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If you’ve been reading our gear write-ups, your wardrobe is probably developing nicely.  What’s next?  You’ve invested a lot of money in your clothes and now it’s time to protect your investments.  We’re going to show you how, starting from head to toe…  Read up on a few simple ways to take care of and organize your gear.  Sticking to these basic tips will give your clothes a longer shelf life while helping you get ready for work or play more quickly.

 1. HATS

A stack of hats in the corner of your room is unsightly and unorganized.  Also, good luck grabbing a hat from that mess as you rush out of the door.  Soon, your nice hats will be dirty, bent awkwardly, lost or all of the above.  We’re big fans of this hook rack because it can get all your hats and jackets in order without taking up a lot of space in the apartment.  Buy two and stack them above one another on your wall.

The Container Store: Flip Hook Rack

2.  Shirts

If you’re like the majority of America and don’t wear ties with your collared shirts, you need some good collar stays.  A floppy collar doesn’t necessarily portray an aura of professionalism.   Most dress shirts will come with plastic collar stays which are fine if you are careful not to bend them.  If you want to upgrade to something less fragile, metal collar stays will last you longer.  Just remember to take them out before you take them to the cleaners.  By the way, get in nice with your local dry cleaner, if you’re bringing your dress shirts there often (which you should be doing), most mom and pop dry cleaners will be flexible in price or return time.

Brooks Brothers: Collar Stays

3.  Watches

Nowadays, watches are like shoes.  You have to have own several good ones to match your outfit and occasion.  We know your watch came in a nice box with the manual and a cool little cushion but it’s just not practical to have 5+ watch boxes on your dresser to sift through as you are running out to work.  Get a nice watch rack or holder depending on your volume.  We recommend getting one a little more spacious than you need right now to account for future gifts and purchases.  This one from Nordstrom even has a key-lock to protect what are probably your most valuable pieces of clothing.  Quick tip:  When traveling, transport extra watches in a nylon sunglasses bag to keep them from getting scuffed in your luggage.

Nordstrom Watch Box or Watch Winder

4.  Blazers/suits/dress pants

These are the clothes you break out when you want to impress.  Know your size and get them tailored, especially if you have been working hard to stay in shape.  Sleeves shouldn’t touch your watch when your arm is bent and pants shouldn’t break when you’re walking.  Again, having a good “in” with your local dry cleaner is key here.  Like a good barber, after a while, they’ll know your preferences.  When you’re getting a blazer tailored, wear some layers as you’re getting measured.  No point in getting fitted while wearing a t-shirt and then having a blazer that’s too tight to wear a sweater underneath.

5.  Shoes

Walking, crouching down, or really any movement will eventually give your shoes that terrible fold line at the crease of your toes.  Keeping the tissue paper in there between wears isn’t going to cut it.  Invest in a few shoe trees made from cedar.  This strong wood won’t only keep shape but also help remove moisture and odor.  Sneakers are not immune to this problem as well.  A few sneaker shields are useful because you can wear your kicks with the shields still in.  Lastly, travel with a few saniwipes to fight scuffs while you’re on vacation and without your normal shoe cleaner.

Cedar Shoe Trees or Sneaker Shield

Via: Jameel Mashburn, Style Editor

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