Stay In Style: 6 Ways To Ensure Your Clothes & Accessories Last Longer

Stay In Style: 6 Ways To Ensure Your Clothes & Accessories Last Longer
When you have gone to great lengths to assemble a fashionable closet full of clothes you truly adore, you want them to last. You want to be able to wear your favorite pieces over and over again, delighting in how good they make you feel, and enjoying the sensation of being as well-dressed as you possibly can be.

Unfortunately, clothes have a habit of losing their luster-- a situation that you may find yourself experiencing sooner than you think. Within a couple of goes through the standard washing process, colors are beginning to fade, patterns losing their vibrancy, and slogan shirts beginning to lose the boldness of the font. Clothes can even become misshapen, or not quite fit in quite the way you remembered, even though nothing has changed about your body. Similar issues can befall your accessories; purses that begin to lose their shape, jewelry that doesn’t quite sparkle the way it used to. Given the amount of money the average US women tends to spend on clothes in a month (around $161, if you’re curious, rising to $209 over the age of 35, and not including accessories), it makes sense to be willing to take some steps to protect your investment. If you want to ensure that your clothes are in as good a shape as possible, for as long as possible, then you may want to keep the below tips in mind…

1) Roll clothes; don’t fold

Neatly folded clothes may bring a sense of Zen to your inner control freak, but sharp folds aren’t a good choice for clothes-- especially if they’re going to be stored beneath other garments. The material can wear along the fold lines, leaving the overall garment misshapen and prone to tearing along these weakened areas. It’s far healthier to roll your clothes, so there’s no sharp lines that could create a weakness in the fabric.

2) Keep the paper stuffed in your purse when new

If your purse is beginning to look a little sad and slumped, then you’ve got Isaac Newton to thank for that-- well, in the sense that he’s the reason we know gravity exists. Yes, simple gravity is the cause of your purse losing shape and sagging, a situation that is often exacerbated by carrying heavy items in your purse.

To ensure your bag stays in shape, keep hold of the paper that tends to be stuffed into purses when they’re new. When your bag is not in active use -- or even at night, if you have the patience to unload and reload your items on a daily basis -- refill the bag with the paper. This will help it retain its shape for longer. If you just use one bag all the time, this is trickier to do, but do try to opt for storage that doesn’t place weight on the bag itself-- so store bags on the floor, rather than hanging them.

3) Trim loose strands

There is nothing quite so annoying as feeling prepped, primped, and looking good in an outfit, only to glance down and realize there’s a loose strand of material protruding from the hem. This issue is both annoying and a harbinger of problems to come.

Trimming the strand off isn’t enough to stop the problem that might have caused it. You should trim the strand, then carefully check the fabric to see if any other threads are beginning to work themselves loose. If you do find any potential problems, then clear nail varnish works well on areas that can’t be seen. If the problem is on an outward-facing section of the garment, then you may want to consult a tailor to prevent a hole from developing. Loose strands should always be seen as a portent of bigger problems, so take action when you see them beginning to appear.

It is worth noting that the one time loose threads aren’t a sign of bad things is when clothes are brand new. Loose threads may be leftover from the manufacturing process, so don’t worry unduly-- though there’s no harm in checking just to be sure.

4) Wash clothes gently

First and foremost, it’s vital to always wash clothes exactly as the label specifies. Yes, this is inconvenient, especially if you have a variety of different requirements in a single load, but it’s an essential if you want to preserve how your clothes look and feel against your skin.

When in doubt, it’s always best to wash clothes at as low a temperature as possible. Not only does this help protect the fabric, but it’s also good for the environment. Finally, switch to a gentler form of laundry soap such as those on; this should help keep fabrics soft and supple for longer, hugely boosting their potential lifespan.

5) A microfiber cloth will do wonders for your jewelry

If your jewelry is looking a little tarnished and is showing its age, you’ll be amazed at just how much of a difference you’ll be able to make with a microfiber cloth. The major benefit of microfiber cloths is that they work with water only, so you don’t have to worry about further damaging your jewelry by exposing it to cleaning agents.

Simply dampen a microfiber cloth and rub it, gently, over your jewelry. You may need to be patient and take a few passes, but eventually, your jewelry should be looking as good as new. As shows, there are many different uses for microfiber cloths, so they’ll also be perfect for helping to shine your shoes or even assist in the removal of stains from clothing.

6) Avoid using the dryer

While this one isn’t always possible -- waiting for clothes to air dry in winter is never a pleasant experience -- wherever possible, try to leave clothes to air dry. As shows, dryers can be extremely damaging to clothes, so you’re going to want to air dry wherever possible.

In conclusion

If you follow the tips above, you should be able to preserve the longevity of the clothes and accessories you buy for as long as possible. Good luck!