How do you care for your wardrobe?
We all need a few tips and tricks to stretch the life of the most beloved items in our wardrobes.
For a change of pace, I decided to write about something different today. I will definitely write about books again very soon, but this is another topic that I’m very interested in. If you like this type of content, I will gladly do other articles on similar topics in the future, as I enjoy talking about clothes.
Here I will share some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way on how to keep your wardrobe looking fresh and new. Throughout the years, I’ve gotten my inspiration from different sources, some I learned from my mother while I was growing up, and some I’ve simply improvised.
Now, whether you have a luxurious wardrobe filled with designer brands or a simple line of basics that you mix and match, or even if most of your clothes consist mostly of athleisure, there are the same rules you should follow.
Let us see how do you care for your wardrobe?
When in doubt, throw it out
Yes, you’ve heard that before, I’m sure. But it is a rule you should always follow. We, myself included, tend to hold on to things “in case of’… I’ve never, ever used any of the clothes I’ve had in my “in case” pile. They’re usually collecting dust in some corner of my closet and taking up precious space I don’t have. Because let’s face it, I need it for my books. That, I will never compromise on, sorry.
Clutter is definitely not your friend
I don’t want to sound redundant here, but less is definitely more. With time, I realized that I usually have a few favorite pieces that I wear on repeat, so I really don’t need all those extra items. Plus, the more clothes you own, the harder it is to plan your outfits. I used to spend hours in front of my closet and trying on different combinations, only to pick the same thing, unsatisfied and frustrated with all the time I wasted.
Learn to choose wisely
To have a dream wardrobe that you are happy with takes a long time. I started changing the way I shop years ago, and I’m still not 100% satisfied with my overall wardrobe. Every season I plan to add some key pieces that are missing, but I either don’t find exactly what I had in mind, or I simply don’t think it’s worth the money. Just because a brand is expensive, it doesn’t mean it’s the best quality, or that it works for you. It takes many years of carefully chosen items that never go out of style to collect. If you’re patient though, it really does pay off.
Follow instructions on labels
Now, I don’t want to lecture anyone, but do most of you follow the instructions the companies take the time to put on their clothing? Because they’re actually there for a reason. If you want to keep your clothes in good condition, don’t just throw everything in the wash. Some items require different care, even hand washing them. Delicates or pure wool knits, for example, do not belong in a washing machine. Ever! I don’t care what anybody says.
Hand wash your stuff
This brings me to this point, which seems to go right over some people’s heads. Go back to the basics and learn to hand wash your delicates. Do you enjoy wearing lovely things that are made out of silk, lace, or wool? Or pantyhose? Then, for the love of all that’s good and pure, please take care of them. If you feel that hand washing is too beneath you, or too old school, then buy other stuff. There’s literally an array of options on the market, just choose something else.
Leave the demanding job to the pros
For clothes that are beaded, or are made out of delicate lace or sequins, you should definitely bring them to cleaners that are equipped to deal with those types of materials. Especially if it’s a favorite piece and you spent a small fortune on it, don’t attempt to save money and do it yourself. This is one time I definitely recommend a professional hand to tackle the job.
A good steamer is your new best friend
I grew up with a mother who used to iron everything, even undergarments or socks. So, because of the rebel, I’ve always been, I cannot stand ironing. But for now, I don’t have to. Thank goodness someone had the sense to invent the hand steamer, they have saved so many lives. A good quality fancy steamer that’s equipped with different settings might be a bit expensive, but it will save you from ironing, even going to the dry cleaners. So, when you think about it, it will really save you money and time in the long run.
Deal with stains immediately
Wherever you are, food and drink accidents are bound to happen. Doesn’t it always happen, especially when you’re wearing white, or a similarly light color? It never fails. Somehow stains love light-colored clothing, but if you’re vigilant and deal with it asap, it will save your item. Most of the time all you have to do is try to run a bit of cold water on it, scrub it a bit, then as soon as you get home, put some product that aims at removing stains, and you’re all set.
Fresh air is magic
I’m not one to put cedar balls or lavender sachets in my wardrobe to keep my clothes from getting a musty smell. I always air out the room and the closet whenever I get a chance. Even in winter, I open the door to the closet and crack the window to my room, even if just for a few minutes. It’s the best air freshener out, and it’s free! Plus, if you’re not careful where you place your oil-based natural fresheners they can actually stain your clothes, so you get rid of a problem to get another.
Hang it up!
Remember when you were a kid and your mom used to nag you to hang up your clothes when you take them off? Well, my daughter can attest to this, I became my mother! If you have a habit of throwing your clothes wherever you find an empty space in your room, be it at the back of some chair or on the floor, your clothes will lose their shape from all the creases and frumples that will set in. Even if they’re not expensive, your clothes deserve better treatment than that!
Good hangers make a difference
This brings me to my next point. You’re not in college anymore, and wire hangers belong in the 1980s. Spend a little extra money and invest in some good-quality hangers. They have a wide array of options in wood, velvet, or even sturdy plastic that come in the same shade, or even better, the same color. That way not only will your clothes hang better, but the overall look of your closet will be homogenous and pleasing to the eye.
Fold your delicates
Delicates, such as undergarments or knits made from natural fibers should never be hung. Hanging them will ruin their shape or even cause holes. What you need to do is have dedicated drawers or storage baskets to put them in. There are many YouTube videos that teach you how to fold them the right way, just pick one that works for you. Here as well, do not overcrowd them. They need breathing room so they will keep their shape longer. At the same time, it will avoid clutter.
Freshly washed clothes don’t mix with worn ones
Most clothes we wear don’t need to be laundered after every use, especially jeans or knits. So how should you store them then? Here’s what I do. I bought one of those plastic clothes racks that I keep in my room outside of my closet, and I hang my worn clothes there. At the same time, it serves as a capsule wardrobe rack, because I wear those clothes on rotation. Usually, I switch them on a weekly basis, then I wash them and do the same thing the following week with a fresh set of clothes. That way I don’t mix my clean clothes with the worn ones, plus I get to wear a more varied set of clothes without having to constantly worry about my outfits.
The right type of storage materials is a must
Please, do not, under any circumstances, use those plastic dry-cleaning bags to store your carefully curated wardrobe. What they do is trap all types of harmful gasses that will ruin your clothes. For your best quality clothes invest in some muslin-type garment bags that allow your garments to breathe. If you think they’re too expensive, just hang them as is. The only thing you have to do is make sure you rotate them regularly so they don’t collect dust. That’s why it’s better to own fewer, better quality clothes that you get a lot of wear from, rather than a closet overflowing with useless items.
Your closet, your haven
And last but not least, your closet space should, once again, be roomy, airy, and located in a dark and dry place. If you have the luxury to have an extra room dedicated solely to your clothes, even better.
Do not store seasonal or occasion wear in stuffy attics or damp basements. That’s like throwing money out of the window. Clothes do not like moisture. That can actually cause bacteria, and no matter what you do, you will not be able to get rid of it. And it would be a shame to have to throw away your most beloved pieces because you didn’t take the time to store them properly.
This is it for today’s topic, I really hope you enjoyed it. There are literally hundreds of other tips on how to care for your wardrobe, but I just wanted to give you a brief introduction. Especially now, when our budgets are stretched thin, we need to care for the clothes we already own rather than buy new things regularly.
Sorry guys if this is not up your alley, I didn’t mean for you to feel left out, but maybe you found some useful inspiration still.