9 Tips To Make Your Clothes Last Longer
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9 Tips To Make Your Clothes Last Longer

A little extra care goes a long way.

9 Tips To Make Your Clothes Last Longer

As a college student trying to stretch every dollar, it makes sense to take good care of the things I already have rather than to buy replacements. This goes for clothing as much as anything else.

Let's face it, I struggle to prevent myself from shopping as much as any fashion-savvy person. Clothes are great! I love buying new clothes, but it's important to me to treat the clothes I already have with care so that they remain in the same great condition I bought them. This is how I do that.

1. Start with quality.

While I don’t recommend buying overly expensive brand-name garments, it’s always a good idea to purchase quality clothing. By spending more on quality pieces that never go out of style, you create a solid base wardrobe with longevity in mind. You can then add in cheaper, trendier pieces for a season or two without feeling guilty. Those quality investment pieces last longer thanks to thicker fabrics and better construction.

2. Wash your jeans less.

Washing them too often will make the color fade faster. Jeans just don't need to be washed that often, or even washed at all. If you must wash your jeans, turn them inside out and wash them on cold. Always air dry — this is good to do with most of your clothes to keep their integrity. Your jeans may be a little stiff afterwards, but they will loosen up once you put them on. To get rid of odors in your jeans without washing, try sticking them in the freezer overnight which will rid your jeans of any odor-causing bacteria.

3. Zip up jeans/hoodies before washing them.

Unzipped zipper edges on pants and hoodies are often very rough. If left unzipped during the washing and drying cycles, they'll chew up the rest of your clothing in no time! Make sure that all zippers are zipped to the top before tossing them in the wash.

4. Keep general laundry loads to a minimum.

I know this sounds crazy, but trust me, less is more when it comes to washing your clothes! The less times you have to wash it, the longer it will last. Don’t over-wash your clothes. Washing doesn’t only cleanse the item, but often fades color and removes structure. Items worn carefully and lightly can often be made fresh again by simply airing them out or using a steamer.

5. Avoid the dryer!

It is better for you, the environment, and your CLOTHES if you air dry. Dryers not only rapidly dry your clothes, they rapidly wear down your clothes also. Do yourself and your electricity bill a favor and air dry the pieces you want to last. Most pieces can be dried in the sun, but take care to see which clothes need a cool dry (i.e swimsuits or more sensitive fabrics.)

When your clothes are done drying, hang or fold them as soon as you remove them from the heat (sun or dryer). The change in temperature (from warm to cool) will lock in the current state of the clothes, hence why you want them in the most optimal position to not wrinkle. Hanging them is ideal.

6. Clean and/or polish your shoes frequently.

Especially if they are leather! Leather tends to be the hardest hitting on our finances, so caring for your leather clothes and accessories should be an investment from the start. Pre-treat your items with some type of water-resistant formulas. Water can often bring out the worst in leather. Also, be sure to condition your leather to cleanse and maintain this valuable material.

Polishing may seem a bit tedious, but frequently wiping down your shoes with a barely-damp cloth with prevent dirt from settling into cracks permanently, and to keep leather from getting too dry (which causes cracking).

7. Invest in better hangers.

Sure, you can score wire hangers from your dry cleaner for free, but they’re not made for long-term storage. Wire and plastic hangers can stretch out the shoulders of your garments, which means they won’t lay nicely on your body. Consider investing in better hangers with wood or plush arms, which help garments keep their shape.

8. Don't wear dress shoes while driving.

I've ruined many a pair of dress pumps by doing nothing more than driving — the back of the heel rubs against my car's floor mats, and before long, my black shoes are spotting fuzzy gray patches on the back where the carpet did its work. Try keeping a pair of comfy moccasins or even crocs in your car for when you are driving.

9. Always clean seasonal clothes prior to storing.

If you ever plan on storing your clothes, know that bugs like dirt, and strong scents like perfume and smoke. To avoid a breach in your seasonal gear, clean them before you store them.

Unfortunately, not all clothing items are meant to last forever. They’re bound to wear out, fade, and change shape after repeated use. Still, by being a little more careful in the way you clean, handle, and store your clothes, you can get months and even years of extra wear out of each piece.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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