Caring for Your Clothes ShopBy
It is one thing to invest in durable clothes, but there is much more you can do to ensure they last. For advice on how to best care for our garments, we sought out both renowned fashion designers and the dry cleaners they recommend. The most important thing we learned was that we shouldn’t let the thought of something breaking stop us from accessorizing with a sense of fun. Here are some tried-and-true tips from experts on how to take care of, store, and maintain your favorite clothes to make them last longer.
The tops of shirts
The hanger’s breadth must be less than the width of the shirt’s shoulders. Anne-Marie Colban is a co-owner of the shirt manufacturing company Charvet.
Anne-Marie Colban, co-owner and operator of the well-known shirtmaking company Charvet, says the following about how to take care of your button-down shirts:
Always inspect the back of the collar for any signs of wear. Here, stains from things like lotion or cosmetics can begin to show through. Especially before putting clothes away, you should wash them right away (scroll down for tips on how to remove stains).
If possible, you should avoid using dryers. They will deteriorate the fabric fibers and speed up the aging process of the clothing.
Dry clothes on hangers instead. Wooden spoons are the preferred variety for Colban. The shoulders of the garment shouldn’t be wider than the hanger. If you want to reduce creases before you even start ironing, make sure the shoulders are flat on the hanger and, more generally, tug the fabric of the shirt a little bit. The pressed shirts will stay smoother if you leave some room between the hangers in the closet, as she recommends.
stain, wash again. Before ironing, double-check that no new stains have appeared. If so, you should rewash the clothing.
Using water to cast iron. Colban suggests using steam or not, depending on personal preference, but warns against dry ironing. If you can wait until the clothing is still damp to iron it, that’s ideal. Use a water spray to ease the burden of ironing if necessary.
Forced Orderliness According to Colban, the proper order for ironing a shirt is as follows: collar, cuffs, and then the rest of the shirt.
Please carefully pack them. It’s important to know the following when packing a dress shirt for travel:
Close all the buttons on your shirt.
Insert a plastic or cardboard band into the collar; these can be found inside brand new shirts or at dry cleaners (to help support the collar and maintain its shape).
Fold the garment in half with the front facing down and a sheet of paper or tissue paper on the back (to avoid creases).
These soft bags are perfect for preserving the quality of your shirts for as long as possible.
Shirts should be stacked so that their directions are facing in opposite directions from one another.
The Secret: How to Avoid Wrinkles When Flying. Bruce Pask, the men’s fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman, adds, “I travel with a little spray bottle and then fill it with water.” To remove wrinkles from freshly unpacked clothing, “I just give them a quick spritz and tug on the bottom of the hem,” says one traveler.
Designer Tony Melillo, whose ultra-comfortable T-shirt collection (ATM) is a staff favorite at T, is often seen sporting a crisp white top. His advice for maintaining them is surprisingly straightforward.
Soften the wash. Melillo recommends permanent press and cold water while washing T-shirts to prevent wrinkles. The cleaning product OxiClean is another option. I can’t guarantee that it will eliminate sweat stains, but I use it liberally.
Put Away Sensibly. Fluffiness is preserved in folded T-shirts. To minimize the appearance of wrinkles, Melillo recommends first folding the sleeves toward the back, and then folding the T-shirt in half lengthwise. as well as storing them on a shelf in a loose stack. He advises against hanging T-shirts because doing so causes wrinkles and stretches the fabric (an inch is added to a T-shirt due to gravity’s influence on cotton). Thongs and bikinis:
When purchasing a new piece of jewelry, it is imperative that you inquire as to the best method of maintenance from the salesman. (— Rebecca Selva, director of design at vintage jewelry gallery Fred Leighton.
Rebecca Selva, creative director of Fred Leighton, puts it succinctly when she states, “Common sense is vital” when it comes to designing jewelry. Here’s what she says in greater detail:
Exercise or Swimming? Leave it behind! Diamonds, as you probably know, are the hardest natural material known to man. It’s safe to say that they’re appropriate for daily use. On the other hand, they are a fragile gemstone and are prone to chipping. If you’re going to be doing any heavy lifting, or even just packing, that could result in the band knocking into other metals, you should take them off. Most notably, while swimming or otherwise immersed in water. “A ring can come unfastened from your finger; good luck locating it in the sea.”
Inquire for Help Before Making a Purchase. When you buy a new piece of jewelry, it’s important to ask the store clerk how to take care of it.
Do not attempt to repair it yourself. The DIY approach to jewelry is something you should leave behind. Attempting a repair “may really damage it more,” Selva warns. To ensure that no stones, pearls, or metal shards are lost on the way to the jeweler for repair, place the item in a Ziploc bag before carrying it in. Or if a pearl strand breaks, tape the ends or tie a knot if you can—make sure those ends are somehow sealed.”
Diamonds can scratch other diamonds, and other gemstones can scratch diamonds, so it’s best to keep them in their own containers. Don’t keep opals, turquoise, or coral in a hot place or in direct sunlight since they will melt. The treatment will alter their natural hue.
Just Don’t Rub Too Roughly. To remove filth, Selva suggests soaking most jewelry in lukewarm, sudsy water (or water with lemon) before gently washing it with a delicate brush. Keep in mind that a ring will stay cleaner longer if you place it on top of a stone. The underside of your shoes becomes the dirtiest part as it comes into contact with your skin’s oils and lotions. In order to preserve your gemstones, you should refrain from soaking them in water, especially if they are porous and could be damaged by extreme heat or cold (turquoise, pearls, opals). As a side note, remember to plug the sink before leaving.
Have you ever purchased a new leather bag that came in a cotton drawstring pouch? This is common for leather briefcases and handbags. A dust bag is what you call that little pouch, and it’s for more than simply showing off. “They help isolate your bag from dust and other things that may discolor or damage your bag,” explains Jed Winokur, Coach’s archive director. He suggests two methods of protecting your purses from wear and tear, one of which is to keep them inside when you’re not using them. Among his other recommendations are the following:
Stuff your purses “to help keep their form.” Newspapers can cause discoloration and damage over time, so acid-free tissue paper (ideally unbuffered) is recommended. Winokur recommends protecting leather from scratches by first wrapping any metal hardware in tissue.
Avoid scratches and creases by giving your luggage plenty of breathing area and without piling or stacking it.
Don’t expose them to the sun; instead, keep them in a cool, dark place. Don’t put them in the basement or attic because “dry places cause leather to crack and wet places invite mold.”
Thongs and bikinis:
The founder of Araks, Araks Yeramyan, advises that her customers wash their delicate underwear and swimwear by hand and never put them in the dryer. I have been known to put some of my closest friends and family members through the washing machine on a couple of my more slack days, and the elastic is never the same. She doesn’t overpack because she likes to use the hotel shower for laundry even when she’s on the road.
The delicate washing routine that Yeramyan uses at home:
Use a separate load for each color.
The water should be cool, and you should use a mild detergent, so fill a basin (she uses Ecover delicate wash). Or, if you’re in a bind, you can always just fill the sink with water and shampoo (in her case, Dr. Bronner’s lavender soap).
Give the laundry a good swirl several times over the course of an hour, give the laundry a good swirling.
To remove extra moisture, compress softly.
Hang it up to dry on a rack.
Rinse After a Splash Around
Since chlorine and salt water deteriorate fibers and elastic, swimwear must be soaked after each usage. “You can extend the life of your suits by following this tip,” stated Yeramyan.
Put the windows open and let the fresh air in.
In particular, bras and other items containing elastic should be rotated often. It’s time to let the elastic back out. No matter how well you take care of your elastic, it will eventually expire.
Yeramyan also suggests giving delicate undergarments some room when stowing them away. And by sneaking empty perfume bottles into underwear drawers, “the idea is that it leaves a little aroma behind.”
Pants for Trouncing the Truth
In the summer, you should clean your pants twice. Also, before storing them away for the season, give them one last thorough cleaning. — Bruce Pask, director of men’s fashion at the high-end department retailer Bergdorf Goodman.
Bruce Pask, men’s fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman, suggests giving some thought to the types of pants you buy to begin with to reduce the frequency and intensity of necessary maintenance. “I’m not a fan of linen pants,” he offers as an illustration. I find them to be too flimsy and prone to wrinkling. For the most part, he wears worsted wool pants in the summer and wool flannel in the winter, both of which are easily laundered at home.
Other low-maintenance routines involving Pask’s pants are:
Limit your washings to avoid negative consequences.Pants should be washed at least twice in the summer, but that number could be higher depending on your rotational frequency. And finally, after the season is over, give them one last wash before storing them away. “
Advice from the inside: make a purchase. Even though the label on your jeans states they were prewashed, Pask says you should still expect some shrinkage when you wash them. I always buy a few extra inches to account for shrinkage.
If you think moths are harmless, think again. Pask found Insects Limited’s pheromone traps amid a harrowing moth infestation (originating from a European hotel during fashion week). “Every year I place an order with them and spread out a set of traps throughout the house as a preventative step.” Angela Koh, the market editor for T, says that hiding sachets of lavender around the house will keep bugs away and make the whole place smell nice.
Just chill out consciously. If you want to save time getting dressed each morning, Pask suggests arranging your pants not by color but by season, with lighter pants on one side of the wardrobe and heavier pants on the other.
Plan Your Trip Wisely. “Since I spend so much time in Italy for work, I finally broke down and bought an Italian travel iron there,” she said. “Because no matter how nice the adapters are, you always wind up blowing out the circuit of items like hair dryers and travel irons due to the voltage variation.” He also recommends bringing a retractable lint roller, which he carries in his luggage. Portable lint rollers are great for transporting and storing your reusable lint sheets.
Getting Ready to Sew You can literally hear the buttons explode. It’s unavoidable. So, I always pack my sewing gear and leave it in my suitcase when I stay at a hotel. What they’re there for is for you to take them home, so don’t feel bad about doing so. (If you’d like a kit with higher-quality thread and implements, Sweethome evaluated 9 options to see which were the most effective.)
In terms of care and upkeep, denim jeans might be the easiest to wear. The other half of the creative team behind Simon Miller, Daniel Corrigan, has said, “Wearing raw denim consistently and not washing them will offer you a more fascinating pair of pants in the future.” However, he notes that they may be washed safely and that turning the jeans inside out will help preserve the blue color.
And don’t be afraid to wear it every day or let it develop holes; “the knees are often the first to get worn out, but denim looks fantastic with ripped knees!” As one user put it, “The nice thing about denim is that it’s not delicate
Boots, sandals, and shoes
Because there are so many different kinds of shoes, we asked four experts for advice on how to take care of them:
Artistic Director Paula Gerbase and John Lobb (handmade, high-end men’s footwear).
Feit, Founder and CEO of Feit, Tull Price (handmade leather footwear)
Stubbs & Wootton President and Chief Creative Officer, Percy Steinhart (fashionable slippers),
Leather Spa’s VP, David Mesquita (a repair service with high-end clientele),
And their recommendations were eerily similar:
Utilize shoe horns. Steinhart states that the insoles “are essential” for maintaining the shoe’s form. Gerbase says that the simple device “makes sure that the backs of the shoes stay together.”
Don’t Just Toss Your Shoes on the Floor. Whether they’re made of wood or plastic, experts agree that keeping shoes on shoe trees is the best way to prevent the shoes from becoming wrinkled and squished during storage. Steinhart says that if this is not possible, clear some floor space and put them away as neatly as possible.
Keep up with routine upkeep. Mesquita advises, “Always examine your shoes after use and before putting them back in your closet.” Before storing, dust off suede with a brush and wipe leather clean with a damp cloth.
Maintain Consistently Gerbase adds, “I think the most common assumption is that leather shoes just need waxing, but in reality, conditioning cream is an essential step in keeping the quality and smoothness of top leather.”
Gerbase suggests you treat your footwear in this way:
Apply the lotion by wrapping a piece of cotton tightly around your index finger.
Make tiny, circular motions on the shoe to apply (no sweeping movements).
Once the leather has soaked up the cream, which should take about 15 minutes, wipe off any lingering residue with a soft brush.
Price recommends only twice-yearly (after the winter months) conditioning of your shoes. Because there is a lot of snow and salt on the roads, the leather will dry out and crack, so it will need to be conditioned.
Just give your wet shoes some time to air out. If you get caught in the rain and your shoes become wet, Price recommends letting them dry in a dry, well-ventilated area before putting them away. “The uppers may become warped and you may lose the contour of the shoes if you store them damp.” According to Gerbase, white markings will form on the upper leather if you don’t quickly rinse the shoes in clean water after they get wet from rain or snow.
Sole Fixing is a service secret.Mesquita recommends replacing only the worn out sole tips rather than the entire sole because “the points of the soles are what wear out the soonest.”
Cedar is a good company to put your money into. Mesquita states that cedar is great for keeping the inside of shoes dry and smelling fresh. After wearing a pair of sneakers, “I put them to use on them!” Shoe trees and sachets are two products made from cedar.
It’s time to take a break from admiring your nice footwear. Dress shoes, says Gerbase, “should not be worn on consecutive days in order to preserve them in top condition.” ” The time off “leaves the leather dry and airy between uses, and lets them rest with their shoe trees, which reduces creasing.” ” Price chimes in, “I leave them somewhere where a light breeze may strike them to ventilate.”
Heel replacements are a well-kept secret. It’s best to change your shoes before the heel starts clicking. In order to avoid more expensive repairs in the future, Mesquita recommends bringing in the pair as soon as the heels begin to look worn down.
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