Back in the dark ages of my retail career, I worked for a very lovely women’s store which had an absolute LAW about how things were done: no clothing hits the floor without being steamed first. Given that the clothing was often shipped in boxes via FedEx, almost everything had at least a few major creases in it, and looked about a thousand times better after being steamed.
Fast forward to my real life, in which it seemed that we were frequently taking garments to the cleaners just because they were sort of rumpled – not necessarily because they were soiled and needed to be cleaned…
I did a bit of math (I’m a number geek; you may not have realized that), and I figured that over about 40 garments or so, we could PAY for one of these little beauties.
So into our home it came, and it’s revolutionized our relationship with winter clothing. Suit jackets that are crumpled in the back look like new. Pants that have that “behind the knee” thing going on – perfect. Skirts that have been sat in, now look pristine. Unpacking my winter clothes, which have been living in a duffle bag in the sub-sub-basement for 6 months – steam away and they’re ready to go.
Steamers will NOT scorch anything – it’s almost impossible to ruin a garment unless it has plastic trim or weird fake jewels sewn onto it – but any natural fiber will just hang there and suck up steam and plump back up to its normal lustrous self and look glorious. And steaming takes a fraction of the time that ironing does – it doesn’t require meticulous placement of garments on the board and then precise placement of the iron (not that I don’t love that too!). With a steamer it’s just point and watch the wrinkles fall out. Sort of astonishing the first 300 times you do it – I’m still continually amazed at how effective it is.
Steam, of course, will not take the place of appropriate laundering when that is required… just in case you thought I’d lost my mind completely.
Make sure you get a really serious steamer – one that alters the relative humidity in your entire zip code and curls your hair. (or makes it limp, depending on your natural inclination). Years after you forget what you paid for it, you’ll still be using, and loving, it.