Your wardrobe is an investment that you make to show off your style. You certainly don’t want to show up to work or social gatherings in tattered or worn garments. Caring for your clothing is essential to make these items last. With these Garment Longevity Tips, you’ll be able to make them last much longer!
Garment Longevity Tips: Always Choose Quality
To start, always purchase quality-made clothing. There’s nothing wrong with shopping sales, but be sure you’re not buying items that are cheaply made. Those things tend to fall apart fast no matter how well you care for them. You’re better off choosing staple pieces that are made with quality fabrics that will hold up through the years.
Know When to Wash Your Clothes
When clothing gets dirty or has an odor, you’ll certainly need to wash these items. However, if you only wore your blouse for an hour or two, you don’t need to wash it yet. Washing your clothing less frequently keeps it from being stretched out, faded, and damaged.
Consider Hand Washing
Reading the labels on your clothing will help you know how to care for each garment. Some of these things may be better off with hand washing as this prevents the clothing from rubbing into all the other materials in your washing machine. Always hand wash delicate items in cold water to keep them from shrinking.
Use the Right Detergent
Gentle detergents may cost a little more, but they’re worth it for protecting your wardrobe. These cleansers will get dirt and odors out while preventing fading and ripping. As a side bonus, they won’t irritate your skin like harsh detergents. You might even try our Homemade Laundry Detergent and Homemade Scent Booster.
Allow Your Clothing to Air Dry
Air drying your clothing is a better way to make them last. The heat from your dryer can wear your garments out much more quickly. Certain items should be laid flat when drying, such as sweaters, which can stretch out on hangers when wet. Other items can be hung outdoors. When line drying your clothing, make sure you’re not putting these items in direct sunlight as the UV rays can cause fading and loss of elasticity with your favorite pieces. I recommend using a clothes drying rack.
Use Your Washing Machine Correctly
One crucial aspect of prolonging the lifespan of your clothes is mastering the art of using your washing machine effectively. To ensure your garments remain in tip-top condition, take the time to familiarize yourself with the various settings on your washing machine. Different fabrics and colors demand different care routines. For instance, delicate fabrics like silk or lace require gentler cycles with lower agitation, while heavily soiled items might benefit from a more robust wash. Always consult the care labels on your clothing for guidance on water temperature, cycle type, and any special precautions. By understanding and using the appropriate settings, you can significantly reduce the wear and tear on your clothes during each wash, helping them maintain their quality and longevity for years to come. It's top of the list on our garment longevity tips.
Always Fold Sweaters and Other Heavy Items
Thick sweaters aren’t meant for hangers. Even when they are completely dry, the sheer weight of the fabric weighs them down. This means that they will stretch out if they don’t break all your hangers first. While a thin and light sweater may be fine to hang, fold up your heavier sweaters to keep them lasting longer. Consider using a sweater organizer for your closet.
Turn Clothes Inside Out Before Washing
One simple yet often overlooked tip for extending the life of your clothes is to turn them inside out before tossing them into the washing machine. This small change in your laundry routine can make a big difference. Turning your clothes inside out helps to protect the outer fabric from friction and abrasion during the wash cycle. This is especially crucial for delicate materials and dark-colored items, as it minimizes the fading and pilling that can occur when the fabric rubs against other garments or the drum of the washing machine. By adopting this practice, you can help preserve the appearance and quality of your clothing, making them last longer and look better over time. It's a simple but effective strategy for maintaining a wardrobe that stands the test of time.
Learn How to Mend Your Clothing
Learning how to mend your clothing is a valuable skill that can extend the life of your garments and reduce the need for frequent replacements. Minor tears, loose buttons, or fraying hems are common issues that can easily be addressed with basic sewing techniques. Investing in a basic sewing kit with needles, thread, and a few essential sewing supplies is a great start. You can find countless online tutorials and instructional videos that provide step-by-step guidance on mending different types of clothing repairs. Whether it's patching up a hole, reattaching a button, or hemming pants, mastering these skills not only saves you money but also promotes sustainability by reducing textile waste. So, embrace the art of clothing repair as a means to make your wardrobe last longer and contribute to a more eco-friendly approach to fashion.
Know When to Take Your Clothing to the Dry Cleaners
You will likely have plenty of clothing that can easily be washed in your washing machine and thrown in the dryer, or even hand washed and hung to dry. However, you will most assuredly have items that need to be dry-cleaned. When you buy new clothing, always look at the labels and see if you’re willing to provide the level of care required for its upkeep.
Certain garments will always need to be dry cleaned, such as business suits or formal gowns. You may be surprised that a blouse you love must be given the same type of care. Some people try to hand wash these items, but with silk, wool, rayon, suede, and leather, it’s just not possible to clean them at home.
With professional dry cleaning services, you can be sure that these garments will come back to you clean and looking in exceptional condition every time. If you’re ever not sure whether or not to dry clean something, you may want to err on the side of caution and let the dry cleaner take care of it. Doing so will ensure your clothing lasts longer and keeps you looking your best!
Incorporating these garment longevity tips into your clothing care routine is a surefire way to extend the life of your wardrobe and reduce waste. By taking a little extra time and care, you can enjoy your favorite garments for years to come, saving both money and the environment. So, whether it's a beloved vintage piece or a brand-new purchase, remember that a little TLC can go a long way in preserving the longevity and quality of your clothing. Happy, sustainable styling!
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