WHY IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO CARE FOR OUR CLOTHES
“Care for your clothes like the good friends they are” – Joan Crawford
Sadly she was no relation but she makes a very good point! So why is it a good idea to care for our clothes? Well in my case it is because I appreciate the effort that someone has put into their manufacture but also that when I buy clothes I love, they need to support me and stand the test of time.
It was lovely to hear a client recently comment on how carefully I was handling clothes and how I treated them gently and with respect. Never a fan of fast-fashion, there is a valuable lesson for us all here to treat our clothes with care so we can enjoy them looking good for longer – like my cherished coat (see below).
There are however many benefits of treating our clothes more kindly so I share some of my guidelines here:
Choosing your clothing carefully
Shopping for clothes can be a frustrating experience and in a previous blog, I shared some guidance on mindful shopping and how choosing quality clothing saves time and money.
Take this coat – it was an investment piece that each time I wear it, I feel fabulous and it continues to look good. I hang it up after every wearing and is dry cleaned once annually.
I know that sometimes we don’t have a choice than to take certain garments for dry cleaning but by checking the care label before you purchase an item will indicate how practical this may be for you.
Respect your clothes
We tend to wear about 20% of our clothes 80% of the time but it’s important to rotate our clothes so they don’t wear out too soon.
Don’t stuff too much into your wardrobe, give your clothes space to breath which also means not so much ironing. That has to be a positive, right?
Washing your clothes
I am a recent convert to reducing the chemicals in our home and using products that are kinder to the planet too. Whilst it is early days for me, I can already recommend the laundry detergents by Norwex.
Sorting out your washing
Separate your whites from coloureds and also wash similar weight fabrics together by that I mean lighter versus heavier fabrics.
Wash clothes inside out
This helps to prevent colours fading so quickly and also avoids buttons/hooks/zips catching on the garment itself. Be also mindful of garments with Velcro – it sticks to every fabric.
Jumpers are less likely to pill but don’t actually require washing frequently so to avoid them mis-shaping, it’s a great idea to wash them in a wash bag and also those delicate items.
Rather than take this vintage silk blouse to the cleaners, against the manufacturers washing instructions, I chose to wash it gently by hand.
Whilst I left it in a little too long, it didn’t seem to make any difference to the size (or colour for that matter!). Phew, a close shave.
Moral of the story? Use cool water and hang around while your delicate items soak!
Apart from the aesthetic of looking at beautifully matching hangers each time you peer into your wardrobe, there is another value to good quality hangers – the way they support your clothes. I would avoid the cheap metal hangers that mis-shape the shoulders of your clothes and instead invest in some wooden hangers or those covered in flock.
We should hang our clothes every day on good quality hangers rather than tossing them on the floor although knitwear responds so much better to being folded.
Air drying rather than using a machine is kinder on the garment and the environment.
Allowing space for our clothes to breathe can also extend the life of a garment.
How to treat jumpers
They benefit from folding to help protect the shape but first leave them hanging to air before folding them away.
Clothes in a Drawer?
We’ve all heard about Marie Kondo – the Mother of organisation and tidying magic?
Essentially she advocates that clothes in drawers be folded vertically rather than horizontally. It’s so clever, you can see every item in your drawer without having to root out your favourite tee!
Not only is it a great space saving solution to ramming things in our drawers, it also protects our clothes from squashing them down in the hope we don’t snag them on the upper drawer or our drawer runners.
My friend Claire Cutler Casey is a Kinesiologist based in York but also an expert in this area and can be contacted if you wish to use her wonderful service.
Folding clothes along the seams avoids unwanted creases and helps to maintain its shape.
Shoes and Handbags
Polish your shoes and boots regularly and when necessary, waterproof your leather items. It’s a good time to check now if any of your footwear needs new heels or soles. You’ll thank me one morning when you are dashing out of the door for that important meeting.
Using boot and shoe trees helps to retain the shape of the leather and helps avoid creasing, particularly at the ankles.
Using tissue paper, stuff your shoes and handbags to help them keep their shape and if you are able, store them in dust bags (or a redundant pillow case).
Remember that the clothes we wear can help elevate our status and help us to feel empowered. They are a major contributor to creating a positive and lasting impression, for that reason, why it’s a good idea to care for our clothes.
I’d love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to leave a comment.