We want you to get the most out of your wardrobe, by buying less and choosing well, selecting items that mix and match easily with each other, and for you to love and wear your pieces season after season.
Inevitably with wearing your clothes, shoes and accessories consistently over time, at some point they’re going to have some wear and tear. But, there are a few little things you can do to make sure that you prolong the life of your favourite pieces through the inevitable wear and tear of life.
Here are 5 tips to make sure your investments last the distance.
1. Start thinking more about washing
While it’s tempting to throw all your clothes into a cold cotton wash, taking a bit more time to sort through your laundry will return in dividends when your clothes stand the test of time.
The first rule of washing is don’t do it. That is, don’t over-wash your clothes. If it’s not soiled you can air it out or steam it to give it a little bit of extra life for a few more days. It’s better for the environment if you can prolong the gaps between washes, too.
Some more tips: Wash your clothes on cold, at 20 or even 30 degrees less than what the care label tells you. Cold water is less harsh on fabric, and also will prevent shrinkage. Finally, anything dark – and especially jeans – should be washed inside out. That way the gorgeous dark blue denim of your favourite jeans won’t fade as they go through the ringer.
2. Dust bags have a purpose
The little pouches that jewellery, handbags and shoes come packaged in serve a very real purpose. Storing your items inside these covers will protect them when they’re not being worn from dust and tarnishing.
Yes, a gorgeous pair of All Blues earrings will look stunning displayed on a little jewellery dish on your dressing table. But trust us, it’s much kinder on the metal if you tuck them gently into the pouch they arrived in when not being worn.
Even better, and a jewellery saviour is to store your sterling silver and gold plated jewellery in air tight zip lock bags. Not super glamorous, but will save the metals from oxidising and will keep them looking brand new for years to come.
3. In fact, it’s all about storage
Thinking seriously about your storage solutions extends beyond your accessories. How you hang, fold and store your clothes could be impacting their lifespan.
Heavy woollen items like cardigans, jumpers and sweater dresses should be folded on a shelf rather than hung, which causes them to stretch. Don’t overstuff your closet, rather, spread your items out on hangers that won’t snag – copper, wooden and velvet are our favourites – which will give them the space that they need. Make sure anything decorative or embellished isn’t rubbing up against something delicate and silken. And on that note, ensure buttons, zips and closures are all closed, not left loose and in danger of snagging something.
If you have more things than fit in your wardrobe – and your wardrobe is of a pretty decent size – now might be the time to think about a little wardrobe cull. If you’re really pressed for space then pick up a metal rack from IKEA, which will give you a little more storage space to play with.
4. Re-sole your shoes
This is a lesson I learnt late in life, but it transformed the lifespan of all my favourite footwear. Re-soling your shoes before you start wearing them, and then again when they are starting to wear through, will ensure that you get more than just a season of pavement pounding out of them.
Make friends with your local shoe man, who will often be able to help you with other tricky shoe-related questions, like stretching out leather shoes and saving your favourite suede sling backs from rain damage.
5. Invest in the right cleaning items
Some things you should have in your cleaning arsenal: A lint roller, a suede brush, leather protector spray, a clothes shaver and wash bags. If you can spring for it, a little handheld steamer can work wonders, too, and is great for travel.
All of these items might seem like ridiculous purchases, but they’ll help you get more life out of your favourite wardrobe items. Woollen pieces can have all their pilling shaved away, suede handbags can be brushed down, shoes can be sprayed against the rain and any wayward lint can be rolled away.
These touches might all sound small and insignificant on their own, but trust us, they’ll make a huge difference. And when you’re spending that much on something, don’t you want it to last as long as it possibly can?