5 WAYS TO CARE AND MAKE YOUR CLOTHES LAST LONGER FOR YOU
Since longer-lasting clothing means more money in your pocket, be sure you do all you can to preserve your wardrobe.
Of course, it may require changing a few habits. Luckily, you dont need special products to keep your whites sparkling and your dark garments looking sharp. Always go for quality over quantity.
Let's do this!
1. START WITH QUALITY
While I dont recommend buying overly expensive brand-name garments, its always a good idea to purchase quality clothing. By spending more on quality pieces that never go out of style, you create a solid base wardrobe with longevity in mind.
You can then add in cheaper, trendier pieces for a season or two without feeling guilty. Those quality investment pieces last longer thanks to thicker fabrics and better construction.
Its also a question of quantity versus quality. When purchasing kids clothes, you usually want to go for quantity, since the items are only going to fit for a few seasons.
However, when purchasing professional clothes for yourself or a pair of jeans to wear daily, its better to invest in one quality item than five poorly made pieces that may need to be replaced in a few months.
2. PAY ATTENTION TO LAUNDERING
That tag found on the neck or down the side seam of your shirt is not for decoration: It gives you a garments laundering instructions, which are designed to ensure that it stays in great shape.
If you know you hate hand washing and line-drying, avoid buying clothes that require special care. Youd be better off spending your money on sturdier items. Looking at laundering instructions is part of my shopping process.
Even if its a steal, a piece that requires dry cleaning could cost more in the long run especially if you choose to ignore care instructions and end up ruining it.
3. PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE
It may sound simple, but practicing good hygiene such as showering daily, wearing deodorant, and using proper undergarments can help keep your clothes cleaner and in better condition. Dont forget that sweat also causes stains.
By insisting that your family members treat their clothing with cleanliness and care, you should get some extra uses out of each piece.
It also pays to make sure you wear the right clothes for the right events. If you know things are going to get messy at a birthday party, dont send your daughter wearing an expensive lace dress. Or, if youre going out to a bar where people smoke, opt for your cheaper wardrobe items.
4. IRON WITH CARE
When you iron, youre using heat to loosen fabric fibers and press them flat. Unfortunately, theres also a good chance you can end up burning or yellowing the fabric if youre not doing it properly.
Using too much heat on delicate fabrics can completely ruin them, so make sure you always use the right heat level for the type of fabric youre ironing.
Many irons have different levels for various fabrics on the heat dial, but heres a general guide:
Linen: 445° F
Cotton: 400° F
Viscose/Rayon: 375° F
Wool: 300° F
Acrylic: 275° F
Polyester: 300° F
Silk: 300° F
Acetate: 290° F
Lycra: 275° F
Nylon: 275° F
5. PRACTICE GOOD STORAGE HABITATS
Whether you have a walk-in closet or a couple of shelves, the way you store your clothes can make them last for years or leave them looking misshapen and damaged in just a few months.
Heres how to store your clothes to make sure they last as long as possible:
*FOLD HEAVY SWEATERS ON A SHELF.
While you might think that hanging is best for your expensive sweaters, heavier garments such as wool sweaters can stretch out when you hang them in your closet.
Your best bet is to stack them folded on a shelf so they keep their shape and save that precious hanger space.
*BUTTON BUTTONS AND ZIP ZIPPERS: I cant count the number of times a wayward zipper on one garment has snagged or scratched the fabric on another while hanging in my closet. Sharp zipper teeth, studs, and even buttons can catch on clothes and result in damage, so make sure theyre fastened when you hang them in your closet.
*INVEST IN BETTER HANGERS: Sure, you can score wire hangers from your dry cleaner for free, but theyre not made for long-term storage. Wire and plastic hangers can stretch out the shoulders of your garments, which means they wont lay nicely on your body.
Consider investing in better hangers with wood or plush arms, which help garments keep their shape.
*GIVE CLOTHES SOME BREATHING ROOM: Even if youre short on space, resist the urge to pack your closet full of clothes. Squishing a ton of items next to each other can result in wrinkling and fading as the fabrics are constantly mashed together.
If youre having to squish hangers and garments just to squeeze in another shirt, it may be time to look into other storage solutions. For example, a standalone armoire can help reduce some of the pressure on a bulging closet.
*THINK COOL AND DRY: Excess moisture and heat can encourage mold growth even on clothes. The mantra for your closet should be cool and dry. Never store clothes in a humid bathroom or moist basement closet.
CONCLUSION: Unfortunately, not all clothing items are meant to last forever. Theyre bound to wear out, fade, and change shape after repeated use. Still, by being a little more careful in the way you clean, handle, and store your clothes, you can get months and even years of extra wear out of each piece.
When you multiply those results by the number of members in your family, it adds up to big savings.