keep them for a long long time. The prices have a wide range depending on the quality of the fabric. They are going to be quite a bit more than 30-40$ a piece but if I own one dark blue shirt for 10 years...its not a big deal for me to spend a bit more.
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TraderER
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Post by TraderER »

Thanks everyone.

I'm trying to look at clothing as an investment. I'd bet that a BB or Charles Tyrwhitt shirt would last long with appropriate care than a shirt from Kohl's.

I just bought my first pair of Kenneth Cole shoes and the difference is amazing.

However, I have survived on Kohl's shirts for many years, but that's due to meticulous ironing.
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Post by badger »

Penny's FITTED Stafford shirts. They are very hard to find. Out of the four stores in this area, only one carries they. Pull them from the dryer as soon as it buzzes.
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Post by nisiprius »

I've bought "wrinkle-free" shirts from a number of places, notably L. L. Bean.

They're reasonably satisfactory as far as being, let's say, wrinkle-resistant, and meet my (low) standards if I get them out of the dryer and hang them up reasonably soon after the dryer stops.

There's a tradeoff, though, at least with the ones I've bought: they're noticeably durable than their non-wrinkle-free counterparts. I know nothing about their construction, but the ones I've bought tend to wear through at the nice, sharp, crisp creases e.g. at the ends of the sleeves, and some kind of white lining starts to show through at the worn places.
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Post by AlohaJoe »

I agree with several above posters. I've tried shirts from L.L. Bean, Lands End, JC Penny, etc and I just don't like them. The vast majority of my shirts I've had for well over 5 years. At that point the cost difference between $20 and $100 pales; if I'm going to wear it 12+ hours a day I'd rather spend more when I can feel the difference.

As mentioned above, if you search on ebay and aren't in a hurry to buy you can find some nicer brands -- Zegna and Abboud are two of my favorite makers -- at reasonable prices. There are also online outlet mall type places like BlueFly.com that have higher end fashion at discounted prices.

Also: I've never bought from them but someone here posted a link to a place called The Tie Bar. They sell dress shirts for $15: http://www.thetiebar.com/categoryPages/Shirts.asp
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Post by sscritic »

I am going to Hong Kong this summer to get inexpensive shirts. The savings will pay for the trip (as long as I buy 200 shirts). :D
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Taylor, how does one wash and wear...

Post by D Newton »

A burning question indeed. But I have lots of JCP wash and wear shirts and I always seem to have to iron them after washing. Where's the "wear" part? What's the secret?

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Post by gunn_show »

I agree with Gekko, Banana Republic makes very nice shirts. I have many from them that have lasted several years. There is a BR outlet near San Diego also, and they are usually <$30/ea

Jos Banks is a nice one, but at your price point you would have to monitor their website for sales

And I also agree with Gekko on the fit problems. At 6'2 I am taller than average so I have to buy the larger shirts, but at 200lbs and fit, I am probably thinner than the average. So many 'normal' rack shirts fit like a 'parachute' as Gekko said it. I prefer to pay a little more at the register and get nice shirts in the slim fit cuts. H&M makes them, Zara Man, BR, - can be found at Macy's or a similar dept store. If I had to wear a shirt and tie everyday, I would probably get custom shirts made at BB. Worn for many years, you get your value back.

Express Men does have nice slim fit shirts too, wait for a holiday sale and nab a bunch.
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stan1
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Post by stan1 »

I have donated all of my old button down shirts to charity that pre-date "no-iron" fabric. They are much easier to care for (although they do require a quick once over with an iron to make me feel comforbale wearing them). They are also very durable -- I have some that are over 50+ washings and they do not show signs of wear. I also like the heavier feel of the fabrics.

I've bought most of my "no-iron" shirts from Jos A Bank or Men's Wearhouse. You can usually get them for about $60 each if they are on sale. Jos A Bank also has a much better variety of sizes than department stores. You can often get them for about $60 per shirt, and they are often on sale. My $60 shirts are lasting at least twice as long as my old $40 shirts, so I think that's a good deal.
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One place where more money is worth it

Post by leonard »

If I pay a lot for anything, I want my money's worth.

The Brooks Brother no-wrinkle dress shirts are one item that is worth the premium. Yes, they are expensive, but sometimes they have sales, so worth watching for a sale. When I was wearing them daily, you could simply wash, hang dry, and they were ready to go. I saved a ton of time not having to iron them. I wear their slim/athletic fit (or whatever their name is for it), but I am guessing the standard sizes are made of the same no wrinkle material.

A close second in wrinkle resistant material dress shirts is Eddie Bauer. Lasted very well through many washings. Also, hang dry and wear with no wrinkles, although not quite as wrinkle free as Brooks Brothers. But, still good enough not to need an iron.

So, I would recommend either Brooks Brothers or Eddie Bauer wrinkle free, assuming they fit you.
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Post by RTR2006 »

I used to have my shirts made at The Custom Shop back in the 1980s. I was bugged having to pay $40 per with a 4 shirt order minimum (yes, in 1980s dollars!), and the elbow kept splitting after only a few years.

I sent one of my bad CS shirts to Lands End and asked them to replace it. My shirts went from $40 to $29.50.... perhaps not a big drop in price, but enough for me with the occasional sale, and I've been a tried and true LE customer for years.

RTR
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NoMoreInvestingExcitement
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Post by NoMoreInvestingExcitement »

Hi TraderER:

Take a look at Paul Fredrick 80's Pinpoint Oxfords (they hold starch well, which will help with the wrinkle problem you are experiencing ... funny thing about various shirts and fabrics ... some take to starch well and others don't).

I wish I had the coupon code handy, but I don't right now. Quite often, Paul Fredrick will advertise in Time or BusinessWeek or other similar publications and offer to sell up to 4 of these shirts (even monogrammed, if you are so inclined) for 19.95 each.

This way, you can check out the quality for yourself without breaking the bank. They have many different style collars and also come w/French Cuffs, if you're so inclined.

I think the regular price of these "basic" shirts is something like $40. Of course, they sell "finer" weaves/styles/colors for much more. They also have the "no iron" variety.

If you can't locate the real bargain magazine ad/coupon I mentioned, you can always try www.currentcodes.com. They currently have checkout codes that can save you some %age off of your total purchase or get you free shipping depending on how much you buy.

Shoot those cuffs! Good shopping.
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Post by SmallHi »

David Mercer is probably the king of value in the button down shirt department. I get all of my button downs from www.mercerandsons.com

Once I started shopping there, I have never looked back (haven't had to replace a shirt yet)!

Price matters, but value matters more.

(for example, I would rather pay a few hundred dollars more for a suit that is fully canvassed (or at least partially) than one that has been glued together. They may not look any different on the rack, but 4 years and 25 drycleanings later, a fused (glued) suit will look like you've stuffed the lapels with bubble wrap, while the canvassed suit should look as new as day one)

don't know anything about clothes? take this website for a spin : www.askandyaboutclothes.com

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Post by tdhg566 »

When I HAD to wear dress shirts :wink: , I bought them from Land's End. I really liked their choices. I was able to find a stock size (tall) that avoided the additional cost for custom shirts.

If you want shirts (or any clothing) to last, avoid commercial cleaners. There's a price to be paid for the convenience.

Fortunately my office went to business casual some years ago. Now it's dockers and polos for me :lol:
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Post by dustyod »

VanHeusen Wrinkle free and fitted. Can be found on Amazon for under $30 at times with free shipping.
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Post by Drain »

BB non-iron isn't all that expensive. I'm not sure what premium is being talked about. You can get three of them for $199 now--that's $66 a shirt. Buy the same three shirts during one of the upcoming 25%-off promotions, and you're down to $50 a shirt. For what you get, that's pretty darned good.
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Post by leonard »

Drain Wrote:
I'm not sure what premium is being talked about.
Well, if your next best option costs $40, Brooks Brothers priced at $50 is still a $10/shirt premium over the 2nd best option. So, the incremental $10/shirt is the premium I was talking about.
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Drain
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Post by Drain »

leonard wrote:Drain Wrote:
I'm not sure what premium is being talked about.
Well, if your next best option costs $40, Brooks Brothers priced at $50 is still a $10/shirt premium over the 2nd best option. So, the incremental $10/shirt is the premium I was talking about.
Okay, but then virtually every shirt in existence is at a premium. The $40 shirt costs more than a $30 shirt, the $30 shirt costs more than a $25 shirt, and so on. I mean, you're right, but...

Let's just say that the BB shirts are a good value if they're within one's budget, and $50 for a dress shirt strikes me as a reasonable expenditure.
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dphmd
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Post by dphmd »

This is where a trip to the outlet mall is really worth it. "Commodity clothing" like dress shirts are always easy to find there, and you can get good quality for much less.

Personally, I'm a big fan of Perry Ellis.

Banana Republic is also good, but unless you are ready to pay big bucks you can only get small/med/large instead of fitted. (They do have the "slim fit" shirts which don't bunch out a lot.)

I'm embarrassed to say on the Diehards forum that I'm willing to pay $20 to have a shirt tailored to fit my waist and arms, but I run 40 miles a week I want my shirts to fit right.

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Post by SoonerSunDevil »

dphmd wrote:I'm embarrassed to say on the Diehards forum that I'm willing to pay $20 to have a shirt tailored to fit my waist and arms, but I run 40 miles a week I want my shirts to fit right.

Dave
I too am willing to pay good money for clothes that fit right, especially when it comes to pants. I won't buy pants off the rack anymore. I'll purchase unfinished pants from Joseph Bank or another retailer and then pay the $10 - $15 to have them tailored.

As far as shirts go, I have found it to be worth my money to purchase dress shirts from Joseph Bank, Banana Republic, and Brooks Brothers.

John
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Post by stan1 »

I have about 20 wrinkle-resistant, no iron shirts from Jos A Bank and Mens Wearhouse. Some are approaching 3 years old, and have surely been worn and washed close to 100 times. They still look good in a professional environment (wife's opinion, not just mine). We run an iron over the shirts quickly, but they are still much easier to care for than regular shirts without the wrinkle resistant fabric. To me that's value worth paying extra for upfront, but of course others will disagree.
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Post by achie25 »

My problem is that I can't buy off the rack. Being an ex-college offensive lineman I have trouble finding dress shirts even in a Big & Tall shop. I have a 20inch neck and a 40inch sleeve. I am 6'5" so I need the extra length but most shirts are too big around. A real pain in the a$$. I have a few that are tailored but they are $$. As a teacher I don't have to wear a dress shirt that often as I can dress somewhat casually but the majority of my shirts are a good 3 inshes short when my arms are outstretched. Don't get me started on shoes and cars as well :(
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turboLT
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Re: slim fit BR

Post by turboLT »

psu9932 wrote: Lands End makes a nice dress shirt.
Hands down the best bang for your buck. $40-45 gives you a "fitted" dress shirt that's wrinkle free
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Post by jeugenius »

If you are worried about wrinkles just buy a steamer. I have a commercial model that is used in dry cleaning that cost about $100. It heats up in about 2 minutes and only takes about 2 more to get the wrinkles out of anything.

Just make sure you only use distilled water because the minerals in the tap will clog the steamer. If this ever happens you can make a solution of half white vinegar and half distilled water and let the steamer run it through to clear out the clogged minerals.

But I must admit, for shirts I do the Brooks Brothers wrinkle free. Best I've found thus far.

Hope this helps.

Cheers!
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preserve
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Post by preserve »

jeugenius wrote:If you are worried about wrinkles just buy a steamer. I have a commercial model that is used in dry cleaning that cost about $100. It heats up in about 2 minutes and only takes about 2 more to get the wrinkles out of anything.

Just make sure you only use distilled water because the minerals in the tap will clog the steamer. If this ever happens you can make a solution of half white vinegar and half distilled water and let the steamer run it through to clear out the clogged minerals.

But I must admit, for shirts I do the Brooks Brothers wrinkle free. Best I've found thus far.

Hope this helps.

Cheers!
can you tell me the model? I am tired of using my steam press.

This thread is the most informative thread I've ever found online.
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Post by jeugenius »

I use a Rowenta Commercial Garment Steamer.

It's a quality product and I would definitely vouch for it.

Cheers!
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Post by joe8d »

Penny's FITTED Stafford shirts. They are very hard to find. Out of the four stores in this area, only one carries they. Pull them from the dryer as soon as it buzzes.


I buy them on sale(50% off)and find them to be the best.
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Re: One place where more money is worth it

Post by livesoft »

leonard wrote:The Brooks Brother no-wrinkle dress shirts are one item that is worth the premium. Yes, they are expensive, but sometimes they have sales, so worth watching for a sale. When I was wearing them daily, you could simply wash, hang dry, and they were ready to go. I saved a ton of time not having to iron them. I wear their slim/athletic fit (or whatever their name is for it), but I am guessing the standard sizes are made of the same no wrinkle material.
BB is the hands-down winner. 100% cotton. I routinely get compliments from men and women about my dress shirts ... and they are BB. I order them online where sales are pretty routine. Expect to pay under $50 a shirt.
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Post by Warner »

from the March 2007 Consumer Reports (wrinkle-free shirts): Jos A Bank, Land's End, LL Bean, Brooks Bros, Penneys ...
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Post by sgt skidmark »

Gekko wrote:Banana Republic Slim fit stretch poplin dress shirt

http://www.bananarepublic.com/browse/pr ... =509502042
I disagree, I've bought that exact shirt (in a different color) two months ago.

It still bunches at the back and wrinkles just as much as my cheaper ~$30-40 shirts.

I think my extra $$$ went to the BR namebrand. Oh well, you live and learn.
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Post by jessicasteven »

I usually like tight-fighting shirts, those marked as "slim" to show my chest and abs (the little I have!). Anyways, I'm wondering, has any guy thought of getting a women's button-front shirt? I'm not sure what to call 'em, but a blouse, a shirt, something simple, nothing too feminine.
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Post by VGisforme »

jessicasteven wrote:I usually like tight-fighting shirts, those marked as "slim" to show my chest and abs (the little I have!). Anyways, I'm wondering, has any guy thought of getting a women's button-front shirt? I'm not sure what to call 'em, but a blouse, a shirt, something simple, nothing too feminine.
No more then I've thought about buying a woman's suit...

Women's shirts button on the wrong side anyhow!
ellamaykuppai
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Spend little more it will last..

Post by ellamaykuppai »

I have tried many shirts and I think the best is J Crew, Brooks brothers and CTshirts. Try JCREW outlet stores, you will find wrinkle free shirts for $25. I would highly recommend it for younger people..
Brooks Brothers has sale twice ayear (in regular stores) were u can get 3 shirts for $118 (After all discounts. they provide 15% extra discount if you buy before 12noon). those shirts are very very good. They have slim fit and regular fit. buy depending on your body type.
CTshirts as opposed to someone who mentioned its $60, it starts from $35. I got one for $37 (but there is a hefty $10.50 shipping). but seems to be good. I just got one of them.

What do you all think? Can someone tell about good pants too?

Thanks
Last edited by ellamaykuppai on Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
IL Int Med
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Re: "Wrinkle Free" shirts

Post by IL Int Med »

Taylor Larimore wrote: My first job was in the washroom of the Miami Laundry where my dad was manager. I also attended the American Institute of Laundry and Dry Cleaning. I have washed my own wash-and-wear shirts most of my life without ironing (it's possible if you know how).
Can you please share the secret to washing wash-and-wear shirts without ironing? I've never been able to go without ironing them.
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Post by tim1999 »

I buy Brooks Brothers non-iron slim fit shirts on sale. Yes, they are very expensive when regular-priced. The trick is to buy them in the after-after Christmas sale. It usually goes from around Jan 5th and runs a few weeks. You can get them for $40 or so each and don't have to buy 3 of them to get the deal, like you do right after Christmas. I just picked up two new ones earlier this month.

With many other brands, there is way too much material for my figure, and the shirts look silly. The BB shirts fit perfectly. Since my ironing skills have always been horrible, I used to get all my dress shirts dry cleaned. A year ago I vowed to replace older "ironing required" shirts with non-iron as they wear out to save $$. As long as you don't pack too many clothes in the washer/dryer, I find that they come out looking great and stay that way all day.

I've tried other brands like Jos. A. Bank, but they all are way too puffy fitting. JC Penney's Stafford non-iron shirts are great at not wrinkling, and you can get them dirt cheap on sale. However, I find that the styles are a little dated and "old man-ish" for me.
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Post by Qtman »

I buy virtually all my dress shirts at thrift stores. If you are patient and check frequently, you can find excellent shirts with no spots, tears etc. With Americans gaining more weight every year, many people unload whole shirt collections that no longer fit them.

They cost me on average $1.25 each.

Over the years I have bought Pink (about $150 new), Polo (about $70+ new), Brooks Brothers (about $70+ new) and many others for $1.25 each.

This I call deep discounting.
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Post by gavinman »

I'll put my vote in for Brook Brothers shirts. They may be more expensive but they also last longer. I had a few Lands End wrinkle free and they shrunk some and don't come out of the washer that well. The Joseph Banks shirts also are OK but don't last like the Brooks Brothers. The BB shirts come out of the wash great and hold up and don't shrink.

I did have one JC Penney shirt that was good but it was a little stiff. My BB shirts have outlasted all the cheaper ones. If you can get them onsale or find an outlet they aren't too expensive.
livesoft
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Post by livesoft »

Once you know your size, the web is the way to buy BB shirts.
allsop
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Re: "Wrinkle Free" shirts

Post by allsop »

Taylor Larimore wrote: I don't often make off-topic posts, but this time I may be qualified to help.

My first job was in the washroom of the Miami Laundry where my dad was manager. I also attended the American Institute of Laundry and Dry Cleaning. I have washed my own wash-and-wear shirts most of my life without ironing (it's possible if you know how).

A few years ago, a superior manufacturing technique was invented which make cotton fabrics stay fresh looking all day long. It's called "wrinkle-free."
I assume that you did this before the "wrinkle-free" fabrics, so please enlighten us.
st.jackfan
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Post by st.jackfan »

Brooks Brother no-iron shirts (on sale) also get my vote. They last longer and stay looking nicer than any other brand I've tried.
Beth
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2 for 1 Sale

Post by Beth »

Last week I was at a Jos. A Banks and ran into a 2 for 1 sale of their Travelers Collection no-iron shirts. Now that cleaners want upwards of $2/shirt, I am turning over my husband's collection of dress shirts to this model. He's had some for 3 years and they are as fresh as ever. Beth
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