7 Ways to Make Your Wardrobe Last Longer

Clothes ~ Clothes ~ Clothes

You either love it or hate it.   For me, my feelings swing like on a pendulum.  I've been in an awkward grown up phase where there are styles and certain fashion I love, but I feel like I'm too old to wear.  Forever 21 I am not.  I have become pickier on what I buy - I have to completely love it - and I have found myself buying the same piece in 4 different colours when I do.

Here's what I have learned in my journey into keeping and maintaining my wardrobe.

1.   Know Yourself

I will not iron.  I will not dry clean.   Knowing this, I will not buy pieces that require either of these, as I know I will not do them.   Pieces will look awful wrinkled or shrunk - so I don't waste my time or money.

2.   Dress For the Job

As soon as I get home from work - I change out of work clothes and into comfy home clothes.  Not just for comfort - but because the less my work clothes are exposed to - the longer they will survive.  I don't want to clean the house / do dishes / play with the kids and have to worry about getting something on my work clothes.   I would never think of staining the deck in my jeans - it took my FOREVER to find just the right pair - but the yoga pants I painted the kitchen in a few months back would be perfect for the job. 

3.   Lazy Laundering

I will confess - I do not wash every time after every wear.   I've been known to wear pjs a few times - or if I change into something nicer to run a few quick errands, I will change back into my comfy clothes when I get home.  The clothes I wore for the errand trip are not dirty - so I will fold and leave on top of my dresser - and I will reach for them again before pulling something fresh from the closet.

4.   Wash In Cold

I know, I know, washing in cold is all the rage.   But I just cannot see how cold kills germs and bacteria.  I used to use Hot, but I've turned down the temperature and I've seen a difference in my clothes with stretch - they're keeping their shape longer.   Maybe someday I'll attempt cold - but not today!

5.   Zip Up Before Washing

Zip zippers before washing - even little zippers - because the teeth in a zipper is like sandpaper on the rest of the clothes in the load - and will cause wear and tear.  It takes a split second to rezip before throwing into the hamper.  It also helps items like cardigans keep their shape.

6.   Clean Your Shoes

Yes - clean your shoes!   I keep a box of baby wipes in the closet, and it takes nothing to wipe your shoes before the dirt and mud really settle in.   It keeps them looking better, longer, helps keep the closet a little cleaner, and they will be ready to grab and go the next time you're heading out the door.

7.   Seamstresses and Cobblers are Your Friends!

My local Dry Cleaner offers clothing alterations - and I love them!   It costs me $7 to hem any pair of pants which is worth every penny!   I have an irregular inseam, so pants are always a little too long or a little too short - not a good look either way.   I attach a safety pin where I want the hem to end and my local dry cleaner makes it happen - and usually in 20 minutes!

I also found a small Shoe Repair shop who not only repairs shoes ($20 to resole my favourite shoes - which literally doubled their life!) but they have replaced zippers in favourite purses (charging $1 per inch of zipper) and the leather straps of my beloved Coach purse after a friends' dog also fell in love with them.   It cost $27 to save my $300 handbag!   Worth every penny!

What tips, hints or tricks do you use to extend your wardrobe?