It takes a lot of time and effort to create your own personal style- the one you own every morning as you put on your attire, the one that make you feel good about yourself. You have to find the right combination of colours, patterns and fabrics that appeal to this style. These are the clothes that make you feel like a professional, make you feel attractive. Letting them go is never easy, but they weren’t designed to last forever.
That doesn’t mean they have to wear out before their time, however. If you’d rather spend your money developing your style with new pieces instead of replacing old ones all the time, consider a few simple tips to extend the life of your wardrobe and add years to your key pieces.
Your leather footwear looks brilliant on your feet and makes your suits pop. Over time though, moisture from your feet and from the weather can wear them down and result in creasing and misshaping. Avoid this by purchasing a shoe tree. Wooden shoes trees are ideal for your Oxfords, brogues and any other leather shoes because they help maintain the shape of the shoes. An added benefit of these trees is that they keep all of your shoes in one place and out of the way. You’ll no longer be tripping over them as you walk through your cupboard trying to find tomorrow’s suit.
Not entirely, of course, but many of us wash our clothing too much. While we may simply be looking for that fresh scent that comes from our favourite fabric softener, washing items like knitwear, trousers, chinos and jeans too much can result in fabric break-downs. Use a little common sense when it comes to these items. If they look and smell clean, they probably are.
The same goes for dry clean only items like men’s suits and men’s tweed jackets. When you take your suits and trousers to the dry cleaner too often, the perchloroethylene solvent used to clean them can damage the clothing. This is especially true for wool suits. The solvent strips the fibres in these suits of their natural oils. As a result, they become very brittle, leaving your suit worn-out looking and prone to tearing.
There is no specific rule of thumb when it comes to dry cleaning; it all depends on how often you wear the clothing and whether or not spot cleaning is sufficient. If you only wear men’s suits on rare occasions, you may only need to dry clean it once a year. If you wear them daily for work, you will need to dry clean them more often. Try airing them out, brushing them and spot cleaning to remove dirt, odours and stains. When this no longer seems to help, take them to the dry cleaners.
There are some men’s clothing items that must be hung up to ensure they stay wrinkle free and looking great. Suits, tweed jackets and dress shirts for instance, all benefit from hanging in your wardrobe. For these items, choose natural wooden hangers instead of metal ones to help wick away moisture, relax wrinkles and maintain the shape of the fabric.
Have knitwear? These clothing items tend to fall apart when hung. Their delicate fiberes can quickly fall prey to gravity. Folding is a better option for your v-necks and polo shirts.
Before you toss your favourite pair of chinos in the washer, take a moment to zip them up. While zipping up the zipper may seem silly, it can actually help prevent snags in the drum from occurring, which can tear the fabric during the wash. If you’re washing any clothing that features drawstrings, tie them as well before tossing them in.
While smelling manly may be important to you, keeping your suits, tweed jackets, chinos and dress shirts lasting long is even more so. Unfortunately, you’re not the only one who appreciates high-quality fabrics. Moths and bugs do as well. Keep them away by making a few DIY lavender bags or sachets. The odour will keep insects away from your expensive attire while giving it a fresh, clean scent.
It seems like a simple concept, right? But how many times have you been just a little too tired after a long day of work to treat that mustard stain on your tie before sitting down and relaxing in front of the telly? Don’t let those stains set. Take care of them immediately. Your first step should be to wash it with the proper solvent, or, if nothing else is available, water. Don’t put the stain near direct heat, as this can speed up the bonding and cause the stain to set rapidly. Instead, use a lukewarm solvent or water and dab at the stain gently.
The type of solvent you use will depend on the fabric you’re dealing with.
The type of stain will also effect what treatment you use. Some common household items may help you remove the stain before it has a chance to set. Salt, for instance, is very effective at soaking up blood, red wine and deodorant stains. Vinegar is excellent for grass stains, coffee and tea. Hydrogen peroxide can be effective for removing grease stains, but it also removes colour, so should never be used on coloured fabrics.
Looking for a way to make your best clothing items last a little longer? Use these tips and hacks to add years to your wardrobe so you can spend your time and money finding new clothing items to add to your personal style.