You press your shirts, get your slacks and blazer dry-cleaned, but do you think about accessory care? One cracked and ragged belt or a tie covered with food stains can draw all the attention, taking eyes away from your new haircut or watch. Thankfully, if you regularly maintain your items, they will last longer, look better and keep you from unwanted stares.
These are accessories that are often overlooked and become ugly quickly. Belt maintenance takes several steps. The first part is making sure you are buying the correct size. A belt that is too big will crease, while one that is too small will cause the holes to tear from stress. The second part is making sure you are conditioning your belt. Leather is skin, and will dry out and crack if left untreated, much like your hands can in the winter. Using a leather conditioner and a soft rag every now and then will keep the leather supple. If your belt requires deep cleaning, check out FashionMensWear.com for tips.
These accessories are more delicate than they seem. One run through the washer will cause a tie to fall apart. If a liquid stain appears on your tie, blot it immediately, or soak up greasy drips with talcum powder or cornstarch. Take more persistent stains to the dry cleaner, but make sure they do not press your ties, as this will cause them to lose shape. Also, remove your tie by reversing the tying process. Pulling a tied tie apart can cause wrinkles. You can help to remove wrinkles in a tie by letting shower steam do the work, and make sure they are stored over a hanger or rail so the wrinkles can loosen.
Esquire suggests purchasing a few unvarnished shoe trees to help maintain the shape of shoes. Use them for an hour or so after taking your shoes off to reshape them. Also, having at least 3 pairs of shoes to alternate keeps them from developing an odor. If you happen to encounter inclement weather, newspapers stuffed into the shoes will help them dry slowly to avoid cracking the leather, while a little vinegar and water will help remove salt stains. Finally, make sure to have your shoes resoled by a cobbler for optimum lifespan.
Don’t neglect your accessories and they will help your outfit instead of hindering it.