Having a very expensive wardrobe doesn’t mean that you should neglect caring to your clothes while storing them away for the next use. In other word, you need to maintain carefully as well as take care of premature wear and tear and gives clothes a clean, well pressed look. After all, don’t we all dress to kill?
Here are ways to take care of the essential items in your wardrobe:
Suits and jackets
Always dry clean your suits. Since dry cleaning uses a lot of chemicals and can easily damage the cloth, it is advisable to do this no more than 3 times a year. On removing your jacket, brush it with a clothes brush and hang it straight away on a shaped wooden hanger and button it up. Remember to empty the pockets and pull out any flaps. Air the jacket by hanging it outside for a while and then keep it in a breathable garment bag. For a longer shelf life of the fabric, it’s important that you steam it every two months (if you wear your suit frequently) by hanging it in the bathroom while running a hot shower. You might have a shirt underneath but the jacket absorbs a lot of moisture as well, so allow 2-3 days in between each wearing.
Trousers and jeans
Read the care instructions on trousers which specify whether the fabric needs a gentle machine-wash or hand washing. Empty the pockets and turn your trousers or jeans inside out before washing which ensures less chances of the fabric fading. In case of a machine wash, remove trousers and jeans immediately to prevent further creases. If the smoke and alcohol smell in your jeans hasn’t worn out after a wash, soak in a solution of water and detergent for a few hours.
Gently hand-wash or machine-wash your shirts in lukewarm water to preserve the fabric, which means the dry cleaners are a strict no-no. Shirts should always look neat and crisp so starch them after every wash. Good quality cotton shirts don’t need starching, so invest in a few of those to save time. To avoid deodorant stains, spray it on yourself and let it dry before wearing your shirt. Iron your shirt when damp and check for any stains otherwise the heat from the iron can permanently fix a stain into the fabric. An ink stain can only be treated chemically, so send it to the dry cleaners. For sauce, rinse with hard water and scrub. In case it’s a stubborn sauce stain, soak in warm water with a bit of vinegar. Rinse blood stains with cold salty water and then apply cold soapy water. Red wine stains are easily removed by rinsing well in cold water. Plastic hangers are ideal for hanging cotton shirts. No wire hangers please. Cuffs and collars are most prone to getting soiled and frayed. Use a stain remover on these areas before putting it into the washing machine instead of using a hard brush. Check for any missing buttons and replace them immediately even though the shirt might go under your jacket.
Hang your ties on a rack or gently roll them up and neatly store them in a drawer to prevent wrinkling. To remove wrinkles in the tie, roll up the tie from the narrow end first and leave it for a couple of days and the creases will disappear. To flatten out a crumpled tie by steaming, hang it in the bathroom while running a hot shower or hold it over a pot of boiling water. Undo the knot after every wear otherwise it can cause permanent wrinkles. Do not wear the tie for two consecutive days as it needs time to retain its normal shape. A safe way of untying a knot is to reverse the tying procedure. Pulling the smaller end through the knot can cause the tie to stretch out of shape. Avoid dry cleaning ties. Remove the knot before washing and retie the knot later. In case of a dirty spot, apply a bit of cleansing remover on a white cotton cloth and clean from the outside of the spot towards its centre. Do not get any cologne on the tie as it can fade the color of the tie.
Shake out the sweater on removal to get rid of any dust and air it to remove body odor and moisture trapped in the sweater fibers. To air it, lay the sweater on a dry cotton towel away from sunlight. Never hang a sweater as it can pull the shape out of the shoulders. Remove any fuzz balls by cutting them with scissors rather than pulling them as it can damage the fibers. When washing, check the sweater for the care label and follow the washing instructions- hand washing, machine washing or dry cleaning. Don’t wring the sweater after a hand wash but gently roll it up in a dry towel to blot up excess water and place it flat on a towel to dry. Fold flat and store them using mothballs for protection. No matter how expensive the sweater, never store it in a plastic bag as this builds up moisture.
Remove the dust using a soft cloth no matter how tired you are after pulling them off and polish your shoes frequently. A good time to polish would be soon after you’ve taken them off as they are still warm from wear and the leather absorbs the polish more easily. Since your feet stay on the ground most of the time, keep checking the soles and heels for wear and get them fixed. Keep spare shoestrings and frequently wash the white ones. Sneakers can be dumped in the washing machine. Just don’t spin dry them. Store shoes on a rack. To prevent wrinkled uppers and curling toes, place shoe trees in your shoes before storing them away.
Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be looking good without wasting a lot of money shopping for a long time to come.
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