Closet Challenge : Eleven Month Review / Another Closet Change + Caring for Clothing

When thinking about caring for my clothes a few things come to mind that I’d like to share with you. Over the years I’ve figured out a what it is about clothing like in a fit – the   way the material falls, wears, and more than anything keeps over time. We’ve discussed purchasing quality pieces that will last rather than fast fashion that deteriorates quickly and requires replacement shortly after purchase. Something I look for in clothing prior to making a purchase is the quality of the make. These are a few of the things I think about when considering an item :

Do the seams appear to be well stitched?

Are there loose threads hanging off the item?

Does the fabric stretch (and if so, does it go back to/retain it’s original shape)?

Is it prewashed/preshrunk?

Will the color(s) likely bleed or fade in the wash?

What is the fabric content? Does it make sense for this sort of item?

With that in mind, and following a purchase, I’m very careful about how I handle and care for my clothes. Keeping in their best possible condition allows me the opportunity to sell them when they’re weeded out of my closet, and I’m able to recoup some of the cost of purchasing. Here’s how I keep my clothing items in tip top shape :

Store things well

Ironing isn’t something I do. Ever. If there’s a particularly wrinkly item it’ll get steamed, but even that is few and far between. I’d much rather prevent wrinkles than spend the time working them out. This means storing things well in the fist place by hanging or folding according to the material of the item. Knowing how things will stretch out, where you’d not mind having a crease fall, and giving things breathing room wherever they’re stored will ensure most everything is ready to wear.

Only wash when necessary

Almost everything in my closet, with the exception of undergarments, is worn more than once before being washed. If an item could definitely benefit from a wash, it’ll go in the washer with cold water and then hang to dry. The majority of items are spot cleaned after wears to keep them both looking in good shape, and out of the washer. Lastly, I’ll steam items to give them a quick refresh, release any odors, and remove wrinkles. It’s so much less damaging than a wash/dry/iron and makes things look and feel wonderful.

Another thought worth considering is switching to gentle detergent. Statistics on this subject point out that we probably use too much detergent in the first place meaning that switching to something gentler and using less of it will do far less damage per wash, and extend the life of those items. Likewise, keeping as much as possible out of the dryer can prevent fading, shrinking, and stretching.

Invest in a sweater shaver

Yes, it’s so ’80’s, and yes it’s a miracle gadget. This thing is the most awesome item you’ll ever spend seven dollars on. It works on all sorts of materials beyond just sweaters, removes pilling, and smoothes out the material. Makes things look brand new, not even kidding.

Save the extra buttons

Literally. Tuck those babies away for a rainy day, or just for when you lose a button. In fact, before you lose a button, maybe even right after you purchase that buttoned item swipe a little clear nail polish over the threads on the front of the button to help things from unraveling in the first place. You’re welcome.

(include link/image to the steamer? sweater shaver? gentle detergent?)

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