Polo shirts are a good staple item, but dress shirts should be a must-have article of clothing for every man out there. While these types of shirts aren’t always necessary in the workplace these days, they still very much have their place! Even if it’s just that one special dress shirt (sometimes called a button-down shirt), there will always come a time when you need to break it out for a fancy dinner, job interview, formal event, or maybe even a date night. Every dress shirt needs care and should be well-taken care of so that they last a long time and continue to look fresh, clean, and crisp. Read on to discover some tips regarding how to ensure that your dress shirts continue to look great in the future.

Remember the undershirt

Wearing an undershirt beneath your dress shirt has one important function: protecting it from deodorant and sweat stains. Especially important in the hotter months, a thin undershirt will help to defend against nasty yellow marks from appearing on the dress shirt underneath the arms, chest, and back. An inexpensive undershirt is sure to protect a more costly dress shirt. Simply match the color you’re wearing, so wear a white undershirt with a white dress shirt, for example.

Ensure your antiperspirant is the good stuff

If you’re going to the effort of wearing a dress shirt, then don’t ruin it by wearing a cheap, spray-on deodorant. The scents are often a bit overpowering and they don’t even prevent sweating that well. Furthermore, cheaper sprays lead to a lot of white and yellow stains on your nice, new shirts. The undershirts help protect a little bit in this regard, but it’s better to select a low-acidity, roll-on antiperspirant with a trustworthy brand name (like Mitchum or Dove) and always wait until it dries before putting on your shirt.

Look for the care symbols on each shirt before washing

Clothing manufacturers have luckily made laundry a bit easier, as all those little white tags on the collar will tell us how to wash the item. Dress shirts can come in many different materials and colors, so it’s best to look at the care symbols for how to launder the shirt by checking the tag. Some shirts need to be on a cold wash, can’t be put in a tumble dryer, are hand wash only, must be washed on a specific temperature, or even dry clean only. If you have spilled anything on your dress shirt, it’s good to remove the stain as fast as possible to prevent it from setting in. Also, undo the buttons before washing, as this is better for the material.

Consider vinegar for older shirts

Some of your older dress shirts can be brought back to life with household items. For white shirts, throw them into cold water with a cup of white vinegar for around 15 minutes, then wash as normal. This helps to remove sweat or deodorant stains and give the shirt a fresh look. After ironing, don’t forget to hang them up to prevent creasing.