Do it Right: Hanging Up Dress Shirts
Men, if you’re like me, you have a hard enough time even getting your clothes put away to maybe contemplate the finer points of just how you should be hanging up, say, your seemingly gazilion button-down work shirts.
It’s not that I can’t appreciate I’ll look appreciably better in said shirts if they’re not draped over the laundry basket of clean clothes at the end of the bed I continue to make withdrawals from throughout the week, or piled in a wrinkled tower atop my jeans and slacks — if they manage to make it out of the tumble in the dryer in the first place.
It’s that I’m a guy who is always rushing off to the next, next, next, and has only half his mind on getting dressed anyway, while my mouth is rinsing Scope and my fingers are shooting off texts and emails and my brain is contemplating a chord change on the second line of the chorus in “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters.”
So I’m a bit fanatical about keeping my momentum going. Enough so that if my shirts actually get into where they belong in the closet, I want to spend the least possible amount of time getting them from the hanger and hanging on my shoulders.
Which brings us to this installment of DO IT RIGHT.
At some point a while back, I ventured into my closet in the early a.m., trailing dust and aftershave and a cloud of go-go-go and stopped short when I came to a dress shirt buttoned from bottom to top, on the hanger.
As I stood there, unbuttoning each button, getting older, going grayer, barely remembering the last song in my head let alone the six emails on deck, it struck me: why the hell?
Why, when going through the chore of hanging the last 10 or 12 shirts that came out of the wash, did my wife or I (OK: let’s give credit where it is obviously due: my loving, caring, tireless wife) prolong that chore and also extend this current one by buttoning every last button on the shirt when hanging it up?
The solution? Simple. Yes, start by first hanging up that shirt immediately out of the dryer or after ironing (ha, ironing. RIGHT), and maybe just button the top button (not the collar button) to save some steps later.
I’d skip the topmost (collar) button, since, given the ways we men devour life we are expecting the shirt to adhere to a standard that it in no way will reach once it enfolds our lumpy — better: careworn — bodies. So, let the collar hang loose.
But to keep the thing from flapping and wrinkling, or worse, sliding, you’ve got to button at least one button.
This source suggests every other button — and for most of my shirts, I agree. They tend to get all snagged and shift around as I root through the lineup most days, resigning myself to the fact that, yeah, I better wear a shirt out in public after all. And it’s at least a hedge against outright laziness to button every other button.
So there you have it: a happy medium, and a nice-looking shirt. Now, wipe the jam off your pants and go knock ’em dead, you hero you.