So , you have spent thousands of dollars investing in your wardrobe so you can look effortlessly stylish. You have also searched through magazines and Pinterest and Instagram as well as getting advice from your wife/girlfriend/besties to find what’s new and how to put the ‘looks’ together because let’s face it, unless if you are really into fashion, men don’t get ‘how to look beautiful forever‘ information shoved down their throat nearly as many times as women. But your effort should not stop there. The secret to great style is not just the clothes or a guide for putting them together, but also how well they are looked after. Why are wardrobe maintenance important ? Well, you would not want to spend $700 bucks on a gorgeous Italian made Hackett Suede Bomber Jacket only to pop it in the dryer after a machine wash ? Well, to make the most our of your stylish collection, here are some practical tips and hacks to maintain your wardrobe
Don’t Ignore Washing Instruction
There are so many general tips that apply to everything in your closet. Here is the golden rule of cloth care and maintenance:
Carefully read the fabric care label, and strictly follow the instructions.
A hell of a lot of people tend to overlook this and when it comes to cleaning the items bought, either just chuck everything in the washing machine (thinking that it will be okay) or google ways to clean them where you may get your fabric information wrong (thus washing instruction wrong). Everything you need should be in the fabric care label. Sometimes you may not see the crappy results immediately, but you will certainly see them after overtime.
In the world of synthetics, blends, and fabrics, the issue of how to launder each garment can be a difficult task. Thankfully, every piece of clothing has a cheat sheet built into the garment.
Learn to Interpret Fabric Care Symbols
To some, fabric care symbols look like hieroglyphics, but they are really easy and straightforward once you understand the system.
The location of the care instruction varies. If it is not on the collar, check the inside seams. Strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions in caring for your clothes.
Pre-Treatment is Sometimes Necessary
Many men think that dry cleaning is the best way to launder their stained clothes. This may be true, but there are times when dry cleaning is not the best way to care for your clothes. Pre-treatment is the best way to remove stains for home wash clothes. This is basically an extra cleaning step you do before placing your stained clothing in the washing machine. Pre-treatment using detergent designed for stain removal is best done immediately after your clothes being stained to make it easier for the washing cycle to remove the stain (before it has set).
Store Your Clothes Correctly
First thing first, avoid hanging your clothes with wired hanger as can create permanent unwanted crease and ruin the clothes symmetry. Storing your clothes correctly is important to prevent insect infestation, bacterial growth and unfavourable odours. Clothing and footwear should be stores in a cool, dry and dark environment. Prevent your clothes from being destroyed by insects by placing repellents such as cedar wood balls or mothballs.
Know How to Deal with Clothes that Cannot be Washed at Home
Some clothes , when cleaned at home may lose their texture, shine, color. This is when it is best to be given to professional cleaners. Unfortunately, dry cleaning is the most expensive methods of laundering clothes. Here is something so many men don’t know about dry cleaning- there are two types of dry cleaning method. The two basic solvents used in dry cleaning are Green earth and perchloroethylene (also known as perc) which is a silicon-based cleaner.
Perc is harsh and will remove more stains than Green Earth. For your toughest stains, use a dry cleaner that uses perc. On the other hand, use a dry cleaner that uses Green Earth for routine dry cleaning.
Sort Your Laundry
This might seem a ‘duh‘ thing for some, but believe it or not, I still don’t let Sam do the washing because he does not get ‘clothes sorting’ . Things like.. separating towels and linen from any clothes , separating colors , whites and dark might be obvious for some people but not for others! Putting everything together into one laundry cycle is a surefire way to ruin your whites and get unwanted fluffs on your black.
Brush Your Clothes
Brushing clothes such as jackets and trousers after each wear will definitely prolonged it’s wear before it requires a wash. Brushing removes any accumulated dirt and impurities. By doing so to your clothes, you will also get rid of food smell that could settle into the fabric if left uncleaned.
Invest on Shoe Accessories
You likely may not agree, but the fact is that our feet stink. And if our feet stink, our shoes likely will stink too.
When you get home from an intense workout at the gym or a long day at the office, all you want to do is to remove your shoes and keep them in your closet. Do your shoes a huge favor by taking one extra step before you keep them. Buy a few pairs of high-quality cedar shoe trees. Don’t skimp on plastic shoe trees. Good shoe trees will preserve the shape of your shoe, slowing down and preventing the process of creasing in the leather.
The cedar will also absorb moisture that has built up in the shoe, thereby reducing the likelihood of the leather cracking. Even more, it will also leave a nice and fresh cedar scent that pairs well with quality leather.
Using shoe trees from the start won’t just help your shoes look better, but will make them last longer too.
You can pay as much as or as little as you’d like for your shoe trees. Some top-notch brand will even make model specific trees, which are great if you can buy them.
But you really don’t have to spend a lot of money on shoe trees. Just make sure they are made from cedar.
Since shoes are expensive, it is important that you take good care of them. Invest in a high-quality shoehorn. It is the best way to extend the lifespan of your shoes.
Learn How Your Washing Machine and Dryer Works
A lot of people tend to just stick to one particular cycle (eg: quick 30) . In order to follow your fabric washing instruction you need to understand what various preset cycles your washing machine has does. Whites and towels are generally best washed using warm/hot water while underwear are best washed using a gentle spin cycle.
The best time to take delicate care of your clothes is shortly after you have finished cleaning them. Whether you use a top-notch dryer or hang dry your clothes, hang them as soon as they are done in the washing machine . Taking care of your clothes shortly after cleaning is going to make your clothes last longer and look great.
Shine Your Shoes
If you want your shoes to look great, you are definitely going to take good care of them. Start, by buying a shoe shine kit. This usually comes with a horsehair brush, a can of polish (usually black) and a fine cloth. You will likely need to buy a can of brown polish for your brown shoes.
Use a cloth to carefully apply a light coat of polish all around the shoes. Take the horsehair brush and stroke around your shoes. This works the polish onto the shoe, producing a good sheen.
Your shoes won’t become super shiny unless you apply elbow grease and a lot of polish.
Protect Your Shoes From Dirt, Snow and Rain
If you wear leather boots or dress shoes, and you live in an area that gets snow and rain for part of the year, you are going to want to protect your shoes from moisture and water.
You have a couple of options;
- Buy some galoshes.
- Waterproof your leather boots or shoes, as needed.
- Wear waterproof boots.
The second option is more convenient and does not require you to plan ahead or carry an extra pair of shoes. Waterproofing your leather shoe is very easy. You can go to a shoe repair shop or do it yourself.
And remember, if your high-quality leather shoes do get wet, it is not the end of the world. Just make sure you let them dry out completely and use a shoe tree before you use them again.
Invest in Additional Wardrobe Care
Some of the items that would be beneficial in your quest in prolonging and maintaining your wardrobe includes, but not limited to :
- Quality Hangers (wooden)
- Shoe Horns
- Garment Storage to store seasonal clothing
- Fabric Protector
- Clothes Steamer
- Jewellery Polish
- Shelf/Drawers Liner to keep clothes smelling fresh during storage