Flattering the bride, part 2.

An apple-shaped figure will look best in a dress that cinches in at the smallest point of the waistline, then flares out in a gradual A shape. Choose a bodice with lots of texture — ruche or lace detailing — that will camouflage and fit snugly, creating a corset effect. The most slenderizing neckline, a deep V, will draw eyes towards the vertical. Real Simple suggests avoiding trumpet-shaped gowns that emphasize wideness. Our bridal department is ready to help before and after the wedding to make sure you and your party look the very best.

Flattering the bride, part 1.

Choosing the right gown for a pear-shaped figure starts with a skirt that gradually flares out from the natural waist to the floor, highlighting the narrowness of the midsection and floating away from the hips and thighs. Real Simple advises sturdier fabrics that won’t cling like duchesse satin or taffeta. Showcase a thinner upper body with a spaghetti-strap bodice or V-neckline.  Add the finishing finesse of our alterations experts for a perfect fit for your special day.

Flag etiquette.

Displaying our national symbol is actually covered by an official Flag Code. For instance, the flag should not be flown in the dark or inclement weather. It should not be used as decoration – that’s a job for bunting, streamers and decorative materials. Always display the blue part on top. When the flag is lowered, it should never touch the ground or any other objects, it should be gathered by waiting hands and arms, respectfully and ceremoniously folded (ask a veteran how). Flags should be mended and cleaned when needed – we clean American flags at no charge as a courtesy year-round. Show your pride and fly the flag.

Blacker blacks.

Every cycle through the laundry removes more black dye and roughs up the surface, creating a fuzzy fade effect. Consumer Reports says, when you absolutely must wash, turn black garments inside out to protect the surface, sort items by color and weight, and wash in cold water in the shortest cycle possible. Avoid detergent with bleach and measure carefully to avoid streaking. Hang inside to dry, laying sweaters flat on a lint-free towel. Dry cleaning your favorite black items will keep the just-bought look a lot longer than laundering.

White whites.

According to the experts at Consumer Reports, greying white clothes are picking up soil from other garments in a crowded washer without enough detergent. Wash white separately, don’t pack the washer and measure the detergent. If more whitening is needed, try a detergent with bleaching components, an oxidizer like OxiClean or hang clothing in the sun for natural whitening. Of course, we’re experts at keeping whites white — removing stubborn stains and brightening vintage wedding gowns are just two specialities you’ll find behind our doors.

Bridal planning 101.

Book early – caterers, venues, florists and popular bands and DJs are first-come, first-booked. Visit a bridal fair for ideas, connections and free advice from wedding professionals. Is this a good time to mention we are very, very experienced with wedding gowns, alterations, formal wear and the inevitable last-minute emergency.  You can count on us for more than archival gown preservation after the event. Let’s get your date on our calendar so we can be part of your wedding plan.

Hanging out.

If you’re lucky enough to enjoy an outdoor clothesline, there are a few tricks to drying laundry outdoors. Shake damp laundry to smooth out wrinkles before hanging. Dry shirts on hangers for crease-free results, ready for touchup ironing. Hang pants by the bottom hem. That’s the way to hang t-shirts and polos, too. Hang “departments” of like items to make sorting and folding go faster. Splurge on good wooden clothespins and don’t forget to wipe down the clothesline when it gets grimy.

Eco-awareness.

Summer’s a great time to change habits for a cleaner, healthier environment. Start by cutting down on water waste with shorter showers, full loads of laundry and dishes, filtered water instead of bottled.  Repair and recycle appliances, furniture and clothing. Instead of tossing (eventually into a landfill) repair worn heels, replace zippers or restitch a sagging hem.  We do more than clean – we can help keeping your wardrobe repaired, fitted and functional. And please, bring your wire hangers back for recycling!

Welcome summer.

Treat yourself to fresh laundered and pressed summer wear. We finish knits like polo shirts to perfection. Most summer stains are no match for our professional-strength laundry products and machinery, especially on whites. We add crisp and clean to every wardrobe.

Necktie wisdom.

“A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life,” said poet Oscar Wilde, famous for his “living well is the best revenge.” Before your well-tied knot has a chance to help, be sure your tie is spotless. It’s another universal truth that the more expensive the tie, the more prone it seems to attract soup, café au lait or wine stains. Our stain experts know how to gently restore your neckwear to like-new condition.