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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dry Cleaning Draperies

Have you ever been in a room that was expertly painted, exquisitely furnished, and well appointed – but it didn’t have draperies?  Somehow the room feels incomplete; there’s something about draperies that give a room unity, harmony, and warmth.  I tend to think of draperies as a décor item, but truthfully draperies serve a much bigger purpose.  In addition to décor, draperies provide privacy and help with temperature control, sunlight control, and soundproofing.

If you are like me, it took you forever to find just the right draperies for your living room, and honestly, they came with a fairly significant cost.  After they were hung, I stood back and admired my purchase and then moved on to the next thing.  Who really gives their draperies much thought?  But you should.  Draperies are exposed to all kinds of conditions every single day:
  • Sunlight – which can cause discoloration and weaken the fabric
  • Moisture – humidity, leaks, or condensation can cause dye bleeding and water rings
  • Odors – cooking fumes and smoke tend to deposit on the fabric
  • Dust – dust and airborne particles land on drapes causing fading and discoloration
To lengthen the life of your drapes, we suggest the following:
  • Regularly vacuum your drapes with a soft-bristled attachment, which will remove surface dust that has settled on your draperies. 
  • Have your window treatments and draperies professionally cleaned every 2-3 years, depending on their environment. 
One additional piece of information to consider.  Manufacturing industry standards allow 2-4% shrinkage in household fabrics, which could prove to be significant on floor-length draperies and may not occur on separate linings.

If your drapes are in need of some special attention, simply drop them off at one of our locations and let us take a look at them.  And of course, if you ever have questions or need help, please call one of our stores and speak with a manager.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Caring for Your Suit

We’ve talked before about the importance of properly fitting clothing.  We’ve also talked about how no one, no matter their size, can walk into a department store, pull a suit off a rack, and expect it fit perfectly – everywhere.  Of course, that’s where expert alterations come in.  But once you’ve selected your suit, have had it expertly fitted to your physique, you can’t just wear it and then throw it in the closet.  You’ve invested some time and money into this ensemble, and you’ll want to keep it in peak condition for as long as possible.  Besides regular cleaning and pressing, here are few key things you’ll need to do to keep your suit looking like new:
  • Keep your suit as a set.  Not only is it important to provide identical care to the pants and coat to help ensure consistent color and texture of the fabric over time, but you also want to wear them together, not as separates. 
  • Avoid sunlight.  Try to keep dark suits out of bright sunlight.  For instance, if you take your jacket off, hang it on a hanger, and leave it in your car all day, it will cause the coat to become lighter than the pants over time. 
  • Clean it regularly.  We typically recommend cleaning a suit after 3-4 times of wearing, but there could be a need to clean it sooner.  Here are some reasons why: it is an exceptionally hot day, you are outside a lot, and therefore you perspire more than normal; you wear it to a restaurant where food smells settle into the fabric; you spill something on it, even a clear beverage which will discolor over time.  Even if it doesn’t look dirty, there could be unseen dirt on it which will impact your suit’s appearance.
  • Take off your jacket.  If you sit for long periods of time, the back of your coat will get overly wrinkled and worn.
  • Handle with care.  Use a good quality wooden hanger to hang your suit, which will help maintain the jacket’s shape and keep the pants nicely creased.  Try waiting a day or two between wearing to give the fabric time to rest.
If you have questions about suit care, please call or stop by one of our locations.  We are here to help.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Shores is on Instagram

When I got married back in the olden days (1999), my source for inspiration was mostly magazines, but I always felt like no matter what magazine I looked at, their focus was always to try and sell me something – not help me figure out what I liked and what I wanted.  I sure do wish we’d had Instagram and Pinterest back then, two sources that are just chocked full of ideas.  Sure, there are plenty of folks out there trying to sell you stuff, but I feel like I get way more honesty and genuine ideas from these two sources than anywhere else.  But more importantly, I get a feel for the person sharing the ideas.  I get their story.

There are several reasons why Shores recently joined the world of Instagram.  Here are two:
  1. We want brides, mothers of brides, future brides, and customers to see what an important role Shores plays in helping the wedding planning process run more smoothly.
  2. We like stories.  We like hearing about people’s stories, and we like sharing those stores.
Unfortunately, if you don’t share those stories with us, we don’t have anything to tell.  That’s why we’d love some help getting this going.  Here’s what you can do:
  • If your wedding gown needs to be altered, call one of our three locations to schedule a fitting with one of our skilled and experienced seamstresses.  When you come for your appointment, be sure to bring all of the undergarments you intend to wear beneath the wedding dress as well as your shoes, head piece or veil, and hair accessories.  When you come for your fitting, you will be asked about letting us snap a few photos throughout the dress alteration process and then letting us share them AFTER your big day.  Don’t worry, we won’t ruin any surprises you might want to have in store for your groom and guests, and we won’t share any photos that you haven’t approved.
  • If your gown needs to be cleaned, pressed, or freshened up before your big day, bring it by one of our locations, and the Certified Gown Specialist at the location you visit will customize a plan for your gown and will treat it with tender loving care.  When you drop off your gown, we will ask you if we can snap a few photos while we freshen it up and then share them with our Instagram followers.  Again, we won’t share any photos until after the wedding day.
  • Don’t forget to clean and preserve your gown as soon as possible after your wedding.  The longer you wait to have your gown cleaned, the less likely it is that all the stains can be removed.  When you drop off your gown, we will ask you if we can snap a few photos during the process and then share them with our Instagram followers. 
  • Finally, if you have some photos of your big day that you’d like to share with us, we’d love to see them.  Just e-mail them to shoresdrycleaning@gmail.com with a little information about yourself, your dress, ceremony, venue, or any other tidbit you’d like for folks to know.  We’d be delighted to post them on our Instagram account.
If an everyday photo is worth a thousand words, then imagine how much a photo of your gown, you in your gown, or you in your gown at your ceremony is worth to a bride that is struggling to piece her big day together.  Perhaps one of your photos and your story could provide a bit of inspiration.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tuxedo Rental by Xedo

Before I got married, I often wondered why brides purchased their gowns while grooms rented their tuxedos.  Then my husband and I got married, and he decided to purchase a custom-made Jhane Barnes tuxedo.  He considered renting one, but he didn’t have a style in mind and didn’t know of a reputable place to inquire.  While mentioning this to his boss, she thought a better solution would be purchasing as he never knew when he might need a tuxedo again.  The last time he wore it was our wedding day – 17 years ago.  Now it sits preserved in a beautiful museum-quality chest, next to my beautifully preserved wedding gown, thanks to Shores, in a storage room off his home office upstairs.  If only Xedo had been around back then; we would have saved a considerable amount of time, frustration, and space.  Our story, and countless others like ours, is exactly why Shores has partnered with Xedo to offer the ultimate solution to the tuxedo dilemma.

Over the next few months, we will share with you success stories, style tips, and inspiration, but today we wanted to give you the scoop on how their service works.
  1. Pick your style – choose from a selection of pre-styled tuxedos or customize your own.
  2. Once you’ve selected your style, complete the online questionnaire to order a free home try-on.  They provide a tutorial to assist in measuring for size.
  3. After finalizing your selection, order your tux and add your groomsmen to your account. Xedo will e-mail them the details and request measurements.
  4. Xedo will ship your tux to your home 2 weeks before the wedding date to give you plenty of time to receive a free size replacement.
  5. After the wedding, simply box up your tux and use the pre-paid FedEx label to return it at no charge.
But not only does Xedo make the tuxedo rental process incredibly easy, they, more importantly, have partnered with top bridal and menswear designers like Alfred Angelo, Allure, Justin Alexander, Michael Kors and Mon Cheri.  You can rest assured that not only do those names mean fine fabrics and custom fit, they also mean the latest in styles that are guaranteed to compliment any wedding gown.  To learn more, click here or call any one of our locations and speak to the manager. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Why Preownedweddingdresses.com Recommends Association of Wedding Gown Specialists Cleaners

In our May blog post, Your Wedding Gown – Cleaning versus Preservation, we just grazed over the cleaning aspects of a wedding gown and mostly focused on preserving and storing.  I think that’s because I am still of the generation that says you should preserve and store your gown, but according to Josie Daga, founder of preownedweddingdresses.com, the landscape of what a bride does with her wedding gown is changing.  Many brides these days are choosing to sell their gowns, and the reason for reselling isn’t because of money.  Here are a few reasons brides have given Josie regarding reselling their gowns:
  • “Some memories don’t belong in a box”
  • “It’s way too pretty to sit in a closet”
  • “I want to share it with someone else”
During a recent conversation with Josie, the most interesting piece of information I took away was that brides, even after their wedding day and those that plan on selling their dress, are worried about their gown being ruined.  That’s one of the many reasons why preownedweddingdresses.com recommends dry cleaners that are a certified by the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists (AWGS), a non-for-profit trade association of specialty cleaners that has been around since 1987, for wedding gown cleaning, care, and alterations.  Why is that important?  Well, AWGS members clean wedding gowns using standard museum-quality practices.  We evaluate each gown individually and then customize the cleaning process accordingly.  Further, cleanings are only done by Certified Gown Specialists, who in turn provide a written international guarantee.  You can return your gown to any one of its members, and the gown will be inspected and pressed at no charge.

In addition to the cleaning, AWGS certified cleaners have been granted permission to certify the condition of the gown prior to listing it on preownedweddingdresses.com, which helps the bride because clean gowns appraise at a higher value.

Selling your wedding gown seems to be an up-and-coming trend.  Sharing your gown with another bride definitely has its benefits, and buying a pre-owned gown offers brides the opportunity to purchase a higher-end or designer gown at a more reasonable price.  Plus, besides getting a beautiful gown, a bride that wears a pre-owned wedding gown not only develops a friendship with the seller, but she also wears a dress that has a story and that is developing a personality of its own.

Selling your wedding gown isn’t for everyone, but if you decide to go that route, we definitely recommend using preownedwedddingdresses.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Importance of Properly Fitting Clothes

We’ve all heard sayings like “Clothes Make the Man”, and we all know Coco Chanel’s famous quote “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” I have to say that I like this one the best – “Baggy pants were never, and will never be cool.”  You can put on an expensive dress or a designer suit but if it is too small or too big, folks will notice the fit and never notice your fancy frock or classy ensemble.  Most people cannot walk into a department store, pull a ready-to-wear garment off of the rack, and expect it to fit perfectly – no matter what their size.  Yet, we all spend so much time trying on multiple outfits, looking for that perfect fit, and then settle for a garment that mostly works.  But the truth is not only does the fit of your clothes determine whether it looks good on you or not, it also affects how you feel about yourself. 
  • Clothes that are too big make you look sloppy and both bigger and older than what you actually are.  Furthermore, they tend to hide your best features.
  • Clothes that are too small tend to accentuate every single flaw.
  • Clothes that fit properly make you look thinner, and most of all, they make you feel confident.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on designer clothes or a custom suit to get that perfect fit or feeling of confidence.  If there is a garment that you absolutely love, and it is perhaps a little too long in the sleeve or too big in the waist, there is an easy solution – tailoring.  It is not nearly as expensive as you think, and it could possibly open up a whole new genre of clothing.  Once you recognize that, you can purchase a garment that accentuates your best feature and then have the other portions altered to flatter the rest of your shape.

All three of our locations are set up to handle any clothing alteration need – from a simple repair to an ornate wedding gown.  So if your clothes aren’t accentuating your best features, stop by or call for an appointment, and we will be glad to tailor your wardrobe to fit your needs.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Your Wedding Gown – Cleaning versus Preservation

You feel in love with it as soon as you put it on.  You couldn’t imagine wearing any other dress when you walked down the aisle.  As soon as your mom saw you in it, she immediately teared up.  But now the big day is over, and you need to decide what to do with your gown.  Are you going to share this treasure with someone else by either selling or donating it?  If so, then cleaning and hanging would be appropriate.  First, be sure to have it cleaned as soon as possible after your wedding day; the longer you wait to clean your gown, the less likely it is that all the stains can be removed.  Second, be sure to choose a certified wedding gown specialist that will guarantee and personally process your gown. 

Or do you want to preserve this timeless memory as a family heirloom or for future generations?  If so, then preservation is the answer.  When it comes to wedding gown preservation, there are lots of things to consider.  In the past we’ve shared tips like these on Facebook and Twitter:
  • Never store your garments long-term in our plastic poly bags
  • Our plastic poly bags are designed for short-term protection only
  • Long-term use of our plastic poly bags will suffocate your clothes and possibly cause staining or mildewing problems
That same advice holds true when it comes to preserving and storing your wedding gown.  Not only do plastic bags trap moisture, they can also emit fumes that can cause your gown to yellow.  If you really want to hang your gown, placing it in a muslin or Tyvek bag will eliminate the moisture and trapped fumes issues.  But there are other issues associated with hanging your gown for long periods of time – like the possibility of shape distortion.  The weight of the gown pulling down against the hanger, even if you use the safety loops attached to the inside seams, could cause the gown to become misshapen.

For storing your gown long-term, after it has been cleaned, Shores recommends layering your gown with acid-free tissue, wrapping it in freshly laundered muslin, folding and placing it in an acid-free archival wedding chest, and sealing the chest with pest-proof tape.  Shores has so much confidence in this method, that we will provide a written, lifetime guarantee against yellowing or caramelized sugar stains, which is honored by the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists.

If your gown is in need of cleaning and/or preservation and you have questions, please bring it by one of our locations.  We will gladly take a look at it and offer recommendations.