I think it’s safe to say my closet has seen a lot of clothes come and go over the years. In previous years, I would buy everything that seemed remotely interesting, especially if it was on sale. Years later, they would either be hung in my closet, never to dare wear that again , in the “what the hell was I thinking” pile or I haphazardly ruined them in the wash. In the past 5 years or so, I’ve put my energy into only buying garments that are more so timeless and can be worn for years. So after the pledge comes the maintenance and it has all been a learning experience! Hopefully I can help someone out there take care of their precious garments so they last for years.
While many of us don’t like to read instructions, here’s where you’re going to have to bite on a leather strap and take it. You have to read the care instructions on the tag, and…wait for it…follow them exactly. Unlike children or relationships, clothing actually comes with a set of instructions of how to take care of them. For example, if the garment is white, but requires you to wash it in cold water, just because you wash your other whites in scalding hot water, does not mean this garment should follow suit. This also holds true for garments that require hand washing & dry cleaning. If it requires it, do it.
Undergarments should also be treated with care. Use a lingerie wash bag, like this one, to wash delicate garments in to keep from fraying and stretching. The longer you actually take time to clean garments as instructed, the longer they will last. I’ve also learned to not dry bras in a dryer. It’s best to hang them on a line or flat and let them air dry. I find that my bras last so much longer and they stay pretty for years.
I have sensitive skin, so I can’t wash clothing in detergents with perfumes, fruits, vegetables or any other trendy fragrances these things are made with nowadays. Mine strictly has to be free & clear of “stuff”. While there are so many options for detergents, ensuring you use the right detergent with your garments is key. For those of us that want to keep our lacy underthings pretty, detergents like Woolite or even high-rated detergent, The Laundress Delicate Wash are great options to get everything clean and still intact. It’s an extra few dollars, but it will save you money overtime from ruining a good garment.
For those who think throwing garments on the floor or stuffed in drawers will allow you to wear with no tear sooner than you think, keep up that attitude. Certain garments require you to fold, hang and store them in the proper way in order to last longer. For example, sweaters are not meant to be hung, but folded. Hanging a sweater will cause the fabric to stretch and lose its shape over time.
Make sure you take the time to identify which garments need special attention so you can care for them properly. Doing so will save you money in the long run, and from ruining a potentially special piece in your closet.