You may be spending a lot more money on clothing than you think. If you’re thinking of your kids’, that’s just natural since they outgrow their clothing quickly – but we’re talking about your clothes. Long lasting clothes means fewer expenses and more savings, so be sure you take efforts to take care of and maintain your clothes. Here are some of the things you can do to help prolong the life of your clothes.
1. First things first: invest in quality wardrobe staples.
You may be tempted to buy cheap, fast fashion clothing. While it’s fine to buy a few pieces, don’t build your wardrobe on them, since they may go out of style too quickly and they can also get ruined quickly. Invest in quality wardrobe staples with longevity in mind. You don’t need to buy overly expensive pieces with big brands; you just need to look for durable, quality pieces that never go out of fashion. It can be a couple of pairs of denim jeans, a few button-up shirts and blouses, a two-piece business suit, a little black dress, and a classic pea or trench coat. When shopping, pay attention to detail. Look at the quality of fabric, the details like seams and buttons. From there you can see what item is well-made or not.
2. Pay attention to care labels.
Pay special attention to the tag found on the neck or down the side seam of a shirt. Those are care instructions that tell you how the garment should be washed to ensure that it will stay in a good condition. If you’re super dependent on your washing machine and you hate to hand-wash and line-dry, avoid buying clothes that need special care, even if it’s at a big discount. You would end up bringing them with your other laundry to the washing machine and end up ruining it in the long run. But if you’re willing to give special care to your clothing in the name of fashion, then don’t forget to check the labels before laundering them for the first time. If you’re washing your existing clothes wrong, it’s not too late to wash them the way they should be next time.
3. Rotate your clothes.
Most people end up wearing the same items they have just laundered because it is easier to grab what’s in front in their drawers or closets. If you can relate, this can mean wear and tear for your clothes. It’s best to rotate your clothes so all of them can last longer. After folding out your newly washed clothes, take a bit of your time to put them at the back of your closet, and move some of the items in the closet forward so they’re easier to see and grab. This technique is very helpful for your children’s clothes since kids tend to just grab and wear what they see first on their closets.
4. Invest in good quality hangers.
Yes, your choice of hangers matter. Wire and plastic hangers, especially long ones, can stretch the shoulders of your garments, which may ultimately damage your clothing. Make sure that you invest in hangers that are not wider than your shoulder length. Consider buying better hangers made of wood or plush arms or padding.
5. Don’t put everything in the dryer
Not all items are meant to be put in the dryer. As mentioned earlier, make sure you check if the clothes are meant to be line-dried. Also, the clothes you care about must be washed and dried gently, so don’t put them in the drier. Let them dry on a clothesline, but if you don’t have the space to dry clothes outside, you can get a drying rack for your laundry room.
6. Wash your clothes less frequently.
Constantly tossing out your clothes in the laundry can easily wear them out, so hold off washing an item unless you really need to. The only garments you must be washing every wear are socks and underwear (except bras). If you don’t have a sweat problem and/or you didn’t sweat on your clothing, hang your worn garments first outside your closet. This is very applicable, especially to denim jeans and pants. Jeans are very low maintenance, and you can wear them every day without washing (unless they already smell or get stained). For cotton pants, you only need to wash them when they’re overly wrinkly or stained. To keep your clothes fresh, practice good hygiene.
7. Know how to wash each type of clothing.
To make sure your clothes will stay in its best condition for a longer time, don’t wash them all together doing the same method of washing. For starters, treat stains right away because if you let it stay for days or even weeks, it can be impossible to remove. Also, wash any type of dark clothing inside out to lessen fading.
Here are some tips on washing and caring for certain kinds of garments:
- Denim jeans – Don’t wash them every wear. Keep them from fading by turning inside out. Wash in cold water.
- Cotton T-shirts – Wash them in cold water and dry on permanent press. Treat stains before washing, especially on armpit areas that are caused by antiperspirants. Fold t-shirts and don’t hang, since these can easily stretch with hangers.
- Button down shirts – Treat stains before washing, and pay close attention to the armpit areas and insides of dollars because these are the areas commonly stained. Don’t put them in the dryers as much as possible, instead of air dry them on hangers. Iron them when they’re still humid, or iron them with a water spray.
- Lingerie and underwear – These items must be hand-washed to keep it in good condition. Bras are not meant to be scrubbed (it doesn’t get too dirty anyway), so you only need to soak it in warm water and detergent, then swish it around and rinse gently. If you really don’t have the time for hand-washing, put your delicates into a mesh laundry bag and wash on a cold, delicate wash cycle.
- Swimwear – Soak swimwear in water after every use, because chlorine or saltwater can break down the fibers and elastic of the garment. Always wash it by hand and don’t put in the dryer.
Other garments like wools, silks, coats and leather jackets need to be sent to the dry cleaners for proper cleaning and care.
8. Iron clothes properly.
Most flatirons have labels on the heat dial, so you can set the right temperature for ironing a certain kind of fabric. The best thing to do is to follow it, so you don’t end up burning or yellowing the fabric. Too much heat on delicate fabrics may also ruin them, so be careful with adjusting the heat levels. Ease your ironing by using a water spray, if your clothes have stubborn wrinkles. Another option is to invest in a steamer, so you can straighten up your clothes while they’re on the hanger. It’s also a time, effort, and space-saver too since you don’t need to set up your ironing board anymore.