Wardrobe Saving Tips & Tricks

I’m excited to be joining up with my sister-in-law, Brooke from Pumps & Push-Ups, to bring you a very special collab post. Today’s topic is one that resonates in both of our hearts: getting the most out of the clothes we already have! Properly taking care of the stuff we own is one step towards not only making the most out of the resources used to create them but also helps save precious time and hard earned money. If that sweater you love, the jeans that fit “just right” or your favorite boots stay looking just as good as when you first bought them, then there’s no need to run out and replace them. Then when you think about the water, detergent and energy saved with less washing and drying (and time saved by having to put them away), it’s really a no-brainer! So today we are going to share all our favorite ways to keep your clothes looking better longer.

Wardrobe Saving Tips & Tricks

Tips to extend time between washings:

For the entire 30 days of November I did my best to keep laundry out of the wash by vowing not to wash any of my clothing (with the exception of underwear). This was brought on my wanting to try out various tricks aimed at extending time between washes. I figured what better way to determine their true effectiveness than by not having any other option?!  When the following tricks were used together it really wasn’t much of a challenge to keep clothes out of the hamper while still keeping them freshy-fresh!

Rotate your wardrobe.

Got a favorite shirt you wear all…the…time? Wearing outfits on repeat is a wonderful way to get the most out the clothes we own, just make sure to cycle them. Not only does this help to make sure you’re showing all your threads some love, but it makes sure you don’t wear the same pair of jeans or shirt for several days in a row resulting in them becoming dirty faster than if they were alternated with other favorites.

Change out of nice clothes when home.

Keep nice clothes looking nice and minimize stretching and wearing out by taking them off the minute you get home. I have a set of clothes that I wear specifically around the house that I am less worried about them getting stained. Dark tops are particularly helpful for extended wear, as they tend to hide stains and just general dirt much more easily!

Use a drying rack to extend time before washes.

Hang/put clothes away immediately.

Put clothes away instead of letting them pile up on the floor, chair or in a laundry basket to avoid unnecessary wrinkles.

Spot cleaning.

Ever wash a pair of jeans or a top just because there was a single food spot on them? I’m so guilty of this. But food spots don’t mean the entire garment is dirty so sending through the washer may add unnecessary wear and tear to clothing when a simple spot cleaning would do the trick.

Spot Cleaning to extend time between washes.

Channel your inner domestic goddess and rock an apron.

I’m definitely not saying you need to turn into Betty Crocker or Martha Stewart, but aprons were created for a reason – to keep clothes clean. Cooking can be a messy business, which means food splashes on your clothes if not careful. Washing dishes can be just as problematic (particularly for me). Whatever it is, aprons are meant to get dirty so wearing them is basically like putting on a suit of amour to protect your clothes and keep them out of the wash.

Rinse it out.

Stuff like socks or sweaty workout clothes can sometimes avoid a trip to the washer simply by rinsing them out. This is what I did to keep my socks out of the washer this past month!

Give your clothes some air.

Hang clothes up on a drying rack/line or hanger (out of your closet) to air out a bit after wear. This helps to get odors and creases that have made their way into your clothes and was particularly useful in keeping my bumming around the house clothes and jammies that were worn on a very regular basis feeling fresh.

Spray with water and essential oil for a little natural fragrance.

Part two to airing out is spraying with a little natural fragrant mixture of water and essential oils. I kept a spray bottle with water and lavender oil on my dresser to spray stuff down before hanging it up on the rack to air out. I’m convinced this step kept my clothes from feeling (and smelling) dirty.

Lavender and water for a natural clothing refresh.

Quickly re-shape in the dryer.

Jeans a little stretched out but otherwise clean? Instead of sending through the entire fiber wearing process, toss it in the dryer for a few minutes with either a drying load or a damp towel for an abbreviated way to get things back to square one.

Iron out wrinkles caused by wear.

You know those shirts that wrinkle around the elbows, waistline or back just from being worn? Maybe you got a little sweaty on the commute home so the back of your shirt got little creases in it or the insides of your elbows look like an accordion. Skip the wash if otherwise clean and simply iron out the imperfections.

 

General strategies to follow when washing/drying to keep clothes looking their best:

Wash inside out.

Minimize fading and risk of damage to visible part of clothing from zippers/buttons by turning clothes inside out.

Wash clothes inside out for longer life.

Keel your cool.

Hot water can speed up the fading process, contribute to shrinkage or misshaping of fabrics and maybe even cause some stains to set! Not to mention it also requires more energy to heat up so reserve the toasty temps for sanitizing purposes.

Air dry.

Avoid shrinkage & breakdown of fibers while saving energy in the process by hanging clothes out to dry. Capitalize on the fast drying time and sun’s natural bleaching powers.

Follow instructions.

This is one time where its good to follow the rules. Read the care instructions on your garments as those that are dry clean only really may not do so well if cleaned any other way. As with most things in life, more isn’t always necessarily better so take care to follow the measurements recommended for on the detergent label.

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There are definitely other ways to extend the life of what’s in your closet that go beyond the wash routine! Brooke took on sharing her favorite ways to keep your stuff looking like new! Thank goodness too, because she totally saved me a sweater that I had thought about donating but now is back in action!! Take it away, Brooke! 🙂

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Refresh Your Winter Wardrobe

I tend to skip a few washes to preserve my clothes too, especially when it comes to clothing that is prone to fading. I also found a few ways to get more out of the items I already have in my closet. These apply to all seasons, but I feel like winter clothing really takes a beating. Between boots that encounter a little moisture damage and wool sweaters that pill – it’s hard to keep those winter clothes looking great.

Polish Your Leather Boots

I don’t know what rock I’ve been living under, but I didn’t realize the power of polishing my boots until this year. Real leather boots are expensive! So, you don’t really want to buy a new pair every year. I love my Sam Edelman Penny boots and have owned them for about three years now. They are still in great shape, but did endure a little water damage last year. I ordered Frye boot polish to try and freshen them up a bit.

Frye Boot Polish to Restore and Protect you leather boots

I’m sure any boot polish would work great, but this is the one I used. I was really impressed with how well it conditioned the leather and restored their shine! I now polish them every few weeks and give them an extra coat before going out in wet weather. Obviously leather boots aren’t the best for stomping around in snow, but I wore them during our snow this past weekend and there wasn’t a bit of water damage.

Water Proof Your Leather Boots

For the demonstration I used a pair of really old, really beat up boots to show how powerful boot polish can be. It takes away worn toes and really refreshes the leather! I bet this would be just as great on leather bags.

How to restore leather boots after water damage and wear and tear

Shave The Pills

I love sweaters…hate pills. Some sweaters, you can only wear once and they start to pill and it’s frustrating. Especially because a lot of sweaters are expensive like boots, you want them to last! The sweater I used for this demonstration is one of those you wear once and it pills. It’s a new sweater I’ve worn 1-2 times and it already has pills on the sleeves, boooo. In comes shaving.

How To Remove Sweater Pills

I even restored one of Erica’s sweaters while we were doing the post…the kids were obviously measuring something in the background.

Sweater Pill Hack

I saw a tutorial for shaving pills on pinterest, so I’m not a pioneer here, but my husband suggested using an electric razor. Using a basic razor works, but not as well as the electric razor…he’s so smart! You just have to take your time and go slow, so you don’t cut a hole in the sweater…I’ve done that. Especially around seams it’s easy to do. However, it takes away pills, and I’ve found sometimes if you shave the sweater once, the pills wont return. Not always the case, but sometimes it is!

We were going to attempt a natural dye to restore black denim…but it didn’t quite happen. Maybe for our next experiment.

So, the takeaway – next time you think about throwing out/donating something in your wardrobe or replacing it all together, try saving it first!

Do you have any wardrobe saving tips?

– Brooke & Erica

4 Replies to “Wardrobe Saving Tips & Tricks”

  1. Such an amazing tips! Thanks for sharing!!
    xx
    Mónica Sors
    MES VOYAGES À PARIS
    NEW POST: MES VOYAGES A PARIS

    1. Thank you Monica!! It was my pleasure! 🙂

  2. Hi Erica! I am loving these tips! And I always wear an apron when in the kitchen! I can’t even tell you how many clothes are saved by this simple little trick!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    1. Hey Shelbee! I’m so glad you enjoyed these tips and its awesome to hear you’re already doing a great job at protecting them by rocking that apron. I totally believe it – aprons really do wonders at keeping food splashes off your threads!! 🙂 Thank you for coming by!! xo

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