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11 tips to make your wardrobe withstand the test of time

Feb 10, 2016

Plaid shirts
As I get older, I tend to discover new reasons I’m thankful for the lessons my mom taught me growing up. 

Obviously at the time, pulling me away from AOL instant messenger to demonstrate things such as how to fix an overflowing toilet, or properly load the dishwasher to maximize space for the most dishes (something that is still lost on me) was very annoying to my moody teenage self. But these days, that info comes in REALLY handy. (Shhh. Don’t tell her I told you that!) 

One of the highest ranking items on the “things I’m so thankful my mother taught me” list (right behind how to fix an overflowing toilet) is how to properly care for my clothing.

I quickly realized when I left the house that nobody else’s mother taught them how to do this properly, and I found myself often saying, “You can borrow that dress but don’t you DARE wash it!” because I knew it would inevitably come back shrunken, faded, or with some unidentified stains. 

Because these tips have been life-changing over the years for my wardrobe, I figured it was time to share them with you. Read on for my (and Lynn’s) top tips for making your wardrobe last a lifetime. 

How to make your clothing last longer 

Washing & Drying: 

1. Dry all clothing on the “low” setting and hang dry as much as you possibly can. (I suggest investing in a drying rack!) Drying your clothing in the dryer on the “high” setting causes your clothes to shrink, fade, and become stiff. 

2. Never ever ever ever dry your jeans, this will lighten their color and cause them to shrink. Lay them flat to dry, or hang them over a hanger. If you HAVE to dry them (i.e. in a time crunch) turn them inside out first to keep color from fading. 

3. Workout clothing should be washed separately in order to avoid pilling and fuzzing. The reason for this is because of the difference in materials (i.e. your Lululemon pants get fuzzy because fuzz and lint from your sweaters get stuck to them.) Drying workout pants should also be avoided. The more they rub together with other clothes, the faster they will pill. 

4. Wash your clothes only when they’re dirty. Just because you wore a shirt to work once doesn’t mean it needs washing. If it’s not dirty and it still smells fresh, you don’t need to wash it. Too much washing and drying leads to faster damage. (Not to mention more laundry!) 

Make clothing last longer

Clothing & Shoe Protection:

1. Apply a protectant spray to shoes whenever possible. (Something my mother was always a stickler for. #YouWereRightMom.) Following in her footsteps, I use Scotchgard Protector to repel stains and water damage on both my sneakers (Keds, Converse) and my suede heels and boots. I use Scotchgard Fabric Protector for canvas shoes, and Scotchgard Suede & Nubuck Protector on my suede shoes. 

2.  To protect coats and jackets, you can also use Scotchgard Fabric Protector, which helps repel water and stains. (Very essential for both those who live in wet and muddy climates, and also for clumsy people who are accident prone. Obviously I fit into both of these categories.) I also use it on my sofa. (More about that here!

3. Befriend a great cobbler and apply rubber pads to soles of new shoes, this will help the soles last much longer, and also avoid slipping! Also, replace rubber heel tips immediately when they fall off. These things will add years to your shoes’ life! 

How to waterproof suede

Ongoing Maintenance:

1. Dry clean clothes regularly and immediately upon staining, don’t let them ball up in a bag! The longer you wait, the tougher the stain will be to remove. 

2. Sweaters and leggings pilling? (See above.) Don’t throw them away! Simply purchase a sweater de-fuzzer to keep your items pill-free. 

3. Continue to spot clean canvas items regularly, and remember to re-apply your protectant spray (like Scotchgard Protector) as it can wear off with regular washing or dry cleaning. 

4. Don’t hang your knits–this makes them stretch out and lose their shape. Plus, investing in good, quality hangers will prevent stretching of other garments as well! They’ll also make your closet look way more organized. (There’s nothing more visually stressful than a closet full of misshapen wire and plastic hangers! Yuck!) I use felt coated hangers. (Wooden ones also work great!) 

How do you ensure your wardrobe lasts a lifetime? Share your tips below! 


This post was sponsored by Scotchgard brand. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep GG up and running! 

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