The first all cotton dress shirt I purchased was as a college student. Gant striped button down. It felt great, looked great. Yes, it wrinkled at the end of the day, but still looked great to me. Before that time, most of what I wore was a blend of cotton with Dacron/polyester. Never wrinkled very much. Polo style shirts we BanLon. Remember those? In the 70’s, it was difficult to adhere to a dress code that resembled the professionalism of the earlier “Ivy League” style. It took some searching, but you could do it.

After college and having exited my first job with a professional dress code environment, I joined the retail industry. I worked at an exclusive men’s store that sold high end updated traditional clothing. I learned all I could possible jam into my head and my experiences to become a professional clothier. Our store carried Polo Ralph Lauren clothing when it was only sold in small specialty stores, Norman Hilton, Oxxford, and other high quality clothing. Shirtings were from Polo, Gittman, Kenneth Gordon, Ike Behar and Robert Talbott. All natural fiber clothing. Polo even had a label sewn in the garments “Guaranteed to Wrinkle.” Never knew if it was an answer to a question that would be asked or a joke. I think both.

The fabrics felt wonderful. Care instructions were important. Customers didn’t care much for blends, they wanted to look great and feel great. They took care of their appearance and clothing. But somewhere along the line wrinkle resistant became a marketing tool to sell more “care free” clothing. Tencel, rayon, stretch fabrics and easy care wrinkle free garments became a must for the lazy consumer. One important icon in the industry, Brooks Brothers, developed a wrinkle free dress shirt and expanded to sport shirts and cotton trousers. The innovator of the button down collar shirt was to become the leading purveyor of non-iron dress shirts, a chemical process applied to the cotton to resist wrinkles. You could look at the end of the day like you did when you started the day.

Someone once said that a man should wear the clothes, not the clothes wear the man. Boy that sounds good to me. It seems that at the end of the day, a man should look like he worked, accomplished something, reached or is nearing reaching a goal. Depending on what he is wearing, he could look like he sat there and contemplated his navel all day. What do you want to say about you??

Wrinkle Free

Guaranteed To Wrinkle


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply