What's Your System
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My System: I Steam My Clothes Every Day

Marie in her unironed clothes. (Photo: TueNight)

Who: Marie Robinson, celebrity hair colorist extraordinaire.

System: I steam my clothes every single morning.”

Why’s that? “I have pretty nice clothes, but I usually end up messing them up with hair color. I’m in very small living quarters right now so I don’t take things out to iron them. It’s easier to just steam them.”

Not that I wear couture all the time, but I was told when you have nicer clothes, steaming is actually better for the colors and the quality of the fabric than dry cleaning or washing them too much. The steam also kills any germs or whatever. Some of the stuff I’ve had from Chanel stays nicer longer because of steaming — the colors haven’t changed at all. Obviously things that need to be dry cleaned or washed I do. But dry cleaning can become time-consuming and expensive.”

What inspired you to start steaming your clothes every day? “I made a lot of changes and sacrificies in my life to quickly get out of a marriage that wasn’t working. The one thing I was happy to retain from my marriage was the steamer — it made my morning so much easier with all that stress. The gentleman I’m with now thinks he must be the luckiest person in the world, because the one thing that I got from my marriage that makes me happy was a steamer.”

What kind of steamer do you use? “I have a really cheap, clunky blue steamer from JC Penney, I probably should upgrade to something a little nicer and less bulky but it does a nice job. And it always takes me two minutes.”

Did you buy it or did someone give you the steamer? “My godmother gave it to me for Christmas like seven years ago. She lived downstairs from me and used to hear me complain about my clothes every morning and knew I didn’t like to iron. It was probably one of the best gifts I ever got. It had this big, big tall metal pole on it and was wrapped in paper. I thought what the heck could this thing possibly be next to the Christmas tree?”

Any special techniques? I don’t know if this is the way you’re supposed to do it, but my technique is to hold the fabric horizontally and then use the steamer vertically. It works for me. Normally I’ve seen people hold the fabric vertically and steam vertically but to me that doesn’t make any sense. I feel like I get more wrinkles out quickly the way I do it.”

Any moments with steaming and celeb clients? “I can’t mention the name but recently a client was telling me about her experience at the Met Ball in NYC— she was wearing a long dress with a train on it, and the hair stylist was trying to do her hair while the stylist was steaming her dress. So the hotel is steaming up like crazy and her hair won’t stop frizzing up. So here’s a tip to take away from this: Don’t attempt to have your gown steamed while getting your hair done! Your hairdo won’t be happy.”

Anything you don’t steam? “I steam everything but my underwear.”

This piece originally ran June 8, 2012 on WhatsYourSystem.com


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