Taking care of your clothes is not just beneficial for the planet, but also for your wallet. This is how to properly take care of your clothes.
When you take care of your garments, you are making sure that they have a long-life cycle. The longer your clothes last, the less new clothes you will have to buy. And, therefore, the less money you will spend in the long term.
In addition, the quality of your clothes will look great, and they will last longer if you provide them with the best care. Follow the next tips and tricks below to increase the lifespan of your wardrobe, save money and care for the planet too.
Read the label tags
Learning how to read the label tags on the inside of your clothes is crucial to guarantee them a long life. For instance, the label tag can let you know if a garment can be put in the washing machine, or it should be taken to the dry cleaner.
Washing a pair of chinos won’t be the same as washing a knitted cardigan, for example. They will demand different types of caring.
As well, the label tag indicates the temperature of the water, if you can iron the garment or not, if it can be exposed to sunlight or not, among other information. As you can see, everything you need to know about your clothes is written on that small piece of fabric.
Rule of thumb: all clothes should be washed with cold water, unless the label tag says otherwise.
Label tags can be itchy and uncomfortable; therefore, many choose to cut them. If you have done so, don’t worry, you can still find out how to take care of your garment. Some brands have a section on their website dedicated exclusively to that end.
Wash and iron less
The less you expose your clothes to the washing machine and the iron the better. The speed of the washing and tumble-drying cycles, as well as the heat of the iron, can damage the fibers in the long term.
Nothing beats drying your clothes in the open air: you are saving energy (and therefore money) and your garments will never look better.
In addition, workout clothes should never be ironed as the textiles are not meant to be heated. On the other hand, formal wear, like dress pants and blazers, should always be taken to the dry cleaner. Using the washing machine can damage this type of garment permanently.
If an item just needs some freshen-up, then you can hang it in the open air or in a steamy bathroom before you store it again in the closet.
When doing laundry, you can wash your clothes inside out to avoid friction between garments. Moreover, make sure to put shirts and any other garments that might have hooks inside mesh laundry bags. This will prevent buttons from falling off and any potential rips.
For instance, delicate clothes often require to be washed by hand or to be taken to the dry cleaner. As well, they usually can’t be put in the dryer either. Delicate clothes that you don’t get to wear that often 一like suits一 should be store inside hanging garments bags to prevent them from getting dusty.
Furthermore, delicate garments such as knitted cardigans or woollen sweaters should be dried flat. These fabrics are very delicate and when wet they weigh a lot. If you hang these garments to air dry or in the drying rack, you will cause the textile to stretch. And, unfortunately, that’s irreversible.
When it comes to storing your clothes, don’t overfill your closet and try to make sure there’s a distance of one or two fingers between hangers. Fabrics need a breathing space to avoid color loss, wrinkling, humidity and friction between textiles.
As well, direct sunlight and heat can cause damage in the fabrics too, so preferably store your clothes in a dark, dry and cool space. You can add moth balls or similar natural alternatives 一like lavender or mint一 to keep them away.
When it comes to seasonal clothing, you can also invest in vacuum-sealed garment bags, especially if you are dealing with limited storage space. These bags come very handy to store your coats and turtlenecks during summer days, for example.
You will make room for the garments you are currently wearing, while ensuring that the clothes you are not wearing don’t get dusty.
Repair and upcycle
In a world where the buy-and-throw mindset has spread all over, there’s nothing more revolutionary than mending your clothes. You can do it yourself if you have the skills or take them to a professional as well.
Repairing your clothes will make them last longer and it will help you maintain the quality of the garment. For example, de-pilling your favorite sweater from time to time using a fabric shaver or an old razor will keep the garment looking on point for much longer.
Another example is rehydrating your go-to leather jacket once in a while, so the material doesn’t crack or gets dry. As we said, you don’t have to do it yourself, there are professionals that can help you with the task. However, it’s convenient that you learn some simple sewing tricks that could save you from a hurry, such as loose buttons.
On a similar end, if you own clothes that don’t fit anymore or don’t suit your style any longer, you can get them altered. Recycling and upcycling your old clothes is the most sustainable alternative there is.
Many guys forget about this option and end up buying new clothes, when they already have everything, they need. Speaking of curating a long-lasting wardrobe, this is how to create a capsule wardrobe for men.