You’ve spent last month’s salary on some great wardrobe basics, but by taking care of your new favorite pieces you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. Below are eight tips from to help keep your clothes looking fresh and fashionable for years to come.
1. Follow wash instructions. Those tags sewn into your clothing are there for a reason. Adhere to the guidelines and you’ll extend the lifetime of your clothes. Wash light-colored clothing with similar pieces and darks with darks. Avoid drying cotton items completely to extend the life of the fabric.
2. The rules on jeans. This wardrobe staple gets a tip all to itself: Only wash jeans when it’s absolutely necessary. This will prevent fading. More importantly with stretch jeans, it will preserve, well, the stretchiness.
3. Dry clean. Some pieces, like your favorite LBD, require gentle care. Don’t attempt to wash items that say "dry clean only"-- you’ll spend more money in the long run when you have to replace damaged garments. Also, after you pick up your dry cleaning, remove the items from the plastic covering. This is especially true if you live in a humid climate. Clothes need to breathe.
4. Tackle stains. Stains are best handled immediately. The longer you let that coffee splatter on the front of your shirt go, the more likely it’s going to be there forever. Use whatever you have handy-- water, club soda, a stain remover chemical-- and go to town. If you use a stain remover, follow the instructions and then wash the piece of clothing. Your quick action will be rewarded with a good-as-new garment.
5. Take pride in your closet. Imagine the clothes rack and shelving in your closet are that of a high-end boutique. In other words, don’t cram, crumple, and crush clothes. Fold sweaters and jeans so nicely it would make a salesperson proud. These simple actions will help keep your clothes in good condition, and you’ll have a new appreciation for the beautiful items showcased in your closet.
6. Avoid wire hangers. Wire can really damage clothes by stretching and reshaping fabric. If the wire rusts, it may ruin clothing beyond repair. Plastic, cloth or wood hangers are your best bet. Opt for folding heavier items like sweaters.
7. Change with the seasons. Many of us have closets that never seem quite big enough. Switching out clothes when the seasons change can free up a lot of room.
8. Don’t give up on damaged pieces. Holes and tears may be repairable. Also, if an item no longer fits properly, it may be possible to have it tailored. If you want to update an old basic, you can always shorten or let out a hem, remove sleeves, or add pockets. Get creative enough and your old favorite could become your new go-to piece.