From the Clothes Line: Elegant Survival of Your Clothing

Summer Clothing Survival

Drying Clothes Naturally

Clothes and Towels Sunbathing on the Clothesline

Washing and Drying Your Shirts

A well-made shirt can cost $100.00 or more. That is an investment to protect. Your shirts will last much longer if they are washed by hand and hung to dry. Don’t use so much detergent that it takes a rinsing marathon to remove it. “A little dab’ll do ya”, as the old Brylcreem jingle said. Ideally, one would hang shirts on a clothesline, upside down, with clothes-pins or pegs. This keeps pinch-marks off the important areas of your shirts. The sun will dry them in no time. Alternatively, one could hang them indoors, perhaps out-of-sight behind the the shower curtain, on hangers. A sturdy spring-rod, placed inside the shower area for the purpose of hanging clothes to dry will not interfere with your existing shower-rod. If you don’t want to get hanger-marks on the shoulders, just put wash-cloths under them, over the ends of your hanger. The worst thing to do, even if you wash your shirts in cold water in the gentle cycle, is to dry them in a machine–doing so will quickly degrade your shirt, which will die an angry death before its time. My husband and I have shirts from France and England that are more than twenty years old, and in perfect condition.

An electric, energy-consuming dryer is an enemy to high-quality clothing. In fact, dryers shrink clothes and wear them out quickly; lint is composed of fibres that a machine robs from your clothes. You’d be surprised at how swiftly shirts dry naturally, and when they are just a wee bit damp, they’re easy to iron. In cases of stubborn collar and cuff soil, when hand-scrubbing fails, you can still wash your white shirts in hot water, soap, and a little bleach, as long as they are rinsed well, and then hung to dry. (Bleach alternative may be a better choice, if you can get it to work on stubborn stains. I sometimes use hydrogen peroxide and/or vinegar.) The sun will do some natural bleaching of white cotton. Save costly energy and your shirts by hand-washing and sun-drying them.

Giving your precious shirts to a dry-cleaner or other laundry service is wasteful. They crush buttons and machine-dry the poor things. Do clothes hanging on a line outdoors conjure up bad images for you? Too bad, because it is one of life’s simple luxuries to be able to dry a beautiful, well-made shirt in the sun–some of the best people do it. Believe me, it’s not remotely infradig to care for your own shirts. After all, who cares for them more than you do?
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, May 2008-2012

Elegant Survival

Clothes-Line_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton_2007The Clothes Line, an Elegant Survival Original, Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2006

Clothes dryers are energy-wasters, and will ruin your clothes as well, through fibre-loss and shrinkage. Some electric dryers even tear holes in clothes. Hand-washing and line-drying your shirts and other washable garments will extend their lives. I use Zote soap and a microfibre cloth to rub dirt out of cuffs and collars. Underarms need special attention, too. I use a microfibre cloth instead of a brush because it is more gentle on the fabric, while strong enough to grab what I like to call “café crud” from cuffs.

You don’t need a fancy contraption for natural clothes-drying; a five-dollar investment in a clothesline from a supermarket, and a packet of wooden clothespins for about three dollars will do, and you can be line-drying in a jiffy. Having a couple of trees to hold your clothesline at each…

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Elegant Dressing for Fall and Winter: Tweed Suit

Elegant Dressing for Autumn: Classic Tweed Travelling Suit
M-J de Mesterton in Aquascutum Tweed Suit, Her Perennial Favourite

Rugged, traditional, natural and elegant tweed made from Scottish wool is the best material for fall and winter dressing. Easily covered with a trench-coat or embellished with a pashmina or long wool scarves, tweed will keep you warm and dry. Tweed suits, skirts, trousers and jackets are always fashionable.
©M-J de Mesterton

Drying Clothes Naturally

Clothes and Towels Sunbathing on the Clothesline

Washing and Drying Your Shirts

A well-made shirt can cost $100.00 or more. That is an investment to protect. Your shirts will last much longer if they are washed by hand and hung to dry. Don’t use so much detergent that it takes a rinsing marathon to remove it. “A little dab’ll do ya”, as the old Brylcreem jingle said. Ideally, one would hang shirts on a clothesline, upside down, with clothes-pins or pegs. This keeps pinch-marks off the important areas of your shirts. The sun will dry them in no time. Alternatively, one could hang them indoors, perhaps out-of-sight behind the the shower curtain, on hangers. A sturdy spring-rod, placed inside the shower area for the purpose of hanging clothes to dry will not interfere with your existing shower-rod. If you don’t want to get hanger-marks on the shoulders, just put wash-cloths under them, over the ends of your hanger. The worst thing to do, even if you wash your shirts in cold water in the gentle cycle, is to dry them in a machine–doing so will quickly degrade your shirt, which will die an angry death before its time. My husband and I have shirts from France and England that are more than twenty years old, and in perfect condition.

An electric, energy-consuming dryer is an enemy to high-quality clothing. In fact, dryers shrink clothes and wear them out quickly; lint is composed of fibres that a machine robs from your clothes. You’d be surprised at how swiftly shirts dry naturally, and when they are just a wee bit damp, they’re easy to iron. In cases of stubborn collar and cuff soil, when hand-scrubbing fails, you can still wash your white shirts in hot water, soap, and a little bleach, as long as they are rinsed well, and then hung to dry. (Bleach alternative may be a better choice, if you can get it to work on stubborn stains. I sometimes use hydrogen peroxide and/or vinegar.) The sun will do some natural bleaching of white cotton. Save costly energy and your shirts by hand-washing and sun-drying them.

Giving your precious shirts to a dry-cleaner or other laundry service is wasteful. They crush buttons and machine-dry the poor things. Do clothes hanging on a line outdoors conjure up bad images for you? Too bad, because it is one of life’s simple luxuries to be able to dry a beautiful, well-made shirt in the sun–some of the best people do it. Believe me, it’s not remotely infradig to care for your own shirts. After all, who cares for them more than you do?
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, May 2008-2012

Preserving Your Clothing

Clothes dryers are energy-wasters, and will ruin your clothes as well, through fibre-loss and shrinkage. Hand-washing and line-drying your shirts will extend their lives. I use Zote soap and a small microfibre cloth to rub dirt out of cuffs and collars. Underarms need special attention, too. The reason for using a microfibre cloth instead of a brush is that it is more gentle on the fabric, but is strong enough to grab what I like to call “café crud” from cuffs. You don’t need a fancy contraption for clothes-drying; a nylon line from a variety store, and a packet of wooden clothes-pins or pegs for three dollars or a couple of pounds will do just fine.

When travelling, pack a small piece of Octagon, Zote or similar bar of laundry soap for hand-washing dainties and shirts in your quarters. The shower is a nice place to hang them; they will likely dry overnight, and probably not need ironing.  You might pack a couple of clothes-pegs as well.

The sun acts as  a fabric brightener, and your clothes will have a clean, fresh scent if treated to a sun-bath.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2009-2012

Elegant Dressing

See examples of how to dress elegantly, by the writer who brought Classic, Elegant Dressing to you in 2006.  In her latest Elegant Dressing blog, M-J de Mesterton gives explanations of style, instructive photographs, and recommendations for accessories, directing tasteful readers to currently-available, elegant clothes.

 

Got Tweed?

Got Tweed?

Posted at 10:57 AM on January 11, 2010
Bookster U.K. Tweed Suits Made-to-Measure in England of Scottish Cloth


Elegant Lady’s Country Tweed Suit by Burberrys, Made in England

Classic Kick-Pleat Traditional Skirt, Reversible Tweed Vest and this Jacket–an Elegant Survival Must-See!


Classic Summer Wedges

Half-Price in National's Winter Sale
Wedges Inspired by Summer at “the Vineyard”

Irresponsible Parents Spawn Flu Outbreak; Protect Yourself from Disease

Health and Happiness
Health and Happiness

There they go again: sending high-school teens to foreign resorts for “spring break”, where kids can indulge in barbaric activities, while risking kidnapping, disease and even death. Like the parents of the teenage girl who disappeared in Aruba, these New Yorkers thought it was chic to allow under-age kids to go gallivanting about in tropical climes. For all their purported sophistication, none among these geniuses received the memos about kidnapping, the white slave-trade, and rampant murder in Mexico. And now, because of their mindless allegiance to convention,  which dictates that even the quite young should be allowed to participate in this increasingly toxic “spring break” tradition, these ridiculous parents have imported a deadly flu. We all remember the imbecilic attitude of the Columbine murderers’ parents, and what that  lax bunch spawned….

The authorities tell you to use hand-sanitizer. That’s a good idea. Maybe that little precaution taught to President Obama by President Bush when they shook hands, and which was castigated as “racist” by vicious left-wingers, has possibly saved the president’s life. After all, Mr. Obama shook hands on April 16th with a Mexican official who died from the new influenza just a few days later.

My husband and I have always gone out in gloves. We hate germs of all stripes. I’ve never gone grocery shopping without gloves. For one thing, the carts are filthy, and carry spittle from little kids, a population that seems to often be sick. Once we are home, I wash every item to the best of my ability to kill whatever exterior bacteria they carry; the possibility of surface germ-transference is something I never ignore.

Don’t be afraid to wear gloves. People wore them all the time forty or fifty years ago, and had done so for centuries. Would you rather get a look that could kill or acquire a disease that may kill you from some boorish cad who goes out into the public to spread virulence for sport? And while you’re at it, you may consider following the new fashion embraced by our Mexican neighbors and wear a matching mask; this thing is airborne, as well as communicable through surfaces.

Of course, wearing stylish gloves with today’s inelegant hip-hugging pants and skirts will look silly. I recommend dumping these muffin-top-inducing clothes, as well, and covering up your skin to the waist (unless , of course,  you are planning a belly dancing career and wish to serve as your own best advertising gimmick).

Well, I always look for a silver lining: maybe this outbreak of worrying disease will cause people to wear actual clothing, shoes, gloves and hats…. No, I’m just dreaming–even the threats of economic ruin and dread disease haven’t mitigated the self-destructive behaviour of Americans.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009

The Elegant Survival Source for Gloves

Ladies' Lambskin Gloves
Ladies’ Lambskin Gloves: Protect Yourself and Your Family from Flu, Colds, Staphylococcus Aureus, MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, a Deadly Skin Disease) For comfortable year-round wear, silk-lined and unlined leather gloves are ideal. 

I’ve advocated the wearing of gloves on Elegant Survival since its beginning in 2006 (see “The Merits of Wearing Gloves”, my old article). My husband and I have worn gloves for decades, whether or not they were in fashion. Now, there are even more reasons to wear them, with the proliferation of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus and H1N1 viruses, both of which may cause death, and are transmitted by surface-contact. Traditionally, it did not have to be cold outside, as it was on Inauguration Day outdoors in Washington, D.C.,  for ladies to wear gloves. Gloves will protect your hands from deadly germs and viruses, protect your jewelry from unwanted attention in-transit, and cushion your hands should you trip and fall on the pavement. For reasonable prices and a very extensive selection of glove styles, try

Inexpensive, Tough, Useful Leather Gloves: Just One of Many Styles at www.gloves-online.com

~~M-J de Mesterton, Copyright 2009

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