Violating probably every labor law (and if you listen to him, maybe the Geneva Convention), Robert’s son Baylen builds character by scrubbing rental shirts, circa 2011.

Monday is “return day,” at Main Street Formals, so much of the day is spent laundering shirts from the weekend’s rentals. How do we keep our shirts so clean? It’s not as simple as you might think. First, we spot-treat rental shirts for obvious stains and blemishes. Then, we soak them for hours in a piping hot solution of water, detergent, and a whitening agent. Then, we wash the shirts with standard detergent in hot water again. And then, we send the shirts out to be spot-treated and washed again by a professional laundry service. Finally, they starch and press the shirts, which we then inspect for stubborn stains before they are returned to our rental inventory. Yes, we do this to EVERY shirt. During last prom season, our (former) laundry service dropped the ball and couldn’t turn our shirts around for us, so we were at the shop through the wee hours of the night, hand-pressing shirts for our prom rentals. However, making lemonade from lemons, we are grateful we had to grunt it out, for the experience ultimately led us to our great new laundry company, Bush Cleaners, who has been fantastic!

You might ask: Why do we go to such great effort and expense to keep our rental shirts pristine? Well, to us, it’s not “just a rental shirt.” It’s the foundation of your formalwear ensemble, the canvas upon which your sartorial work of art is painted. And so if the shirt doesn’t “pop,” neither will your tuxedo. You’re paying for the “pop,” and we’re committed to delivering it. Even if it is, as we say in Southern Massachusetts, a wicked lot of work.