Gown Services Services Locations My Shores App About Us Contact Us

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Keep Your Uggs Looking Like New

Uggs.  Just about everyone has a pair.  Fans of Uggs rave about their warmth and comfort, but they can be a bit impractical given the time of year they are typically worn.  A pair of short classic Ugg boots costs around $100.  The price tends to go up from there.  If you have a pair or are considering purchasing a pair, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind so that your Uggs stay in tip-top form:

• Uggs are not waterproof.  Wearing them in the snow or rain can permanently damage the surface.  Before you wear them for the first time, drop them off at one of our locations so that we can apply suede protection.  This protection won’t allow you to jump in puddles with your Uggs on, but it can help guard against staining while wearing your Uggs in mild inclement weather.  Ultimately we suggest you skip wearing them if the forecast is for rain or snow.
• Steer clear of placing your Uggs near a heat source.  Heat and sunlight can fade the color and possibly make the fabric dry and brittle.
• If your boots do get wet, let them dry fully before putting them away.  Placing them in the closet still damp could lead to mold. 
• Always wear socks with your Uggs.  This will help reduce the chance of odor.
• Stuff them with paper or a rolled towel when not wearing them.  It will help them keep their shape.
• Avoid wearing your Uggs in the kitchen.  They tend to absorb odors, and you wouldn’t want to spill something on them while cooking.

But never fear, if you happen to spill something on your Uggs or get caught in the rain, drop them off at any Shores location.  We will do our best to return them to like-new condition in about a week.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

RN and WPL Numbers

Take a look at a tag inside one of your garments.  You will probably find at the bottom of the tag ‘RN’ or ‘WPL’ followed by several numbers.

Companies are required to label covered products with either the name or an identifying number of the business responsible for marketing the products in the U. S. Most companies go with the identifying number.

The number is issued by the Federal Trade Commission to U. S. businesses that manufacture, import, distribute, or sell products covered by the Textile, Wool, and Fur Acts. While the FTC no longer issues WPL numbers, you may still find one in a wool garment.  Knowing about these numbers and how to research them is a handy little piece of information should you have an issue with a garment or another textile-related item.

If you need to research an item, click the link below.


Simply put in the RN or WPL number and hit find.  It will then give you the query results.  Click on the blue link to get more detailed information like the address and possibly telephone number of the company.  Companies are required to keep their information current.  But if you are unsuccessful in reaching anyone, please get in touch with one of our managers.  We are happy to help.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How to Pack a Suit

We’ve always said to never store your garments long-term in our plastic poly bags.  Our poly bags are designed for short-term protection only.  Long-term use will suffocate your clothes and possibly cause staining or mildewing problems.  But, don’t place them in the recycle or throw them away just yet.  We’ve got another fantastic use for them.

There are two major things that cause clothing wrinkles from suitcases.  The first reason is over packing, which will be addressed in a later blog post.  The second reason is friction.  By placing your finer garments – your business suit and dress shirts – inside our poly bags, folding them properly, and strategically placing them in your suitcase, you can reduce the chances of wrinkles.  Here are our suggestions:

• Roll items like jeans and t-shirts and use them to line the bottom of your suitcase. 
• Place each delicate item – suit jacket, trousers, and dress shirt – in its own poly bag.
• For the jacket - button it, place it inside the bag, and lay it out flat.  Then fold the jacket in half length-wise, and then fold it in half again the opposite direction so that it is ¼ of its original size.

• Do the same thing for the trousers.  Lay them out flat.  Slide the plastic bag over the pants and fold in half, and then half again.

• Finally on the dress shirt, lay it out flat, make sure it is buttoned, and place the plastic bag over it.  Flip it over and fold in each sleeve and approximately ¼ of each side.  Then fold the top half over the bottom half.

• On a side note, Shores can fold your dress shirts for you so that they are packaged and ready to place in your suitcase.  Just ask for that service, and we will take care of the folding for you.

• Pack these items in the center of your suitcase, avoiding the edges.  Pack other rolled items on top to create a cushion for your business garments. 
• While you shouldn’t over pack your suitcase, it is also important to fill any empty spaces so that items don’t move around.
• Tuck your shoes around the edges of your suitcase. 
• If you travel frequently, you may want to invest in a tie carrier.  But if you don’t or would prefer to go a less expensive route, you could always roll up your ties, place them in Ziploc bags, and put them inside your packed shoes.

As soon as you arrive at your destination, unpack your bag and hang up your suit.  If there are a few wrinkles, you can always hang it in the bathroom (but not too close to the water) for about 10 minutes with the shower on hot so that it creates plenty of steam.  After you return from your trip, be sure to drop off your suit at any one of our locations.  Our Certified Master Dry Cleaners and educated staff will expertly clean and finish your suit and have it ready for you when promised.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tips for Purchasing a Winter Coat

Fall officially arrived a few weeks ago, and cooler weather is moving in.  It’s time to take a look at your winter wardrobe to see where you might need some updates.  One such item might be a new coat.  If purchasing a new coat is on your ‘must do’ list, here are a few tips to help you on your mission.

Consider color – First and foremost, choose what you love.  If you look great in and love that white coat, buy it.  But keep in mind that white coats are harder to keep clean.  If you are concerned about how it will look between cleanings, consider a darker color.  It will be easier to maintain.

Fabric – While cashmere is soft, light, warm, and wonderful, it is not a durable fabric.  It is susceptible to wear, tear, and abrasions.  A cashmere/wool blend will wear better and maintain its look longer.

Fit – Consider what you’ll be wearing your coat with.  Will it fit comfortably with a heavy sweater, blazer, or suit jacket?

Length – Again consider what you’ll be wearing your coat with, but also consider the climate you’ll be wearing it in. If you wear lots of dresses or skirts, a short coat may not provide much protection.  On the other hand, an exceptionally long coat might be prone to picking up more dirt and debris.

Care – We recommend that you have your winter coat cleaned at the beginning of the season and then again at the end of the season.  Some coats may require additional attention.  For instance, if you have a 100% wool coat, it is recommended that you gently brush it after each wearing to remove any surface dirt.  Be sure to check the tag for cleaning considerations before purchasing.

If you plan on keeping your current winter coat another season, don’t forget to have it cleaned before the weather turns.  Just drop it off at any one of our locations, and we’ll take it from there.  For additional information about purchasing a winter coat, check out our helpful hints section.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Storage Tips for Out of Season Garments

Cooler weather is approaching, and that means it is time to start transitioning your closet.  If you plan to store your out of season garments at home, here are some things to keep in mind:

• Be sure to clean everything before placing it in storage.  Even if it looks clean body oils, perspiration, and invisible stains are there and will attract moths and other insects.
• Sew buttons, fix hems, and make repairs on all your garments before placing them in storage.
• Never hang knit items.  This will cause them to stretch, leaving them out of shape for next season.  Place folded garments in large plastic containers with air-tight lids.

• Hang suits and coats on cedar hangers and store them in garment bags.  Use hangers with wider bars to prevent creases at the knees.
• Adding cedar chips or lavender sachets will keep your garments smelling fresh.
• Don’t use our poly bags for long-term storage.  They are designed for short-term protection only.  Long-term use will suffocate your clothes and possibly cause staining or mildew issues.
• Be sure to store your clothing in a cool, dry, clean place.  Avoid storing clothes in a cold basement or hot attic.  The extreme temperatures could damage your garments.

If you are short on space, you could always store your garments at Shores.  Here’s how it works:

• Count your garments, make an inventory list, and determine a value for each item.
• Note decorative trims, particularly suede and leather, as these can dry out and crack if not cold vault stored. Other trims may not be dry cleanable and cannot be stored until properly cleaned.
• When you drop off your clothes, give us a copy of your list and point out any stains.
• We will also make an inventory list and then inspect, spot, clean, and lightly finish each garment.
• After your clothes are clean, we will either fold or hang your items as needed.
• They will then be placed in a specially sealed, UV light proof bag infused with cedar oil until you are ready for them.

• Both storage and insurance are free. You only pay the regular cleaning charges at pick up.
• Call us a week before you are ready to pick up your clothes.  We will take the clothes out of storage and refinish, inspect, and package them like a regular dry cleaning order.

The only thing left to do is to enjoy that extra closet space.  Please contact us if you have any questions about storing garments.  We are here to help.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Jessica's Wedding Proposal

Today's post is totally unique and features one of our employees, Jessica, who had an incredible engagement story that we just had to share.  It involved scuba diving, going viral on YouTube, and being featured on Good Morning America.  Below is Part 1 of Jessica's journey to "I DO".

Tell us about your surprise underwater engagement!

My fiance had been planning this engagement for 6 months and took me totally by surprise!  Our one year dating anniversary was coming up as was my birthday, so Joey decided to plan a cruise to the Cayman Islands for us to celebrate.  He also invited along his best friend Wes and Wes' girlfriend Lauren.  It turns out that they were all in on the fact that Joey was going to propose to me on this trip, but he wanted to do it in a spectacular, unique and unforgettable way.

None of us had ever been scuba diving before, so this was something we were planning on doing while on Grand Cayman island.  Unbeknownst to me, Joey had been in touch with the diving company for 5 months (yup, 5 MONTHS!) to plan for the underwater engagement.  So the morning of our dive, Joey and Wes went to "workout", but really headed to the dive shop to give our instructor a custom treasure map and treasure chest to place underwater.  He then placed the ring in his pocket, which he securely tied with dental floss to ensure it wouldn't float away.  Luckily, we were able to get our dive on camera, which consisted of checking out a staged shipwreck, a welded statue of a diver and other underwater sights.
Before the end of our dive we came upon the treasure chest, which I figured was just part of the entertainment factor of the dive.  But suddenly, Joey and our dive instructor kept pointing at the chest.  Since we were underwater, I had no idea that they wanted me to open it!

So even though Joey dove down to open it and got down on one knee (or the best he could while underwater), I still didn't know what was going on.  It wasn't until he pulled out the treasure map and I saw the word "marry" that it finally sunk in!  I screamed (obviously it was muffled) in excitement, he pulled out the ring and placed it on my finger.  It was the most exhilarating and romantic moment of my entire life and to this day I am still in awe of this thoughtful, creative, dedicated and loving man that I was lucky enough to meet and marry.
Check out the video to see a clip of the proposal!

Jessica and Joey got married on August 9th in Bedford, Virginia.  We will post Part 2 of this blog soon, which will featured details and photos from her wedding and of course her experience with getting her wedding gown cleaned at Shore's Fine Dry Cleaning.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Meet Mike Chandler

I knew of Mike Chandler, manager of our Shores Greensboro location, before he came to work for us ten years ago.  He had an excellent reputation in the dry cleaning world as a stickler for providing top-notch service and quality.  With 28 years in the business, he knows his stuff.  More importantly, he continues to have a desire to provide top-notch service and quality each time a customer chooses Shores.  That translates into happy customers.  So happy, in fact, that he had a long-time customer recently write him a note stating that they had relocated to Las Vegas and that our service was better than any they could find there for dry cleaning.

Given his years of experience and reputation of producing quality work, Mike has pretty well seen it all – oxidized stains on white clothes, beverage stains on silk wedding gowns, garments that have been mistreated -- and fixed it all as well.  As a result, he has an incredibly busy store – which he loves.  He also has dedicated long-term employees that he appreciates, and they appreciate him back.  When I asked him what it was that he liked most about his job, he answered, “the challenge to finish on time each day by the promised date.”  So we should add working well under pressure to his list of attributes.

But I have to be completely open; I had a hard time writing this post.  Mike is not one to share a lot of information about himself.  So I called on a couple of folks that know his professional timeline really well.  Both told me that they weren’t surprised that I was having a hard time getting Mike to open up – because he’s not one to take credit for things.  I asked for a moment when he wowed a customer.  That was a hard one for both of them too.  That’s because, according to his manager Brian Harrell, “he rescues weddings gowns every week.”  He removes stains that most professionals write off.  “Besides being incredibly quality conscious, he’s also the hardest working manager I’ve met,” Brian told me.  “There’s not one story; he just does it so often.”  His former manager, Alan Peatross, put it to me this way, “He’s your everyday super hero.”  And that’s exactly the kind of professional you’d like to have care for your most prized garment.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Basics: DIY Wedding Gown Care—Before, During and After the Wedding

Tip 1:  Silk or not?  Every bride should know the answer to that question.  The fabric of your gown is everything.  Silk is a hollow fiber so when you spill something on silk or other natural fibers such as cotton and linen, the spill bonds with the fiber and acts like a dye.  Even water is absorbed by natural fibers and leaves marks.  Silk also crushes more easily for the same reason.  On the other hand, spills can roll right off artificial fibers, and a damp cloth is sometimes all you need to remove a stain.  Plus most wrinkles shake out easily.

Tip 2:  Garment Bags. Garment bags are almost never full enough to protect your gown without flattening the skirt.  When you take your gown home from the bridal shop, remove at least the skirt portion from the bag so that it can open fully.  If you remove the gown completely, be sure to hang it somewhere it will be safe from children and pets.  You can also wrap your wedding gown in a clean sheet or freshly-washed muslin to protect it from light and dust.  If the skirt of your gown is very full, two fitted sheets pinned together are even easier to manage.

Tip 3:  Travel Tips. If you are traveling by car with your gown, it may be best to leave it in the garment bag provided by the bridal shop until you reach your destination and can touch it up.  If you are traveling by air, the airline will almost certainly insist you stuff the garment bag into the overhead space.  You can do that and hope no one puts another bag on top of it or you can pack it so that is protected.  If you carry your gown in a suitcase, you may have to check it and risk losing it when you change planes.  Better yet, try our recyclable green DestinationWedding Kit.  You can carry your gown with you through security, and it never leaves your sight.  The kit comes with instructions for packing and easily fits in the overhead above your seat.  Bonus:  also comes with a stain stick (safe for silk) for wedding-day emergencies.

Tip 4:  DYI Pressing. If you decide to lightly press your gown, make sure the iron is set to the temperature that is right for the fabric.  Most steamers spit drops of water so if you use a steamer (hand steamers are great if you are a destination bride), be sure to cover the head of the steamer with a towel or washcloth to absorb the water.

Tip 5:  Wedding Day Emergency. Most emergencies the day of the wedding can be managed with a needle, thread, and safety pins.  Scissors are also useful.  If nothing else, put some safety pins in the lining at the bottom of your gown so they will be handy if your bustle breaks. 

Tip 6:  Stains. Learn the basics about stains.  There are three kinds of stains.  Wet stains such as coffee, tea, and wine will dissolve in water.  Dry stains such as lipstick and grease require a “dry” solvent to dissolve the oily content.  The third kind of stain is “complex” because it is composed of both wet and dry elements--think gravy or salad dressing.  But remember, silk or not?  Almost anything you use to try and remove stains from silk will leave a ring.  If you try a Tide stain stick, be sure to test its effect on an inside seam before using it on your gown.  For silk gowns, it may be best, especially with greasy stains, to mask the stain with chalk, baby powder or cornstarch, which absorbs grease and does not damage the finish.  If you gown is not silk, you can use a wet washcloth on coffee, tea, or wine spills.  For lipstick and grease, cigarette lighter fluid or other dry solvent will work.  You can find suggestions for treating spills here

Tip 7:  After the Wedding. The longer you leave your gown unclean, the less likely all of the stains can be removed when you do take it to be cleaned.  Don’t wait for your husband or your mother to complain the gown takes up too much room.  Contact a Wedding Gown Specialist and ask lots of questions about where and how your gown will be cleaned.  And be sure to ask, today or twenty-five years from today, who will honor the guarantee that your gown will not yellow!

As always, we at Shores are here for you if the job is too big or the stain is too large or if you need your gown preserved.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bright Whites

White garments are essential in summer wardrobes.  A common complaint we hear is that the crisp bright look of new white garments, over time, becomes dull, dingy, and even yellowish.  Why is that?  There are a variety of reasons, many of which you can control.  So we’ve compiled a list of the most common reasons with solutions. 

  • Dull, dingy looking whites could be caused by not sorting your clothes properly.  Throwing dark color items in with white items increases the chances that garments will bleed onto others.  Be sure to sort your laundry properly to help keep your whites and colors bright.
  • Be sure to wash your white garments as soon as possible after wearing. If you let a stain on a white item set, or allow it to become very dirty, it becomes very difficult to restore it to its original state.
  • Store your white items separately. When light garments are stored next to dark garments, sublimation of dyes occurs.  This is when nitrogen gas causes dark dyes to redeposit on light garments, creating stains.
  • Avoid overloading your washing machine.  When your washer is overloaded, the detergent and water cannot reach all the surfaces so dirt remains on garments.  Check the owner's manual on your washing machine and follow the manufacturer's recommendations on load capacity. 
  • Remove our plastic poly bags before placing your garments in your closet – whether white or any color for that matter.  Plastic bags trap the humidity and gases around clothes, causing them to yellow.
  • Avoid using chlorine bleach as a general brightener; it does not make things whiter.  It actually breaks down the optical brightener in white dye and causes things to turn brown or yellow.  Chlorine bleach should really only be used to eliminate germs and bacteria.  It can be used on white cotton and cotton blends to remove a localized stain that remains after washing. 
  • Check to see if your antiperspirant contains aluminum chlorohydrate.  It tends to clump in cotton and damage fibers and never completely washes out, leaving that yellowish ring under shirt arms.

We hope this information helps you keep your summer whites crisp and bright for this season and for seasons to come.  If you have a white garment in need of some special attention, drop it at one of our locations.  We can help.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Six Things That Can Spoil Your Wedding Day

1.  Drooping bustle:  Whether your bridesmaids simply cannot figure out how to fasten your bustle, your gown is very heavy, or someone steps on your train, you will wish you had asked for extra hooks or buttons to keep your gown from dragging on the ground.  Plan ahead and attach several safety pins to the lining near the hem of your gown so they will be there when you need them.  You can find other tips for emergency gown care at http://www.shorescleaners.com/travel-emergency-gown-care.html.

2.  Flowers that hide your gown:  If you are going to carry a large bouquet, practice holding your flowers low.  If you hold them too high, they will hide your gown when you are walking down the aisle, and you will see more flowers than gown when you look at your video and photographs.

3.  Veils and hairstyles that hide your face:  Make sure your veil frames your face and doesn’t hide it after you lift your blusher.  And remember not to obscure the right side of your face with your hair.  That’s the side next to the groom—the side everyone wants to see when you are at the altar.

4.  Relatives taking photographs:  Uncle Charlie may be a great guy, but he is not trained to stay out of the way so that others can see you when you exchange your vows.  And it is also not fair to relatives who want to be part of the celebration to make them spend the day behind a camera with one eye closed.  Let a professional capture all those special moments and share them afterward with your family.

5. Scheduling your time:  Avoid leaving hours and hours between the ceremony and the reception if you possibly can or some guests may party so hard they do not make it to the reception.  If there must be a long delay, offer guests some options such as a lounge in the reception venue or, for out-of-town guests, a list of nearby things to do.  On the other hand, do not forget to allow enough time for photographs.  No one really minds if you miss hors d’ouevres with your guests, but a dinner that gets overcooked because you are still taking pictures is a disaster.  If you are having your ceremony and reception at the same location, you might even consider posing for your formal photographs before the ceremony, and then you will have extra time to spend with your guests.

6.  Kids at weddings:  If you plan to have a very young ring bearer or flower girl, be sure each gets to bed early the night before the wedding.  Designate someone other than mom or dad (if they are in the wedding party), to watch them during the ceremony.  For children at the ceremony, whether they are in the wedding party or not, things such as snacks in a zip-lock bag that opens quietly, clear (in case of spills) juice in boxes, and a coloring book with washable markers will hold their interest.  At the reception, serving children’s meals promptly and having books and crayons on hand will help keep them at the table. 

One more tip:  After all your thoughtful planning, try to relax and enjoy each moment.  It will all go by much too quickly, and your friends and family are there to share the joy of your special day—not to complain about missteps along the way.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Real Bride Spotlight - Julia's Dress

Julia lived in Winston-Salem for years and always used our Shores Fine Dry Cleaning location on Stratford Road.  Time brought career changes and new cities, but she stayed in touch with Brian and continued to trust him to care for her finer items.  So when it came time to clean and preserve her most prized garment -- her wedding gown -- she again reached out to Brian by mail.  She simply mailed her gown from Alabama to our Stratford Road location.  Brian was thrilled to be able to clean and preserve it and mail it back!  

Here’s what she had to say about us; Good dry cleaners are hard to find, so I'm lucky to have found Shores Fine Dry Cleaning.  I would send any important garment to Shores for cleaning.  He did all of my dry cleaning when I lived in Winston-Salem and I even used to mail my clothes to him when I moved to Charlotte, because they would always do such an excellent job!  When I got married I knew they had to be the one to preserve my dress.”  

Read more about her wedding on our Association’s website; Real Bride Spotlight - Julia
Photographer Credit: Arden Photography

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How to Make a Ready to Wear Suit Look like a Custom Made Suit (Part two)

The most important thing when purchasing an off the rack suit is to be sure the shoulder and thigh fit is perfect.  Most tailors and seamstresses cannot make adjustments to these areas because there is no extra cloth to work with.  Areas like the waist size, lower leg, and cuff length are less important because there are many alterations that can be done to adjust these areas.

So to achieve that custom look without emptying your wallet, consider the following:

First on the pants -
  •        The “break” in the pants (where your pants drape over your shoes) actually varies according to preference.  Some men like no break (pants legs are hemmed near the top of the shoe not bending where the cuff touches the shoe).  Others prefer a large break (pants practically drag the ground and swallow the shoe).  If you don’t know, a general rule of thumb would be to start with the back cuff resting on the sole of your shoe.   You may also choose to add a cuff as long as there is adequate material.
  •        Tapering (sometimes referred to as thinning) helps to bring proportion back to the garment compensating for some areas of the body that may not be as large.  An example would be someone that possesses larger thighs and smaller calves.  They may benefit from tapering from the knee downward creating a more properly proportioned appearance.
  •       The waist and seat should fit comfortably with no pulling or gaping.  These are usually simple adjustments for a professional.

Then on to the jacket -
  •       The sides – they need to be taken in to give the desirable “V” silhouette.  In some cases it’s just an illusion but this one alteration will make all the difference when it comes to how the suit enhances your look. 
  •       Sleeve length – while it also varies according to taste, most men choose a sleeve length that falls at the thumb joint.  Jacket sleeves can also be tapered similar to pant legs. 

Ultimately the bottom line is this - you can still look like you spent a fortune on your threads with the help of professional alterations, and a talented seamstress can help you achieve a great fit without opening up a line of credit.  

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Can You Make a Ready To Wear Suit Fit Like A Custom Made Suit?

When it comes to a proper fit, one size does not fit all.  I know that we all want our clothing to bring out the best of our natural attributes, and in a perfect world, this would be the case.  There would be no need to visit a high-end clothier for a custom fitting.  You could simply stroll into Macy’s, grab any suit off the rack, and viola; you’re a walking Ralph Lauren advertisement.   The problem is that there is no one cut that looks great on all of us, and if your appearance is important to you, chances are you’re spending a lot more time searching for that perfect fit.  Having the desire to purchase the right suit that accentuates your best features is one thing, but having the wallet to absorb the costs involved is another.

Custom fashion is considered by most a luxury.  The same could be said about high quality dry-cleaning.  It is not for everybody.  At our Shores Fine Dry Cleaning plants in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point, we work hand-in-hand with many local fine clothiers.  They deliver an exceptional product, hand-crafted at a premium price.  The price part is why many guys turn to ready-to-wear (RTW) garments.  RTW suit pricing is significantly less, around 50-75% less, than custom made attire.  This is primarily due to the manufacturing methods employed to produce them.

Other than the way they’re manufactured, what differences are there between a custom suit and RTW’s?  In a nutshell, custom clothing is usually made with the highest quality fabrics and designed to your body measurements ultimately creating a one of a kind look.  While RTW attire isn’t made with the most expensive fabrics, you can still give RTW garments a more custom fit through professional alterations.

Professional seamstress and tailors are up on the latest fashion trends and know the proper way a garment should drape.  They can also offer suggestions on how alterations can make your garments look better on you.

In our next blog post, we will share with you everything you need to know to make a RTW suit look like a custom suit.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Man’s Dress Shirt versus a Woman’s Blouse

We are asked, fairly regularly, why cleaning a woman’s blouse is more expensive than cleaning a man’s dress shirt. The answer is this: the cost solely depends on the process used to clean and finish the shirt.

The majority of men’s dress shirts are laundered and machine ironed on automated equipment. It can be done because men’s dress shirts have varied little in style and fabric for a number of years. This has allowed equipment manufacturers to design and build automated shirt presses that will fit most men’s dress shirts. Operating these automated shirt presses takes a whole lot less time and labor to properly finish a man’s dress shirt.

For several reasons, a woman’s blouse typically cannot be finished on automated equipment. First, they are made of a larger variety of fabrics like silk and spandex, which cannot be put on the automated equipment because the heat from the plates could damage the fabric. Second, where men’s dress shirts are fairly standard in style, women’s blouses include details like ruffles, pleats, darting, special buttons, and trim. These details could be crushed or damaged if finished on automated equipment. Finally, women’s blouses vary in cut – and those variations change regularly as styles come and go. That makes it difficult to finish them on a piece of standardized equipment. So to properly finish women’s blouses, they need to be completely hand ironed. Simply, that translates into more time and labor.

There could be an occasional exception to the rule. For instance, a woman’s blouse that is made of 100% cotton or a cotton/poly blend that can fit on an automated press will cost the same as a man’s dress shirt finished in the same manner. And likewise, if a man’s dress shirt is out of the size range for the automated equipment or is made of a more delicate fabric and must be hand ironed, it will cost the hand finished price. But if you are ever in doubt, please ask. We are here to help.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Janet's Special Gown

Take a look at this beautiful gown, handmade by the bride's great-grandmother.

Here’s what Janet, a bride who recently brought us her wedding dress to clean and preserve, has to say about us; “Shores Fine Dry Cleaning in Winston-Salem, NC has an excellent reputation in the area. Their experience with fine clothing, including wedding dresses and other formal dresses, gave me confidence that they would do a great job. Shores also cleaned my dress prior to my wedding as it had yellow spots, including a large darkened area from age, and they did an excellent job with it. My dress was whiter than when my mom wore it 30 years before!” Read about her wedding on our Association’s website; Real Bride Spotlight - Janet

Photographer Credit: Renee Saunders, Millie Holloman Photography

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Caring for your Uggs

A few years ago, my niece desperately wanted a pair of Uggs. I briefly thought about deviating from our traditional Christmas gift of putting money into her college fund and instead buying her a pair. That was until I figured out that the pair she wanted cost nearly $200. So if you own a pair of Uggs, then you know they are not merely a pair of boots; they are actually an investment. And as with any investment, you should take good care of them.

According to Wikipedia.org, Ugg boots originated from Australia and were initially designed as utilitarian footwear worn for warmth. Today they are worn with everything from sweat pants and jeans to skirts. But still most people continue to wear them in the colder months, especially in inclement weather. That snow, slush, and salt they’ve been exposed to can cause lasting damage if they are put away before being cleaned – properly. If you are ready to retire your Uggs for the season, please don’t throw them into your washing machine before putting them away. They are made of sheepskin and need to be handled rather delicately. Here is the process we use to clean Uggs:

• We hand clean each boot using only Sanitone approved suede booster and conditioner
• After cleaning, they are stuffed to retain their shape while drying
• We allow them to dry naturally in a climate controlled environment
• After they are dry, we revive the luster and stain repellency of the boots
• Finally they are deodorized, stuffed, and made ready for pick up
• It takes roughly one week for us to complete the cleaning process

If you have any questions on how to care for your Uggs, please leave a comment below or contact us on our Facebook page. We are here to help.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Your wardrobe is an investment that tells your story. You depend on it to convey purpose, assist in your professional endeavors, catch the eye of that special someone, and above all maintain its value. That's where I come in. My name is Brian Harrell, and I am the General Manager of Shores Fine Dry Cleaning. I work with the hope that each of our clients enjoys their cleaning experience and feels confident that their apparel is in the best hands possible. Shores Fine Dry Cleaning has been built on these two premises – one, to deliver superior service and two, to ensure the customer’s complete satisfaction.

In 1995 I graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in Health & Sports Science. So the obvious career path was to become a Master Drycleaner and Wedding Gown Specialist.....right? Without reluctance I accepted the role of manager trainee at Shores some 17 years ago after a short stint teaching high school science. At that time I had no idea of the people I would meet, the friends I would make, or that I would develop a fascination with customer service because of that opportunity. I guess, you could say, I found my calling. My career as an operator of dry cleaning plants has required me to wear many hats: manager, marketer, janitor, researcher, therapist, salesman, writer, mechanic, and strategist. As a result I have the ability to navigate complex challenges and balance multiple projects at once. Actual experience has taught me there are lots of big ideas out there (including my own) but execution is what matters most. My style is simple: lead by example, work harder, execute, be creative, spend more time on solutions than problems, and make our customers smile!

Check back here regularly to get to know more of our staff and for helpful information. And if you have a cleaning dilemma, reach out and see what Shores can do for you.