Whether you’re a total fashionista or you avoid the mall at all costs, you probably spend a lot more than you think on clothing. Although kids outgrow their clothing fairly quickly, adults can hang onto theirs for years – as long as it doesn’t wear out.
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 don’t need special products to keep your whites sparkling and your dark garments looking sharp.
Start With Quality
While we don’t recommend buying overly expensive brand-name garments, it’s 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.
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 garment’s laundering instructions, which are designed to ensure that it stays in great shape.
- Wash Dark Clothing Inside-Out. Dark-wash jeans, black blouses, and other darker material can become faded in the wash, particularly as it rubs up against other garments. Always launder your washer-safe dark clothes inside-out to ensure they hold their color.
- Invest in a Clothesline or Drying Rack. If you don’t have a place to line-dry your clothes, they usually end up in the dryer – a death knell for line-dry-only garments
- Wash Metal Separately. Buttons and zippers often find their way into the wash, but can become seriously hot in the dryer, which can lead to scorching and melting on your other clothes. Wash clothing with metal components separately and never with delicate clothes, such as silks or knits.
- Go Color-Safe. Is there anything more frustrating than ruining clothes with bleach? While it helps make your whites whiter, it can also stain colored clothes and damage delicate fibers. Swap your regular bleach for a color-safe alternative, which is also gentler on fabric.
- Wash Your Clothes Less. The washing process is famously tough on clothes. Agitating, tumbling, and coming in contact with other garments can leave garments faded, stretched, pilling, and damaged.
- Get to Know Your Settings. While each make and model of washers and dryers is different, they all have something in common: They come with instruction manuals. Read up on your model so you know when to use “wrinkle release” as opposed to “delicate.” Delicate settings traditionally work well for lingerie, but they’re also effective for clothes that you want to preserve and treat gently.