WASH, STORE AND FIX ITEMS PROPERLY
This is an easy way to prolong your wardrobe’s lifespan. While The Style Sheet has outlined the basics below, if you’re looking for even more hacks, Tanja tells us she’s found plenty of good tips from the book Dress [With] Sense.
Wash: Synthetic, acrylic and cotton knits can be washed and dried on a gentle cycle in cold water. Regular wool shrinks, so hand-wash it in cold water. Despite what it might say on the tag, cashmere is best washed by hand in cold water with baby shampoo or a gentle detergent. To dry, gently squeeze it and lay it flat.
Store: As moths can be attracted to scents like perfume and deodorant, clean your sweaters before storing them for long periods. For the rest of the year, fold and store them in drawers and avoid hangers, which can mess with their shape.
Fix: You can fix small rips and holes yourself with a sewing machine. If you don’t have one, try taking them to a dry cleaner.
Wash: Wash jeans inside out in cold water on a delicate cycle, or by hand. To preserve the colour of dark jeans, add a 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse cycle.
Store: Fold them and store them in drawers.
Fix: To fix a hem, head to a tailor or dry cleaner. Keep a pair of old jeans and use the denim for patches on your new jeans — or keep the holes open and embrace the distressed aesthetic.
Wash: For real leather, wash it by hand with mild soap, focusing on scuffs and marks. For faux, spot treat it with delicate soap. Hang it to dry.
Store: Hang leather jackets on a well-shaped hanger in a dry, well-ventilated closet.
Fix: As leather is a heavy fabric, all misplaced stitches will show, so don’t try and fix it yourself — enlist a tailor. Let a professional cleaner clean your leather jacket once a year, too.
Wash: Heavy coats like wool ones should be dry cleaned at the beginning and at the end of the season. The rest of the time, remove light stains on wool by blotting it with cold tap water or soda water.
Store: Empty the pockets to remove sagging and use sturdy hangers so you don’t stretch out the shoulder area. Try not to cram them into your closet, as breathing room helps the material stay crisp.
Fix: Using a felting technique, bond new wool to the coat and hiding the hole. If you’re not a pro at sewing, leave this to the experts.
Wash: Machine-wash technical workout clothes in cold water, with a little extra detergent if needed. Air-dry spandex and Lycra to help maintain their elasticity.
Store: You can’t really go wrong if it’s dry and out of the sun. Hanging and folding both work.
Fix: Lululemon offers free on-site hemming on their tops and pants, no tags or receipt required. Take other brands to a tailor for repairs.
Condition: If your dress shoes or leather shoes are particularly filthy, wipe them down with mild soap on a damp cloth. For sneakers, shake two or three tablespoons of baking soda into each sneaker, which will soak up excess moisture and odour.
Store: Stuff shoe trees inside them so they keep their shape.
Fix: Most store-bought shoe polishes are fine for keeping everyday leather shoes looking their best. It’s usually the soles that go first, so take them to a shoe repairer for resoling.