A Man’s Guide to Closets and Caring for Clothes

Move over fashionistas!  Men are taking over this issue and one space where they shouldn’t cut corners is their closet. Men who care about what they wear and how they wear it (no wrinkles, please!), can treat themselves to a closet where there’s a place for everything, and put everything in its place.

“One popular request from my male clients is for belt and tie storage,” says Stephanie Parmer who owns Closets By Design of Atlanta with her husband Steve. “We offer many solutions for such storage need’s to include a drawer with a plexi-glass divider which provides great storage and a visual display.” In business since 2000, the company specializes in organization solutions for every space of the home including closets, home office, pantry, garage, craft rooms and entertainment units. “The latest in masculine closet design is a new line called the Brio Collection featuring a high quality “textured” product.  It is a sleek modern look that is becoming a must- have in Atlanta.”

In her experience, Stephanie points out shoe storage is a necessity in the closet space. “Some gentlemen like simple functional storage and others display their shoes. Another great idea is storage for watches and we have what we call a valet, which is a space for watches, wallet and pens in the top drawer.  Our systems are custom designed specifically for their clothing.  He can have sports coats in a longer section, belts in racks that are displayed well, pants on pull out racks and the list is endless.” According to Stephanie, the industry standard material to build closets is an engineered wood product called Melamine. “It is dimensionally stable so when the product is cut and assembled it all fits correctly,” she adds.

Closets can be custom designed to the man’s needs and space, after an inventory and discussion with the homeowner.  “We do very little cutting on the client site, everything is pre-cut and assembled on location,” says Stephanie. Her client Tony Sostillio had his closet redone recently. “Tony’s new closet has drawers and doors for personal items, single and double hanging sections, and storage for shoes. His taste is more transitional so he asked for flat faced drawer fronts, modern trim package and the textured melamine.”

Irrespective of how clothes are stored though, seasonal care is another top consideration for men who like to look good. “After winter, it is important to take care of sweaters, cashmere and wool as they may develop moisture holes,” says Young Lim, owner of Presstine Cleaners in Buckhead. “Use mothballs in your closet especially in in the summer. Ask your cleaners for the blue moisture bags that can be sealed and protect the garment from moisture. Also, suede and leather are difficult materials to work with and must always be sent out to a specialist.” Suits with special features like additional embroidery or trim must be rinsed by hand and given special care. Garments must be turned inside out and have all buttons and other details covered before they are serviced.

Originally from South Korea, Lim manages this family business among several others he owns in the city. Though he has lots of competition in the area, he is the oldest dry cleaner around, calling his current location home for the past 15 years, having served Buckhead for more than 50 years. On average, he sees 150-200 customers daily and his staff visits 80 houses for the free pick up and delivery services. When it comes to caring for the city’s finest, he has many pointers to share. “Mustard stains are the hardest to remove so take them straight to the dry cleaners, don’t try removing on your own,” he cautions.

“Another problem is the stain ring around the collar, which is from oil produced in the neck area causing discoloration. For every 3-4 times you have that shirt laundered, make sure there is one visit to the dry cleaners,” he adds. Presstine offers free pick up and set delivery, custom hangers, two levels of care for laundered shirts, and monthly billing. They use the latest in barcode technology so you will not see that annoying safety-pinned paper coupon on your clean clothing.  Keep it simple, clean and organized and your clothes will last longer.