You make those purchases, invest in your wardrobe, and you just want it to last! Right?! Whether you’re looking to preserve some new items in your closet, or looking for ways to get more wear out what you already own, today’s post is for you! If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll remember my sister-in-law Erica! We used to run this space together and she is joining me today! For the last year, Erica has challenged herself to streamline her wardrobe and not purchase a single new item. It’s really amazing! Aside from her wardrobe, she has also been making changes in her life to waste less in general, you can find more about her journey on her blog A Waste Not Kind of Life. But, back to the clothes:
Wardrobe Saving Tips & Tricks
Starting with Erica, she has been a boss at getting a lot out of her wardrobe this past year, but for the month of November, she challenged herself to avoid laundry, and she successfully did that! The less you wash your clothing, not only are you saving energy, you’re also saving your wardrobe from the wear and tear of washing. Here’s how things went for her and what she did to extend the life of her clothing between washes.
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 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!
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Avoid shrinkage & breakdown of fibers while saving energy in the process by hanging clothes out to dry. Capitalize on the fast drying time and suns natural bleaching powers.
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.
When Erica first told me she was going to attempt to not wash clothes in November, I was like good luck! I’m really impressed she successfully pulled it off and totally has great tips for making that
happen. Besides your wash routine, there are other ways to keep clothes looking their best, which is the part of this post that I took on.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I even restored one of Erica’s sweaters while we were doing the post…the kids were obviously measuring something in the background.
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 something in your wardrobe or replacing it all together, try saving it first!
Do you have any wardrobe saving tips?
– Brooke & Erica
NEW! I’ve started a collaborative Pinterest board for the Oh, Hey Girl! Link-Up. I would love for you to join and share your looks there too! Just send me a message on Pinterest or at Brooke@pumpsandpushups.com if you would like to be added.
Link up any post you would like to show off; your outfit, home decor, recipe, workout. Anything at all! Because, oh, hey girl! I want to see it!
See who I link with here! (p.s. – if you have a new link up on your blog, leave it in the comments, so I can add to this list!)