8 Quick Tips to Make Your Clothing Last Longer Without Expensive Gimmicks

All clothes have an expiry date, but there are ways to extend the life of your garments so you can get a few more wears out them than usual. In this post, I will share some tips on how to do that. Some of these I came up with, and others I read somewhere at some point.

1: Only wash your clothes if they are stained or smelly. Washing and drying machines are rough on clothes, excess washing will only deteriorate your clothes quicker. With the exception of socks and underwear, it’s fine to just air out your clothing and put them back in the closet or drawer until the next time you put them on. Do the sniff test on key odorous areas (arm pit, crotch) and watch for yellowing or darkening on collars and hems.

2: Air dry your clothes. Old-school in the new era. Weather and time permitting, of course. Line drying your clothes saves you some money and saves your threads some abuse.

hang dry clothes

3: Dry clean sparingly. Dry cleaning is a harsh chemical process. Again, keep it to a minimum. Do, at least, dry clean your winter coats when the season’s over, to clean out accumulated salt stains and tiny particles that damage the coats’ fibers over time.

4: Follow the instructions on the care tag. Surprise!

5: Store your clothes properly. I don’t like to fold, and I don’t think many other people do, either. If I can hang something, I’m all for it. Unfortunately, not every piece of clothing should be hung.  Hanging sweaters causes the shoulder to bunch up and pucker.

Hanger bump

Sweaters and gravity do not mix. Fold your sweaters, or you’ll get hanger bumps.

For what can be hung, thin hangers will work for most things. When it comes to suit jackets or heavy winter coats, however, hang them with wide-shouldered hangers so that they maintain their shape.

6: Give your shoes at least a day between wears. Without getting technical, we transfer a lot of stress through our feet, and it’s the shoes that take the brunt of all our steps and sweats. Your kicks have been taking a beating the whole day, give them a day off, they’ll thank you.

7: Leave shoetrees in your shoes after every use. You can skip the shoe trees for cheaper shoes, but for decent ones, insert wooden(cedar’s the best option) shoetrees as soon as you slip them off your feet.

Shoe tree

Shoetrees will absorb moisture and help maintain the shape of your shoes.

8: Wear your nice clothes when you you’re out of the house. This is more of a personal preference, but as soon as I get back from an outing and if I have nothing else to do, I change into my old t-shirt and shorts. You don’t need to wear your suit to watch T.V., right?

Every garment has a fixed amount of times that you can wear them, but if you take care of them, they will last you longer, saving you time and money that would be otherwise spent shopping for new duds.

 

What are your tips?

 

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