I’ve written already about the joy of wearing out clothes, keeping the old favourites going until they fall apart.
Livia Firth, wife of Colin and champion of sustainable fashion, recommends only buying a garment if you anticipate wearing it at least 30 times. 30 times? I’m talking 300 or more!
Men’s fashion brand Tom Cridland goes much further than 30 wears. He guarantees his clothes will last 30 years and will repair or replace them free of charge if anything happens to them within that time. If there’s a man in your life who hates having to buy or wear in new clothes, there’s your answer.
But keeping clothes for season after season does demand you take good care of them. All you need are a few simple steps.
How to make your clothes last longer:
1. Don’t use wire or thin plastic hangers, the kind that chain stores always ask if you want to take home with your new purchase. Wide wooden hangers keep the shape of the clothes and don’t make marks on shoulders and sleeves. Make sure the hanger doesn’t stick out beyond the shoulder line to avoid bulges when you wear the garment.
2. Ironing wears out fabric, or can leave it shiny, especially delicate and natural fabrics like linen. Use a lower temperature and try not to press down too hard. If you like linen you probably don’t mind a slightly rumpled appearance so you could use the travel tip of hanging your clothes in the bathroom when you have a shower.
Do you have a steamer like the ones assistants use in clothes shops? I’d love to know how you get on with it!
3. Stains – getting rid of spills and marks quickly is perhaps the best way to make your clothes last longer. We’re sold a special cleaner for every fabric and every stain by detergent companies, but the fact is that good old soap and water will remove far more than you’d ever expect. It shifts blood and other human bodily fluids, even when they’re dry and sometimes when the clothing has already been unsuccessfully washed.
4. There’s no need to wash most of your clothes after every wear. There’s a handy table on this post called How Often Should I Wash My Clothes on the Moral Fibres blog that tells you how often different kinds of clothes should be laundered. From after every wear for whites and silks, to once or twice a year for wool coats.
5. You may have heard that you shouldn’t wash jeans. Hiut, the Welsh jeans brand recently worn by Meghan Markle on her visit to Cardiff, recommend waiting at least six months before washing your new jeans. After that, they say, ‘you will have shaped your jeans into a unique pair of jeans that only you could have made. After that first wash, you will have one of the most beautiful pair of jeans you will have ever owned.’
6. Moths – the kind that munch your clothes are the little beige ones. Once you’ve spotted them flying around your house it’s difficult to get rid of the blighters. The best way to kill any eggs is to put your clothes in the freezer, and I’ve had more success by regularly hanging clothes outside in summer than with stinky chemicals. Moths thrive in dark, enclosed spaces, so let in light and air to beat them.
7. And finally a seasonal tip. Ever had to crack frozen clothes to get them off the line? Peg clothes out in very cold weather and the frost will bleach whites naturally, actually removing stains and making whites whiter. It’s miraculous!
Do let me know if you have your own tried and tested ways to make your clothes last longer. I do love an inside tip 😊