Here are 10 tips on how to make your current wardrobe last courtesy of Real Simple.
1. Launder whites after every wear. It's tempting to put a white blouse back into the closet after a spill-free wearing. After all, it looks spotless. But body oils and perspiration, along with other time-released stains (like perfume, white wine, and oil splatters), will start to give a once-bright white a yellowish tint.
2. Don't overwash darks. Black pants, in particular, can be worn several times before laundering. For best results when you wash, run darks on a short cycle in cold water and let them air-dry. Blot any stains, since rubbing will create a lighter spot.
3. Beware the dryer. Excessive heat makes fibers brittle, causing the fabric to break down. Combat this by removing lightweight garments, like T-shirts and camisoles, and anything containing spandex 10 minutes earlier than heavy garments, such as jeans and sweatshirts. Most of the damage is done in the last 10 minutes of drying.
4. Hold off on your jewelry. Wait 15 minutes after applying perfume or body lotion before slipping on baubles. Beauty products are notorious for leaving a greasy buildup.
5. Iron clothing inside out. Ironing can fade dark colors as well as create shine marks on fabrics with sheen, like gabardine, acetate and polished cottons. Avoid damage by using the appropriate heat setting and pressing the item on the reverse side. Or use a cloth between garment and iron. Never iron a crease on a black garment-it can leave a permanent line.
6. Zip up to avert snags. Your clothing goes into the wash perfectly intact. Later you notice a mysterious pull. The teeth of zippers (especially those made of metal, as on jeans) or any kind of hook closure is typically the culprit. Next time, close all zippers and clasps before tossing clothes into the washing machine (or, better yet, the hamper).
7. Wash (unstained) jeans every third wear. Launder jeans inside out and in cold water. Obsessed with preserving the deep dark rinse? Skip the clothes dryer and let them air-dry, or take them to a dry cleaner.
8. Remove all jewelry before swimming. The chlorine in pool water wears away the surface and the shine.
9. Alternate bras. Allow a bra to rest for a day in between wearings so the elasticity has a chance to bounce back. If you don't, your bras will wear out faster from being stretched for 14 to 16 hours a day.
10. Store handbags on shelves. It may sound counterintuitive, but hanging a bag by the handles lessens the life span of the bag. Hanging puts stress on the strap seams, and it can leave unsightly marks on the handles.
For more tips and hints visit www.realsimple.com.
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