Style tip 9: Clothing Care

 Clothing is an expensive investment and proper care of your investment will help ensure a longer shelf life for all your wearables.  Most of your day to day cotton clothes can go straight into the wash.  Some things need a little extra care.

Take a peak at the label.  If it says “dry clean only” there’s likely a good reason.  Those garments usually have delicate fabrics or structure that will be compromised by a bath in your washing machine.  Unless you’re positive that you won’t mess up your clothes, send them to the cleaners.

If you have garments with delicate details, sweaters with open stitches that might snag or wool,  you can save by washing them in your kitchen sink.

do not put bras through the washing machine and under NO circumstances put  bras through the dryer.  If you put a bra in with the rest of your stuff, you will dramatically cut it’s life.  Your elastic will bust, your underwires will poke through and you’ll generally look like a lumpy mess.  No one wants lumpy boobs.

Some tips and general care!

* Care labels provide helpful information that can save you time and money.

* Close zippers and other fasteners to prevent snagging. Also, loosely tie strings and sashes to prevent tangling.

* Empty out pockets of tissues or other odds and ends which can make a mess of your laundry.

* Treat spots, stains and heavily soiled areas.

* Sort clothes. Separate the white clothes from the coloured ones.

Loosen dirt by soaking the white clothes in cold water

* turn all tops and washable skirts inside out, to minimize fabric-rub. Same for jeans. 

* To prevent mildew from forming in a leather purse during storage, fill the purse with crumpled newspaper and leave it unfastened.

* When you buy a new garment, dab the center of each button with clear nail polish to seal the threads.

* Wash bulky items (like bed linens) in one load and small items (like socks or underwear) in another.
* Just as whites don't stay white, black materials often fade to, well, off-black. This happens because the excess dye that's put on when the fabric is made so it looks really black in the store wears off quickly. While there's no fix-it once it's happened, for new items, use detergents with anti-fade formulas.
  
* Rub zipper teeth occasionally with wax to keep the zipper working smoothly. The stub of a candle works well for this procedure.

* You can de-wrinkle clothing in a hurry by running hot water into the bathtub and hanging the garment on the shower rod. The steam will remove the wrinkles.

* Dab ice water or stain remover onto food stains immediately , so it does not set. Do not rub.

* Remove the clothes from the dryer and hang them up immediately. Button the top button on shirts, and hang blouses neatly on the hanger. Smooth the fabric with your hand, so as to avoid wrinkles. Iron out any wrinkles that might occur.

* Hang your clothes in the closet, and make sure they are not all crowded or crushed together. They need breathing room or they will become all wrinkled and slip off the hangers and land on the floor.

* Excessive cleaning of clothing wears it out sooner.  Some garments can be worn more than once before washing or cleaning if you give them just a little care when you remove them.
 
* When you iron or press clothes, use the proper heat setting for the type of fabric.  An iron that is too hot can ruin fabrics in an instant.  Pressing very delicate fabrics should be done with care, and using a press cloth adds another layer of protection. 

* Use good quality hangers that support your clothes.  Flimsy wire hangers allow clothes to sag out of shape.  Over time they may even cause damage to the shoulders of garments. 

* Don't cram clothes into the dryer — it will take much longer for them to dry, and it increases wrinkling. Never add wet items to a half-dried load.

* Develop the habit of using the seams of your clothing to guide your folding. At first it is slower, but it's more efficient, keeps garments in better shape and saves so much space.  

Your clothes are a reflection of you.  Ripped and tattered clothing doesn’t project the image most of us want out there.  If you drop a hem, lose a button or rip a seam your garment needs to be fixed.   You can do it yourself if you’re remotely handy with a needle or you can pay someone to fix it for you.  For anything more dramatic or for full alterations see a tailor.

Following the cleaning instructions on the garment label will save your clothes from damage.  Your clothes help you look amazing, so stop being so abusive to them! Taking better care of your clothes will make them last longer. 


 


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