Why is it that expensive things are also expensive to care for? It’s pretty infuriating if you think about it. You already dropped a hefty sum on those leather boots and now you have to get them buffed and stretched? And what about all those silky, cashmere-y things that say “dry clean only”? Here, eight pieces of advice for easily (and inexpensively) keeping your clothes looking fresh longer.
WASH ONLY AS NEEDED
Apart from your underwear and socks, most articles of clothing don’t need to be washed after every wear. Just immediately air them out between wears and be careful not to apply perfume or deodorant too close to the fabric.
STEAM CLOTHES BETWEEN WEARS
Beyond removing wrinkles, a quick steam can also release odors from your clothes--all without damaging the fabric like a dryer or iron can.
SKIP THE DRYER WHEN POSSIBLE
Prolonged heat breaks down fabrics and can cause fading or shrinking over time. Instead, tumble dry clothes on a low setting for a few minutes to release any wrinkles and then lay them flat to dry fully.
SWITCH TO A GENTLE DETERGENT
It’s hard not to reach for the detergent that claims to “lift stains” or “brighten whites,” but you’re much better off with a gentler formula. Those heavy-duty soaps often contain harsh ingredients (like bleach) that can be too aggressive on certain fibers.
BUY A FEW SHOE TREES
Better yet, make them cedar ones to absorb any funky odors. Place the old-school wooden stretchers inside your favorite closed-toe shoes whenever you’re not wearing them. It will help keep their shape so they don’t start to crease or sag. A worthy investment for your extra-special pairs.
AND GET A SWEATER STONE
Keep your best knits smooth by gently running a sweater stone over them when you start to see pilling. Trust: It’s a much better (and safer) alternative than plucking anything off with your fingers.
SEAL IN BUTTONS
Grab your clear nail polish and paint a coat over the buttons to seal in the threads and keep them from unraveling.
STORE CLOTHING PROPERLY
To prevent wrinkling or sagging, know what to hang (dressy shirts, jackets, dresses and skirts) and what to fold (sweaters, pants and jeans). And however you store your clothes, make sure to give everything plenty of breathing room so they keep their shape