Our clothes go where we go, they move how we move and even after we’ve taken them off they fall victim to more stress. Because we wash, dry and store our clothes daily it often seeming like such a chore so we maybe forget how these essential routines could be causing unwanted damage to our clothes. Yes it might be boring and seem a huge task but that little bit of extra care really will go a long way and your clothes will love you for it, rewarding you with a prolonged life, wear after wear.
So where do we start? Surely there’s a lot to take in? Well, not really, it’s all pretty straight forward and once you get into the swing of these steps they’ll stick with you forever.
Give them a break
Rotate your clothes, try not to wear the same items two days running to prevent them wearing out too fast. Try to remind yourself that trousers go through twice the stress other garments do so could do with that little bit extra rest bite in the wardrobe.
Making washing easy (I hope)
• Try use a minimal amount of detergent and cold water where possible.
• Turn garments with graphics inside out.
• Its not recommended that you actually wash jeans by many brands but should you need to then wash them inside out and separate them from other items so they cannot rub them.
• Wash delicate items separate.
• Remember to empty pockets to avoid any foreign objects getting into the wash and causing damage, while you’re at it remember to fasten all zips so they don’t snag anything.
• Don’t use fabric softener when washing moisture thick or stain resistant items such as gym clothing. The fibers will become coated and become less effective.
• Now we know its boring and slightly time consuming but don’t forget to separate your washing. It’s really easy. Just think, dark’s, lights and whites.
That’s the washing bit done, phew! Moving on to the drying. Rule one, hanging your washing outside to dry is always the best. Tumble driers are a great convenient invention but is not necessarily very clothes friendly. The biggest give away is the lint balls that gather in the dryer, they’ve got to come from somewhere and yep you guessed it, they’re all the fibers from your beloved clothes. Not only does heat shrink and fade fabric, it also breaks down elastic. Not good for the Calvin’s! Washing line wins.
Another convenient method which comes at price. Not only is dry cleaning expensive but also the fabric is exposed to chemicals which can cause damage. A more friendly option would be to request for your clothes to be laundered. Or maybe you could buy yourself a steamer. (Or opt for the hanging clothes in the bathroom while you shower option).
• Hang suits in breathable bags
• Don’t over fill your wardrobe and drawers
• Avoid plastic and wire hangers, they are likely stretch and misshape the clothes. Wire hangers have even been known to discolor some fabrics.
• Go natural- wood hangers are better; they won’t leave dint’s and creases like your plastic ones can. Wooden hangers will also hold heavier items and keep away any moisture.
• When hanging jackets and suits use a wider hanger, which will provide better support for the shoulders.
• Never hang knit wear, its simply too heavy and over time that weight will make everything pull south, making the items loose shape
Not forgetting the all-important footwear. Prevention is key here; various shoe-protecting sprays are available on the market. Designed to stains at bay. Shoe trees are a great idea but often get over looked. They will retain the shape of your shoes, keep away moisture and stop your favorite leather brogues creasing. Finally polish, this one should go without saying. It keeps the wrinkles at bay, protects shoes from the elements and makes them look all shiny and new.
There we have it! Straight forward tips to a happy wardrobe.
Long live your clothes!
Written by Cloe Smith