How to polish calfskin leather shoes:

  1. Gather supplies
    • Polish
    • An old T-shirt or cotton cloth
    • Cedar shoe trees
    • Horsehair polish brush
    • Horsehair cleaning brush
    • Heel and edge dressing
    • Conditioning cleaner
  2. Remove laces
  3. Insert shoe trees
  4. Clean dirt off shoes with horsehair cleaning brush
  5. Apply conditioner cleaner with cotton cloth
  6. Apply polish in circular motion
  7. Brush to a dull shine
  8. Buff with cotton cloth (dampen for high shine)
  9. Heel and sole edge dressing
  10. Walk with confidence

Personally, I enjoy the process: Laying out of newspaper, polish, rags, and brushes. After enough applications, the old T-shirt that I use becomes its own work of art. First, I brush the shoe well, cleaning it of any dust or dirt. I use a small amount of conditioner cleaner with my cotton cloth if necessary, and dry before applying the polish. You may choose to apply the polish with a brush, rag, or your fingertips. With the brush or the rag wrapped tightly around your fingers, apply the polish in small, tight circular swirls. I prefer to use my thumbs, and really work the polish into the leathers pores. Then use the brush to achieve a dull shine, before using the cotton cloth for buffing to a shine. Use some water on the rag for a higher shine. After polishing, I apply the heel and sole edge dressing. I recommend the Allen Edmonds dressing we carry in the store. It is water-soluble, so if you apply some to the shoes upper by accident, you can wipe it away with water. That is all you have to do. You can now walk with confidence, knowing that your shoes are perfectly polished.

A necktie or bowtie gives flare and uniqueness to an outfit. It can also dress up or dress down what you are wearing. Whether a simple pattern or exquisite conversational tie, they require attention and care to last.

At the end of a work day, resist the urge to yank off your tie. Pulling the tail through the knot will cause permanent stretching and damage to the interior lining and outer layer. To remove, reverse the knot used when tying the tie.

Ties are made of delicate fabrics and are extremely impressionable. Wrinkles will come easily from improper storage, aggressive undoing of the knot, and the knot being too tight. When storing, hang ties on a designated tie rack or hanger. Creases made throughout the day and from the knot will fall out from gravity.

When traveling, roll ties to avoid creases from being crunched. Store them in a shoe for more protection.

Ironing a tie will cause the edges to crease. Instead of ironing to remove harsh wrinkles by hanging the tie in the bathroom during a shower. The steam and gravity will reshape the tie.

To remove stains or spills, blot the surface with a cloth. Do not press firmly or rub, the stain will spread and penetrate the fabric deeper.

Tuxedo and Suit Rental

Zahner’s tuxedo and suit rental professionals have been fitting garments for over 40 years. We are knowledgeable in the art and science of fitting garments and use this expertise when assisting with the rental of tuxedos and suits. The same care is given to each rental as we give when selling our highest quality suits.

How do you rent a tuxedo and/or a suit?

There are many factors and questions that Zahner’s will assist with.

  • What time of year is the event?
  • What time of day is the event?
  • Is the event indoors or outdoors?
  • Is it a destination wedding?
  • Where will the wedding/event be held?
  • If you are an attendee and the invitation says black tie, what do you wear?
  • If you are an attendee and the invitation says black tie optional, what do you wear?
  • Are you attending with a female guest? If so, how formal is her dress? What color is the dress? Did she give instruction whether she expects you to coordinate colors with her?

Once some of these basic questions are answered there will be some direction as to the proper tuxedo or suit to rent. There are many choices from basic notch collar black to designer tuxedos in black, navy, tan, brown, and shades of grey. Each step of the way Zahner’s tuxedo experts will guide but not control the process…it is your wedding/event.

The process includes the proper assessment of style and fit of each tuxedo and suit. We request that in the planning process that the groom, in the case of a wedding rental, should have prior knowledge of any difficulties that could be encountered in fitting the bridal party. Do you have exceptionally tall, large or small, individuals? This will help guide in the proper choice of the best fit.

For the bride it is helpful early on in the planning process to have a swatch of cloth of the bridesmaid’s dresses. This will simplify the process of choosing accessories for the groomsmen. Please if at all possible avoid the cell phone picture of the color rendition is at best imperfect.

You can see there are many things to consider and you can expect to make a couple of trips to get all of the details correct. Don’t let it overwhelm you because the professional tuxedo and suit rental experts at Zahner’s can make the process easy.


For two generations, the professionals at Zahner’s have been analyzing body shapes, physical characteristics, and idiosyncrasies to perfect the fit of each garment that is sold. When considering a coat, we look at a client’s chest measurement first. A full circumference measurement is taken under the armpits with a bit of judgment involved. Playing a large part in the perfect fitting garment is if the customer is full-chested and large in the pectoral area. If we need to dart and gorge the front of the coat or if the customer is large across the back with a shallow chest, adjustments need to be made. The next area we look at is the over-arm measurement. A standard measurement would be six to ten inches larger than the chest, but can depend on the amount of mass the client carries in the bicep area. If the mass of the biceps is larger than normal this would require widening the sleeve head and deepening the armhole for greater movement, comfort, and flexibility. A visual assessment needs to be made of the body stance. Is the customer erect? Do they have their head forward? Are their shoulders square (high)? This will create a wrinkle about two inches below the collar, and is commonly referred to as “collar roll”. This can be removed by either lowering the collar (for small wrinkle) or squaring the shoulders by taking in the shoulder points (for larger wrinkles). Using this visual will also reveal if the client has one shoulder higher than the other (as many do), requiring an adjustment to the balance of the coat.

As we move lower in the coat we consider the drop. The drop is the difference between the chest and the waist measurement. This is one of the biggest frustrations which clients experience with “off-the-rack” garments from department stores and internet purchases. A standard drop is six inches, and we stock many six inch drop garments in classic, modern, and trim fits. A body assessment will determine the proper garment for the client. We also carry an athletic fit, which is an eight inch drop. Zahner’s is one of the few retailers to carry an athletic fit in stock. The executive drop is for those endowed with a greater girth and is usually a four inch drop. However, this can vary depending on the size.

Fitting the Slacks

Next we consider the pants. Besides the style of pleated or flat front, there are other factors of the garment to be considered. First is the positioning of the waist. Does the client wear his pants on his true waist or on the hip? A properly fitted pant will not only add to the enjoyment but also the longevity of wear. The difference between the inseam and the outseam measurements is known as the rise. If the rise is too short, it is uncomfortable when sitting. If the rise is too long, the crotch either hangs too low or gets hiked up too high. Many clients have never experienced the comfort of a properly fitted pair of pants. Also to be considered is the seat measurement, which is the widest part of the pant approximately four inches below the waist. A pleated pant has added fullness in this area and works well for those with athletic thighs. Next would be the knee and bottom measurements. Each client will have a choice of measurement with a standard knee of twenty one inches on a pant with a thirty four inch waist pant. For the same pair, the bottom around the ankle is about eighteen inches.

   Of note here for practical reasons, Zahner’s fitters advise clients with large shoe sizes not to get the pant too narrow at the bottom because it accentuates the size of the foot.

   For more information or for any questions on actual made-to-measure garments, please go to the custom page, or visit us in the store for a more personal experience.