Sometimes people tell me with a bit of embarrassment they’re wearing something they’ve had for years and years in their wardrobe.
I think holding on to favourite pieces, keeping them in your wardrobe and wearing them for years, reinventing them with new updates along the way, is enviable. Often these loved pieces come with great stories, you’ve worn them to various memorable occasions, and they still look great.
This does of course require some careful selection in the first instance – investing in quality is a great start, but that doesn’t mean they always have to be expensive. Look out for great fabrics, but even more importantly, something that speaks to your personal style and flatters your shape – those are the ingredients for enduring wardrobe favourites.
As a stylist I’ve picked up a few great garment care tips along the way so I thought I’d share a few here. Let me know if you have any others…
Wash your jeans only when they’re dirty. This sounds obvious but often we throw our jeans into the wash by habit when, unless they need to be cleaned, can be unnecessary. Your denim will keep its shape and colour longer if you just air them out after wearing – by throwing them over the clothes line in the shade for a few hours.
Enzymes in washing powder are the very thing a lot of companies use to fade denim as well so, wash your dark jeans just in cold water, you normally don’t need anything else.
Good quality linen should wear well and not crush as much as some cheaper blends. To keep it looking great, semi-dry in the air (never in the dryer) and iron it while it’s still a bit damp. It’s a good idea to iron it on the under side as well to prevent any shiny patches.
For wool suits
Similarly to jeans, men don’t need to dry clean their good wool suits with each wear. Airing them is often enough to freshen them up enough to carry through a few wears before cleaning. Dry cleaning can strip the lanolin from the wool, leaving it more prone to water marks and staining.
- always wash delicate items in a wash bag or pillow case
- turn garments inside out to prevent fading in the wash
- store shoes (and hats I’ve learnt) in clear perspex boxes you can buy quite cheaply on eBay (boot-sized boxes are great for larger fascinators). This prevents them rubbing against each other which can cause damage if they pile up in your wardrobe, plus keeps the dust off and keeps them neat and tidy