These tips will help you get the most life out of your clothes, and help them stay pristine.
1. Keep an eye on your clothes
Normal wear and tear will inevitably age your clothes, but there are simple ways to prolong the life of any fabric.
- Buy well-made garments or accessories. They may cost more up front, but will pay you back in longer wear.
- Always mend rips or snags before laundering. If you wait to make repairs, the damage could worsen.
- Use skin and hair-care products cautiously, making sure they don’t touch your clothing.
- Keep makeup and lotions away from clothing, and point hair spray only in the direction it’s needed.
- Dilute bleach and other products appropriately when doing laundry. Some undiluted products can harm fabrics.
- Direct sunlight can discolour clothing over time, so store items out of the sun.
- Store your clothes with space between items so that fabrics can breath. Items are less likely to discolour each other and there’s less chance of snagging zippers and buttons.
2. Use the right hanger
Wire hangers, like those provided by dry cleaners, may be economical, but they can stretch out delicate fabrics and knits. Here’s some better alternatives:
- Rounded plastic hangers are far superior and won’t rust.
- Tailored clothing, like jackets and structured blouses, is best stored on thick, padded hangers.
- Pants and trousers retain their shape best when they’re folded and hung over wooden or padded hangers.
3. Hang in the closet with care
Hanging is generally good for clothes if they’re hung correctly. Centre a garment on a hanger with the seams hanging straight and the shoulder pads fitting properly. Hang with plenty of room between clothing items to avoid wrinkling.
4. Button your buttons and zip your zippers
- An open zipper or a stray fastener can easily catch on other fabrics, creating rips and snags.
- When storing your clothes, as when you do laundry, make sure to close all hooks-and-eyes, snaps or Velcro, and close up zippers.
- It’s also important to button the buttons before hanging, whether it’s a shirt, blouse or jacket.
- Tailored garments that hang open can become wrinkled and permanently lose their shape.
5. Store knits flat
- Because knits are loosely woven and tend to stretch, it’s best to store them flat to help preserve their shape.
- Even lightweight knit items, like neckties, will stretch if they’re hung over a hanger or a rod.
- After taking off knit garments, give them time to air. Then, fold and put away in drawers or other flat storage containers.
- Place heavier items on the bottom of closets or drawers to avoid crushing lighter pieces of clothing on top.
6. Empty lapels and pockets
- Even the smallest stress weighs heavily on garments over time. So before putting clothes away, take off any pins and clear out all the items from the pockets.
- Pins can rust or poke holes in fabric and pens can leak. Coins put extra strain on pocket linings.
- Remember to remove belts, which can stretch a garment out of shape.
Taking proper care of your clothing will keep your wardrobe looking its best, all while preserving your investment. With the right storage items and a watchful eye, your favourite outfits could last you much longer.