My Top 10 Tips for Caring for Your Clothes

Buying clothes built to last is one thing – but there’s a lot you should do in caring for your clothes to ensure they last.  The majority of my wardrobe comprises pieces that require special care.  Whether it be due to the fact that the fabrics are more delicate, such as wool and silk, or they’re pieces that are a bit more special – such as knitwear or suiting.

Here are my top 10 tips to care and preserve your beloved clothing pieces:

#1 – Avoid dry cleaning where possible

The concept of dry cleaning is wonderful – how convenient to outsource care of your favourite pieces to someone else! But it can also be frustrating – it’s expensive, potentially toxic and sometimes it doesn’t yield the results you want. I’ve had too many a time where my pieces have come back to me faded, misshapen or completely ruined from what I thought and trusted to be a professional method of cleaning.

In most cases, if the care instructions say ‘dry clean only’ but the piece is made using natural fibres (such as wool or cotton), then you can usually launder them at home. I usually put these in the washing machine on a gentle cold wash cycle and reduce the spin. Then I lay them flat to dry so they don’t lose their shape. Thankfully, I haven’t had any disasters yet.

I also launder my silk pieces at home by popping them into a mesh washing bag and on a shorter cold wash cycle with very little spin.

Obviously, things like coats and evening dresses will need to be dry-cleaned but for everything else, I will avoid a visit to the dry cleaner where possible.

#2 – Care instructions can be disobeyed

…but be careful.

While some garments recommend warm wash cycles, we put the majority of our clothes through cold wash cycles. It’s gentler, reduces the risk of shrinkage and it’s better for the environment.

I will always reduce the spin for pieces made of wool, silk and linen, just because they’re more susceptible to shrinking. Conversely, pieces made from polyester, nylon and viscose are generally less fussy to care for.

#3 – Treat your delicates like delicates

…and invest in some mesh laundry bags (like these ones or this one), to protect your delicates from snags during the washing process.

I pop underwear in the mesh bags but I’ll also use them for my silk pieces such as my silk shirts and camis.

#4 – Let your pieces naturally dry on the line

We always let our laundry dry naturally on the line and we don’t have a dryer at home. Dryers can be really harsh on clothes and with continual use, will break down the fibres of the fabric and cause your pieces to shrink and age permanently.

#5 – Dry your delicates and knitwear lying flat

We’re always cautious in how we dry our clothing at home too – ensuring delicates and knitwear (that could easily lose its shape) dries flat. My knitwear collection is predominantly cashmere and given it’s an investment in the first place, taking these considerate steps ensures they last.

#6 – Don’t over wash your pieces

Sometimes caring for your clothes means taking a step back. This rings particularly true when it comes to denim and knitwear.  Instead of regular laundering, give them some air so that they naturally breathe. Washing your clothes too regularly will mean that they fade and age in a shorter time frame.

My general rule of thumb is to wash my jeans after about 10 wears, or when they start to smell.

#7 – Stains need to be treated straight away

Any mishaps resulting in stains should be treated straight away. Spot treat stains as soon as you are able and then wash them as you normally would to prevent any permanent marks remaining on your beloved pieces.

#8 – Avoid ironing where possible

Save for suits and business shirts, a steamer can replace ironing when it comes to getting the creases out of your clothes.  Steaming is a much gentler way of preparing your clothes to be worn. 

#9 – Give your clothes some space

A crucial part in caring for your clothes is storing them in a considered fashion. This includes ensuring your pieces aren’t being too tightly packed in your wardrobe. There should be a small gap between the pieces in your wardrobe to ensure they breathe and retain their shape. Coats should be buttoned up and sitting nicely on their hangers. Blazers and suiting should be hung up properly so as to retain their shape.

#10 – Store your knitwear neatly folded

As a general rule, I don’t hang my knitwear but I adopt the KonMari style of organisation and store my knitwear in drawers.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. I hope this post was helpful in providing you with tips on caring for your clothes to ensure they last. 

Thanks again for stopping by.

P.S. The rules I applied in doing my recent wardrobe purge and 4 outfits for any type of WFH day.

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