Clothing Care Made Easy! My 5 Step Guide For Keeping Your Wardrobe in Top Shape
A few days ago I was packing for our trip to Italy, picking my favorite summer pieces, and planning for some holiday-worthy outfits. While pulling all the items out of my drawers, I couldn’t help but smile thinking of the memories I’ve built around most of them- for years and years!
Granted, I also go the extra mile when it comes to clothing care, so my favorite pieces last longer. But can you blame a girl? Curating your wardrobe to your taste is hard (and expensive) enough. And caring for it afterwards is one of the best things you can do, so you can fully enjoy it!
Curious about my top clothing care tips? Then keep going!
Read your clothes
And by this I mean read their labels! This is because knowing the fabrics our garments are made of, and understanding how each individual one needs to be treated, is key for clothing care.
I would say it’s preferable to read the composition label before buying, so you understand what you’re getting in exchange for your hard earned money. If a delicately embroidered top caught your eye for example, it pays to know whether you’re buying pure Chantilly lace, or pure polyester.
But make sure you read the care label before cleaning the garments as well. Different fabrics will require different care, so pay attention to the fiber composition, and the clothing care recommendations.
Silk, denim, lace- all different needs
Because let’s face it:
If you really don’t want to fuss with dry cleaners or hand-washing only, it’s better to make sure your new favorite buy doesn’t absolutely require them before bringing it home!
If you want to read more about specific fabric care, download my free Clothing Care printable here! (If you’re a member of The Style Club, you will have already received it!)
Avoid colour leakage
Another key step is making sure you separate by colours (dark with dark, light with light, bright colours together). I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes at the obviousness of this step, but trust me: I’ve met a lot of people who had no idea this is actually key!
Washing light colours with light, dark with dark and bright with bright ensures there is as little damage as possible, should there be any colour leakage. And if you’ve ever lost a beloved item to colour bleeding, you know how “AAaarrghhh!”-inducing it can be.
Some items really don’t go together in the washer!
Another key point to consider:
It’s wiser to cool down than to get hot! This means, if you’re not sure how to properly wash a certain piece, go for the lowest temperature setting (usually 30° Celsius). Or even wash by hand in lukewarm water, if you want to go the extra mile.
And if you want a fail-safe solution, get yourselves some Colour Catcher tissues! They help keeps whites brighter, and catch darker colours in the water, so they don’t bleed in other items.
Sticking to the subject of washing, another absolutely important thing to consider is spot cleaning. This basically means only washing a specific part of a garment whenever possible, instead of chucking the whole thing in the washer every time. Which in turn means less wear and tear on the fabrics and colours, and a longer life for your clothes!
Now by no means am I suggesting you should spot clean pieces that are well and truly worn, smelly or dirty allover. But just think about it:
You wouldn’t need to wash an otherwise clean shirt, that just got a bit of foundation or hair dye on the collar, right?
Same goes for dropping a bit of ice cream on your nice new skirt (not that that’s happened to me a couple days ago, ahem). A bit of water and gentle soap- or even better, a drop of Vanish can save the day!
And I know many of you already knew about Vanish. But here’s a product that may be news to you (I had no idea about it), which is even better! Because it works on so many more surfaces:
These Dettol Multipurpose Cleaning Wipes have been amazing for taking out stains from most fabrics I’ve used them on! And that includes shoes and bags.
I was beyond thrilled to be able to get rid of those annoying, blackened scuff marks on my brogues- along with dirt and germs.
Scent and store
Let’s do a short poll here:
What do you do for clothing storage when the season is over?
a) Fold them in bags/boxes/on shelves as they are
b) Wash, dry and add a Raid Moth Paper
c) Something else?
Let me know in the comments!
My answer is c)- and I’ll tell you what my something else is: lavender essential oil. I’m particular to the DoTerra one, because I’ve tested it through and through. It’s extremely powerful, so you’ll only need a (literal) drop to scent your whole dressing. And it already comes in the Enrollment Kit, which is really nice!
So what I do is apply a drop to a cotton pad, or a little baggy of dried lavender (or to a dried flower bouquet, when I want to be just that little bit extra). And then I place it in the back of my dresser, next to the clothing I’m not wearing for the season. It keeps moths at bay, it’s 100% natural and healthy to breathe in, and it smells lovely!
A key point to remember here:
No matter what kind of storage method you use, always wash your clothes at the end of the season. Firstly because moths are especially attracted to the smell of worn items! And then, you’ll be glad your clothing is all nice and fresh when you want to reach for it in a few months.
Repair minor damage
As I mentioned in my post on sustainable practices, a few minor repairs to our wardrobe items are things we should all know how to do. And I’m not talking huge, pattern changing alterations here- although if you know how to do that, kudos to you! (and also, can I have your business card? 🙂 )
But I’m referring to being able to sew a button that fell, or even take in too long trousers (It’s super easy with double sided sticky tape). Or even learning to repair a larger whole in the fabric- like I had to do for this vintage dress here.
Also, these alterations can encompass small embellishments we choose to add to our clothes and accessories! You know, to up their excitement factor even after we’ve had them in our closet for a long while, and are bored of them.
Think small embroideries on plain skirts, new buttons on vintage blazers, a smattering of beads on a hum-drum sweater- the only limit is your imagination!
I hope this guide is something you’ll find useful for maintaing your wardrobes vibrant for longer! In the end, the longer we can use our favorite items for, the happier we’ll be with them- and the better our wallet, and the environment will be too!