Tips & Tricks Everyone Should Know

Grand Potentate

Supporter of Possible Sexual Deviants
If anyone comes up with a better title, post it. I'm blurry eyed and exhausted. I couldn't figure out where to post a single tip by itself, but I thought an ongoing thread of them might be a good idea.

Here's a good tip on a military tuck, or how to get your shirts so the sides don't flow out of your pants:

How to tuck in a shirt

(so that it stays tucked)

There’s a simple trick for tucking in a shirt that not many men know about. This technique not only keeps the shirt tucked in, but also helps remove excess fabric, making the shirt appear more tailored.
“The Military Tuck” has many variations, used by servicemen to give their standard-fit uniforms a clean, fitted finish. Purists who read this will have an obvious question at the back of their mind – “Why not just have the shirt altered by a tailor?” There are many reasons why a man would choose to tuck over altering; time, expense, hassle. While a tailored shirt will sit perfectly on the body, this 30-second tucking technique gets the job done just as well.

As shown below, with this method our goal is to take the excess fabric from the front and back of the shirt and hide it in the side-seams.


  1. Unbutton pants and place the base of your shirt neatly downward. Your shirt should not be scrunched into your pants as they’ll easily come untucked.
  2. Pinch the shirt at the side-seams and pull tight to collect the excess fabric.
  3. Fold this excess fabric backwards. You want both back and front of your shirt to sit flush against your body; no bunching (you haven’t pinched enough fabric) nor pulling (you’ve pinched too much fabric).
  4. Button your pants up, tightly securing the folds against your body.
  5. Adjust if necessary to neaten the shirt.
It helps to think of this method as placing your pants over your shirt, rather than tucking your shirt into your pants. Obviously, this technique only works for shirts that mostly fit, and just have some excess fabric in the body. If the shirt is a size (or more) too large, this method won’t work and it will need to be altered by a tailor to make it fit correctly.
Just read about Military tuck today; mentioned on Put This On. Hadn't realized that's what I've been doing for years - thought I was just being cheap by not going to a tailor. :embar:

My tip for the day; one of the easiest ways I've found to take out fresh stains from clothing is to rub the stain promptly with an ice cube. 9/10 times for me, it lifts the stain immediately and requires no additional treatment come laundry day. Also very convenient if you're at a restaurant and spill - just make sure the ice cube you grab comes from a water glass and not something else.
Building your wardrobe

The two most versatile pocket squares are white linen and cream silk.

If you need a first and second tie, you cannot go wrong with a burgundy and a navy grenadine.

Know your measurements in the following: waist (pants), inseam (pants), chest (jacket, pit to pit x2), shoulders, waist (across the center or top button x2), length (jacket). Before buying a product on the internet, make sure you've checked all these measurements.

If a jacket doesn't fit your shoulders, it's probably not worth the hassle (or expense) of getting it tailored.

Brand =/= quality. Seriously.

Not all silk/wool/cotton/linen is the same.

Don't buy dress shoes that aren't at least Goodyear welted.

Jackets with stripes will almost always look like orphaned suit jackets.

Canvassing is still superior to fused, but fusing technology has closed the gap (still, go with canvassed when possible).

Before buying something on impulse, ask people for second, third and fourth opinions. If they agree you should buy it, buy it. If they all tell you not to buy it, wait a week and if you still want it, buy it.

Maintaining your wardrobe

There is nothing better you can do for your shoes than use shoe trees.

The best way to get wrinkles out of ties (without risking the water stains of steaming them) is to roll them for 24 hours, then hang them.

Don't dry clean your jackets more than 1-3 times a year. Use a wool brush and a steamer (or hang it in a bathroom full of steam in a pinch). Dry cleaners can do a number of things to mess your jacket up. And when you do get them cleaned, don't necessarily take them to the same place you take your shirts; it's worth spending a few extra bucks to ensure you get a good job done on your jackets. Using a steamer runs the risk of messing up the shape of your jacket, so try and restrict it to the sleeves (wool should unwrinkle while hanging anyway)

Wear an undershirt.

Try to avoid wearing the same pair of shoes more than twice in a week. The leather needs time to recover.

Untie your tie in reverse (performing all the steps backward). It's a hassle, but it will prolong the life of your tie by several years.
For a slightly more SW&D tip: the most crucial measurement to get correct when ordering jeans online is the thigh measurement. Discrepancies in the waist can be compensated by either stretching or wearing a belt. But an uncomfortable thigh on a pair of denim inevitably leads to not wearing them and a waisted investment. Focus on the thigh first, then worry about other measurements.
Agree with the steamer, though I don't think this is a problem with non-fused jackets (at least I'm hoping...though I don't think I've ever had to use it more than a handful of times). Come to think of it, I've only had to ever steam the sleeves and the back of jackets.

As far as the shoes, I heard otherwise from the folks over at Unipair among other places, but perhaps I misunderstood.
On steamers - on canvassed jackets tailors use steam when pressing to shape it (getting the cloth to shrink a bit here, stretch a bit there, etc): injudicious use of a steamer can mess this up. Likewise hanging in a steamy bathroom. This has never happened to me (I've never used a steamer), it's just something I've read about (on ASW I think).
As far as the shoes, I heard otherwise from the folks over at Unipair among other places, but perhaps I misunderstood.

I misunderstood *wanders away from computer to put shoe trees in his shoes*
Get some of those iron-on denim patches to reinforce the insides of your jeans pockets to prevent premature holes from wallets and keys (and concealed firearms).
I appreciate the idea of hangers that actually are meant for nice clothes, but hump-me-silly Hanger Project is ridiculous.
I get wooden suit hangers with 3-4 inch shoulders for maybe 4 dollars a piece? Anything else special about the Hanger Project hangers besides the shoulder width?
I still can't nail the military tuck. :challengefailed-71:
Those look nice, but I am in a unique situation. Trying to find trouser hangers with a shorter drop. The closet in the condo I am renting is not that large. One side is divided into two parts with a top and bottom bar. I'm a little short on space off the top bar and my pants tend to bunch up on and touch the lower bar. I can't get them to hang cleanly. It's the type of problem only a taller guy would have, but I find it annoying. One solution would be pants parts with a small drop, but I have yet to find any that would work.

Why not just double them up on the hanger?
Today, I'm taking an checked ocbd over to my parent's house for Sunday dinner. Last week during laundry, it ended up with a large bleach stain on the lower arm. Going to hack the arms off, sew a new edge and create a short-sleved button down for summa time.
Today, I'm taking an checked ocbd over to my parent's house for Sunday dinner. Last week during laundry, it ended up with a large bleach stain on the lower arm. Going to hack the arms off, sew a new edge and create a short-sleved button down for summa time.

Is that a tip or is this just a humblebrag?
Meant to be a tip; finding ways to keep clothes useful...
Yup. The sewing to do something like that isn't at all complex, I don't know why anyone would consider it tooting your own horn. To me, that's just basic life skills. Knowing your way around a sewing machine and an awl comes in useful. The sewing awl especially for me- you should see my hockey gear.

I was just busting his chops. The fact that he can sew at all is impressive. I can't even put on a button!
shining your shoes: use those synthetic micro fiber cloths used for cars as a final buff. they give a much nicer and deeper sheen

Really? Does the shoe get any damage? I'll might try this one.
no. none at all. these microfiber cloths are used because a. they suck water up more than regular cloth, and b. they don't leave streaks and scratches on car paint surfaces.

Nice! Will try it as soon as possible.
Put on your collar stays before you put on the shirt. Its a PITA doing it in the mirror.
They all started a separate tailor forum IIRC. I'd like to get some of them over here for a tailoring expose, if I knew where they were, but I doubt they'll come because its not really relevant to their financial interests.
I'm gearing up to send in an ebay'd pair of Alden 975s into them for recrafting. Very excited for the results.


I've brought them back from some serious abuse by the previous owner, lots of caked wax, hard wear on the soles, but a recrafting will take them over the top I suspect.

Tip here: Take time to care for nice things. I've found that brushing quickly, generating a lot of friction, leads to better results and more shine than pressing heavily into the leather with the brush. High and light - not heavyhanded.

Additionally, using just water and a cloth can take off a lot of muck from your cordovan without really impacting the surface of the leather. Rinse and rub, and you can get even the most stubborn wax off without resorting to Renomat and other such strippers.
Best thing I have yet found to take out stains short of a whole wash/dry process is baby wipes. Just this morning I got ink on a pair of red pants, in fairly dramatic amounts without even realizing it. Took a baby wipe to it, dabbing - not wiping, and just about all the ink is gone.

Woman I work with swears by them - she even took Dr. Pepper out of a white shirt (apparently). But I wouldn't doubt it now.

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