Dressing yourself can be an expensive business. But arm yourself with our clothes-conserving tips and your credit card won’t need to take another beating.
This is our guide to making what you’ve already got earn its keep, and your wardrobe go the distance.
Bark Up The Right Tree
Anyone who’s actually seen a pair of shoe trees in all their Instagrammable glory should need little convincing of their worth: not only are these handsome pieces of craftsmanship, they’ll add years to your footwear, too.
Suppress the temptation to stick them in your slippers, and lodge in your favourite leather footwear instead. Shoe trees will retain the shape of your brogues, Derbies and Oxfords, wicking away moisture from wear and stopping creasing in its tracks. Who said you can’t have beauty and brains?
Banish Bobbles For Good
Jumper plagued by unsightly bumps that just won’t seem to budge? Unlike acne in your adolescence, bobbling on clothes is one problem that doesn’t get better with age. Thankfully, though, it’s a lot easier to fix than a facial flare-up.
Invest in a cashmere comb or an electronic fabric shaver to gently remove pesky pilling and give your knitwear a new lease of life. Cheap, easy and oddly therapeutic.
Don’t Wash Your Clothes Too Often
Getting overzealous with the washing machine is just about the fastest track to reducing your most-loved garms to a pile of scrap. Save your wardrobe – and the planet – with a hefty dose of common sense when choosing what to wash: if it looks and smells clean, it’s probably clean.
Yes, gym kits, underwear and that tee you don exclusively for demolishing mounds of spaghetti should be washed after wear, but jeans and jumpers – provided you’ve steered clear of the stables – very rarely need the same treatment after just one outing.
Seal Your Suede
It doesn’t take a medicine degree to know that when it comes to crisis management, prevention is invariably better than cure. So take a leaf out of your doctor’s book to keep your suede stain-free.
Apply a light layer of fabric protector before your first wear – remembering to keep your distance when spraying (15-20cm should do the trick) – and rest secure in the knowledge that your nap’s safe and sound. Just remember to give it a top up every now and then.
Check Your Pockets
Just as important as savvy washing is a pre-wash security screening. Rogue tissues, coins and other paraphernalia can wreak havoc on your clothing if not filtered out before you push the ‘On’ button.
So, before taking your clothes for a spin, be sure to check pockets for hangers on, zip up trouser flies, loosely tie drawstrings and close Velcro fastenings.
Always Separate Colours
Welcome to Clothes Washing 101. It might be tempting to deploy the one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with your dirty washing and dumping it into the drum in one big bear hug, but it’s almost always bad news for your whites. Why? Because due to their paler disposition, they’ll attract and soak up any loose dye that runs from surrounding darker garments.
Want to keep your whites as they were intended? Wash dark colours (black, navy, forest green etc.), light colours (pale yellow, pink, baby blue, heather grey etc.) and whites in three separate cycles. Tedious, yes, but the only way to avoid your entire underwear collection turning lilac.
Rub Jewellery Up The Right Way
You don’t need P.Diddy’s diamond collection to start taking jewellery care seriously. Neglect your metallic accessories too long and they’ll need more than a quick once-over to restore them to their shimmering glory.
The best way to prevent your jewellery’s light going out is by giving it a regular spring clean. Simply wipe each piece with a soft cloth after wear to offset the build-up of skin oils, lotions and other grime. Diddy would approve.
Turn Inside Out
Turning your clothes inside out when washing is a stupidly simple way of preserving the life of your wardrobe, so there’s no excuse for swerving this step when waging the war on dirt.
While you won’t see much benefit from turning your socks and underwear inside out (ain’t nobody got time for that), turning jeans, jumpers and shirts inside out ensures wear from washing hits the (normally not visible) inside of the garment. Which means less pilling on the outside of your jumpers and jeans that retain their colour.