Take care of your clothes & they'll take care of you

Oftentimes we get caught up in the style of clothes, and forget the importance of how those items are made and how we care for them.

Quality of fabric is key to maintaining a wardrobe that’ll last you season after season. No one wants to spend energy on creating a wardrobe, only to have the items fall apart quickly after purchasing. Bottom line, you get what you pay for. Nine times out of ten, quality fabric means quality design, cut and wear. An incredibly easy way to narrow your shopping options is to learn to identify the difference between quality materials and cheap materials.

Here’s how to tell if what you find is quality:

1) The scrunch test. Try scrunching and watching. If it doesn’t de-wrinkle right away, walk away.

2) Wide seams. Today, most mass produced clothing is stitched by machines. Wide seams are indicative of hand made stitching, and thus, quality made clothing.

3) No no-iron shirts. In order to get a shirt to the “no iron” status, you must treat the cloth chemically, which makes it far less durable and indicative of mass-produced fashion.

4) The touch test. It may sound too easy to be true, but if fabric feels good to the touch both inside and out, it typically means good quality.

With selecting quality items comes the task of fabric maintenance. Caring for your items after purchasing them is just as important as choosing the right clothes to start with. In a culture of disposable fashion, many of us have grown up without regards for how our clothes were washed or treated. However, if we’re going to become more style-conscious, we must develop better patterns in the way we care for our clothes.

Below are great tips for rehabilitating your staple items:

1) Use the freezer for more than food. Throw a smelly pair of jeans or a shedding sweater in a plastic page and let it spend the night in your freezer. You’ll be shocked what magic it can do.

2) Put baking soda or newspaper in your sneakers after the gym. It absorbs the moisture and reduces the odor over the life of the shoes dramatically.

3) Lemon juice and water takes those nasty armpit stains right out.

4) Give your shrunken tee a 5 minute hot bath with some hair conditioner, and then stretch it back.

5) Stop pinching pennies and start dry cleaning. I’m not saying you have to do it every week, but even a couple times a year can make a difference in the lifespan of your clothing. When it comes to denims or expensive items with a care label, the return on this small investment is astronomical.