At one point or another, we’ve all found ourselves asking how we can possibly make our favorite pieces last longer, or even add longevity to our clothes. We have favorite pieces or pieces we aren’t sure how to care for but we want to make them last. So how do we do that? As a wardrobe stylist, I have learned a few tips and tricks along the way that I’d love to share so that you too can figure out how to take care of your clothes – for real this time.
Washing machine care
Let’s start with the almighty, easiest method of all. The good ole’ washing machine. Admittedly, I often purchase items that are more easily washable over clothes that have to be dry cleaned, just for peace of mind and budgetary reasons. But even using the washing machine will wear down your clothes over time. Here are a few ways you can make come of your washable items last longer:
Items that are black in color: Use a vinegar solution. If you have a pair of black denim, a black shirt, or any item that is dyed black for that matter, the first time you wash that piece of clothing, add a half-cup of white, distilled vinegar to the wash, along with the detergent. This will help it to keep from fading.
Frequency of washing: You don’t and shouldn’t have to wash a piece of clothing each time you wear it. The less you wash, the longer it will last. So when something gets a bit messy, spot cleaning is the best method here. Otherwise, you can wear something up to 3-5 times before washing it. This will also give longer life to your clothes.
Temperature: Washing clothes in warm/hot water causes faster fading and wear. Cold water will do the trick 99% of the time. Also, hanging dry vs. using the dryer will also breathe longer life into your clothes.
Dry Cleaning Care vs. Hand Washing: To Follow or Not To Follow?
Following the dry cleaning tag can be overwhelming (and expensive!) but unless it’s pure silk, is a unique item, or needs to be pressed or starched, you can get away with a light hand wash.
Think about your closet like a clothing boutique. When you store items in your closet, do you want them to be easily accessible, smell fresh, be free of bugs/moths, and feel/look like new? If so, here are a few items that will help keep your closet looking and feeling fresh.
Cedar or lavender sachets (to keep away moths and keep closet smelling fresh.) Replace
every 4-6 months or every season.
Felt hangers (helps with uniformity and keeping clothes in nicer/neater condition)
Garment bags (to keep seasonal items stored away in)
Extra Stylist Tricks
And a few more tips specific to styling and keeping clothes looking their best:
Clothing Steamer: Rather than using an iron (which, I’ve found many people rarely do! I’m an ironoholic…), a steamer is a handy device that you can store in your bathroom or closet and bust out when you need a quick and easy wrinkle solution. I also love to bring a travel steamer when on the road. They work wonders!
Clean items before storing away for a season: Then store them in garment bags by season/type)!
Do you have tips or tricks that have worked for you? I’d love to hear more about them! If you’d like to grab monthly style tips and tricks, you can sign up for my newsletter here and follow me on Instagram.