Clothing Care, Part 1
While we obviously love talking about clothes, and even more so wearing them, we think it’s a good idea to start talking about proper care for them. It may seem like a no brainer to just throw all your clothes into the wash, set the water to warm, then throw them in the dryer when done. In some cases, you’d be right. In most, that’d be wrong. We’d like to give you some tips on making your clothes last a little longer, and it doesn’t involve your dryer. We won’t be able to cover everything in one newsletter, but this should be a good start.
We love our denim. So it might come as a shocker when we say that we don’t wash our denim that often. That may sound gross, but the less often your denim is subjected to the harsh washing machine cycle, the longer they last. Of course if you get a stain on your denim then you should care for it.
When that time comes to wash, flip them inside out and wash in cold water, preferably on a gentle cycle. This helps preserve the color long term. And never use bleach, even if it’s color-safe bleach. After the wash cycle, hang dry. Never put your jeans in the dryer. That’s the fast track to fading out your denim and wearing out the material.
And If you have raw denim jeans, here’s a good primer on how to care for them.
One of the biggest issues we see with sweaters is the pilling. Just normal wear and wash causes this, and there’s no way to avoid it. To help combat this, you’ll need a fabric shaver. You can pick one up on Amazon for less than $10.
We recommend washing sweaters every 3-4 wears, unless you’ve spilled something on them. Like denim, you don’t want the harsh washing machine to wear out the delicate fabric of your sweater. You’ll also want to hang dry the sweater when you’re done washing.
For both hang drying and general storage in your closet, avoid putting your sweater on a hanger. That will cause shoulder dimples, and it does not look good. Either fold them and store them on a shelf, or try this method for hangers without sacrificing the shoulders.
Dress shoes can last a long time if you take good care of them. One of the best things to do off the bat when getting a new pair is spraying some type of water repellent to protect it from the elements, preferably water-based which seals the leather and allows moisture to escape. You’ll also want to pick up a good shoe polish, which will keep your shoes looking pristine and new.
For cleaning suede or nubuck, you’ll definitely want to purchase a cleaning kit, and make sure it has a suede brush included. As we mentioned with leather shoes, you’ll also want to buy some water repellent, since suede has a tendency to stain much easier than leather. Apply a coat before wearing them for the first time. Speaking from experience, you’ll regret not applying a coat before wearing them. Nothing sours a shoe purchase more than getting big stain on them within the first few wears.
For the storage of dress shoes, it’s a must to purchase shoe trees. They’ll keep your shoe filled out to hold its form, but more importantly, keep any leather from shrinking and/or creasing. Cedar is the best way to go, and does a great job of absorbing any moisture or smelly odors from your feet.
General Clothing Care Tips
On using the dryer
We’ve alluded to it already, but unless you’re washing t-shirts, undies, or socks, try to avoid putting your clothes in the dryer. It’s a surefire way to wear out your clothes faster and fade the coloring. And don’t try to methodically shrink an item in the dryer. It ends up being a waste of money if you don’t like the outcome, and it’s not worth the gamble. Go to a tailor if you need clothing altered.
While we’d like to cover this topic more in depth, we’ll say this; dry clean your suits a couple times a year. Suits require special care, so don’t throw them in the washer/dryer, even if the care tags say you can. And invest in good wooden hangers. You spent good money on your suit (and hopefully tailoring), so treat it well when you’re not wearing it.
On care tags
When in doubt about how to care for an item, read the care tags. They’re there for a reason, so use them to your advantage to ensure the maximum life of your garment.