Dress Shirts

Published on February 23rd, 2016 | by Janine Giorgenti


Should you use Starch on your Dress Shirts?

Light Starch? Heavy Starch? No Starch?

By Janine Giorgenti

It may surprise some when I tell them how often my clients ask me about starch. My clients routinely ask me whether they should have their shirts starched or not. Furthermore, should they be heavily or lightly starched.

If that includes you, guess what, you’re not alone!

To start with a quick primer, laundry starch, by its very nature, is a vegetable based (mostly corn) substance that is dried, mixed with water, to form a viscous (resistant to flow) liquid. One of the original purposes of starch was to “harden” dress shirt collars and cuffs. Now, its a product used for household usages, at the dry cleaners, and – more relevant to our discussion – provides men’s dress shirts with a polished (crisp) look.

Is starch right for your dress shirts?

The answer lies in the thread count.


It goes as follows. The higher the thread count, the more dense the fabric and more compact the threads are woven together.

These shirts hold up well to laundering and don’t need starch. Further, if the collar is made with a stiffer – good quality – fusing, the collar will stay stiff and firm; and will not need starch.Lower quality shirts look great out of the package but have a low thread count and are made with inferior fusing. Once they are washed; the starch fillers wash out, the shirt becomes limp and does not hold its shape. These shirts need to be starched to add the fillers back into the cloth to make them look crisp again.

Mens’ dress shirts with higher thread counts (such as Giorgenti dress shirts) hold shape longer, launder well, and are densely packed. You don’t need starch!

There is also the matter of sensitive skin. If your skin is easily irritable, then you will want to avoid starch usage altogether.

Buy a high-thread count, high-quality, and beautiful custom men’s dress shirt from Giorgenti! Buy 3, get the 4th shirt FREE.


Schedule a private fitting appointment with Janine Giorgenti. Call (646) 957-6916.

About the Author

Janine Giorgenti

For over 25 years, Janine Giorgenti, renowned fashion designer and image consultant – has provided a long line of satisfied clients with unparalleled service and first class made-to-measure custom suits. Featured in the Wall Street Journal, Vogue Magazine, The New York Times, CNN, Fox News, CBS, and other top media outlets – Janine has established a clientele of some of New York’s most successful and discerning professionals – including such New York dignitaries as former New York Islanders legend Bobby Nystrom and chief economist Dr. Irwin Kellner.

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Should you use Starch on your Dress Shirts?

by Janine Giorgenti