Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dear Peculiar B: vintage beauty advice

Dear Peculiar B,
I do love a crisp men's dress shirt, but I absolutely cannot keep them clean.  The underarms yellow immediately, despite scrupulous hygiene & washing, and that's just unacceptable.  Any ideas?

QuiteLight


Dear QuiteLight,
An ingenious solution to your dilemma exists but has simply fallen out of vogue:  the dress shield.  Used to be, a gal sewed her own small fabric wedges which she then stitched or pinned into the underarms of her clothing.  That way the shield could be removed and washed separately, and the fabric of the garment lasted longer.  Later came pre-made shields for purchase, and finally disposable shields.  Look: they're still around!

Lest you think I'm just being cute and vintage-y, Cheryl Mendelson, who does not kid around about laundry, still recommends shields for white clothing, especially silk.  I've also heard that a plain bar of Ivory soap works wonders when rubbed directly into the stain.

Best,
B.

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