While we never like the prescriptive sort of advice that is all-too-often dispensed to women seeking style and beauty tips (everyone needs a little black dress or crisp white shirt, cut your hair shorter after 40, etc.), some things you can and really should have under control by the time you have reached a certain life stage. One of these things is knowing how to take care of your clothing and keep your wardrobe up to snuff with proper storage. No one wants to look rumpled or sloppy at any age, but almost no one can get away with the kind of disheveled charm that worked at 22 when they are 52. That’s why you need to take care of your wardrobe.
Wardrobe Care Tips
Most of us don’t have tons of time nor the inclination to iron, steam, or otherwise maintain our clothes. So accordingly, here are our favorite tips for caring for your clothing!
Wardrobe Care: Folding Vs. Hanging
We all have different ways of organizing our closets, but there is definitely no denying the fact that some things simply must be hung up and others can be folded. For instance, sweaters, jeans, tees and other knitwear can generally be folded and stacked, while jackets, dresses and nicer blouses get the hanging treatment.
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Of course, you may not have the closet space to hang up a bunch of things, or want to avoid damaging items with hangers. Stackable hangers or multi-hangers can solve the first problem, and padded hangers, wooden hangers or simply getting smaller or petite hangers like these from the Container Store can solve the second. A tiered pants hanger like these from Target also helps to save space in your closet, or go for a full-on closet organizer like this one from West Elm.
Don’t Neglect Your Accessories
We love a great jewelry armoir like this walnut one from Pier 1 if you have a lot of jewelry along with the space and inclination to invest in actual furniture for it to live in. Over-the-door jewelry organizers like this one from Wayfair also work well, and who doesn’t like having an extra floor-length mirror handy. Keeping your jewelry tucked away neatly prevents tarnishing and helps keep your beloved pieces clean – and stored properly, even costume jewelry will last for a long time.
Scarfs and belts can also be displayed and organized with an over-the-door rack like this one from Wayfair. You can search for over-the-door racks to find a variety of options and don’t ignore the towel racks – they often come in a bunch of colorways and work just as well for scarves.
A shoe rack that can be tucked into the corner like this one from Amazon works inside the closet or outside in an entryway or bedroom, freeing up more space. Racks like this also work nicely for handbags (keep the nicer ones in their dust covers when you are not using them for extra protection).
Take Care Of Special Items
Also, some garments require special treatment. For example, heavily beaded or otherwise embellished pieces should also be folded and laid flat so the shoulders, straps, or waistbands don’t get tugged out of place from the weight. Wrapping heirloom items in archival or acid-free tissue paper can help protect them further.
Store Your Clothing By Season
If you live somewhere that has all four seasons or at least multiple seasons, then you likely have pieces you wear for only one or two seasons per year. Therefore, swapping out your wardrobe and shifting the items you need currently to the front every couple of months can be a good way to keep things organized and up to date seasonally, allow you to examine older pieces for damage before and after you store them, and helps you retire the clothing and accessories that have seen better days.
Air Dry Your Clothes When Possible
While the dryer is incredibly useful for many things (e.g. shrinking stretched-out denim back to a more flattering fit), it can be damaging to your more delicate items and otherwise decrease the lifespan of some of your favorites. Getting a drying rack like this tiered one from Bed, Bath, & Beyond is also energy-efficient and better for the environment as well, so you can feel extra-virtuous while protecting your favorite pieces.
Don’t Overwash Your Clothes
Sometimes things definitely need to be washed, like workout clothes. However, some things don’t need to be washed every time you wear them, like jeans or jackets and sweaters that you wear on top of another piece like a tank or tee.
Wash Clothing Inside Out
Another way to protect your clothing from the washing machine along with dirt or grime from other pieces that might be mixed in with the load is to wash things inside out. A tee with a favorite graphic, anything with embroidery or other trim, or anything at all really can benefit from being turned inside out before you toss it in the washing machine.
Know How To Read A Care Label
While often dry-clean only means exactly that for things like lacy or beaded items, you can often get away with a cold water rinse or shampoo in many cases. This reduces your dry-cleaning bill and it’s more eco-friendly to boot. Investing in products made for delicates like silk and cashmere (like these from The Laundress) can help you DIY dry-cleaning and professional laundry-style services at home.
Protect Your Investment
You should always have homeowners’ or renters’ insurance that will cover your wardrobe and jewelry (including any high end handbags, coats, or other pricey items!). Thanks for the reminder and tips from Money.Co.Uk who provided some background for this piece, but as always, all opinions and recommendations are our own.
Shop Wardrobe Care Tips Here
What are your wardrobe storage tips and how do you maintain the life of your clothes? Anything you wish you knew sooner or do you have questions for the community? Ask and share in the comments or in our Growing Younger Group on Facebook!
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