Owning gorgeous clothing by your favorite designer label comes at a cost. Not only are they very expensive, but they do require more upkeep and care than your regular store bought clothing. When investing a good chunk of money on curating a designer wardrobe, you have to make sure you take the proper measures to keep it looking good.
Now, you must think that only women own and care for beautiful clothing and precious watches. That is not so, but just so the guys don’t feel left out, I’ll compare your designer wardrobe to a luxury vehicle. You can have the nicest car on the block, but if it’s dirty and neglected, it will look just like an old beat up regular car that nobody will even glance at.
The positive thing about designer clothing, where it’s from up and coming brands like Nili Lotan, Minju Jim or Brandon Blackwood, or iconic labels such as Gucci, Saint Laurent or Chanel, is not only that they are one of a kind and many people don’t own the same piece, but they are made from premium materials that, if cared for properly, will last you for years to come.
They are a true investment and you should learn to treat them with the care they deserve. Because even the best fabrics in the world will deteriorate over time if they are neglected.
Some of you might already know or follow some of those tips already, but if you’re new to the luxe game, this article might actually come in handy for you, so read on!
- 15. Read and Follow the Care Label
- 14. Hand-Wash Delicates
- 13. Professionally Clean Delicate Materials
- 12. Invest in a Good Quality Stiff Brush
- 11. Get a Good Steamer
- 10. Remove Stains Immediately
- 9. Use Natural Alternatives for Odor Protection
- 8. Fold Knits and Delicates
- 7. Hang Your Garments After Every Use
- 6. Invest in Right Storage Materials
- 5. Invest in Quality Hangers
- 4. Don’t Mix Worn Clothes With Clean Ones
- 3. Closet Space
- 2. Elevate Your Shoes and Bags
- 1. Clutter Is Not Your Friend
15. Read and Follow the Care Label
This should be a no-brainer, but I know a lot of people who disregard this simple practice. The label is put there for a reason, and you should follow the instructions it gives if you don’t want to ruin your garments. The recommendations are not there to annoy you! Follow the guide not only for what to do, but especially for what not to do.
An example is never, under any circumstance, wash wool or silk fabrics in the washing machine. That’s literally throwing money down the drain, because there’s no coming back from that, take my word for it.
14. Hand-Wash Delicates
Learning this skill might seem old-fashioned and time consuming, but it works. Some items need the delicate touch of a hand-wash, and usually at a lower temperature in order to keep looking new. Or you can soak them in warmish water for a while or even overnight with a touch of gentle soap, that way it takes no time at all to rinse.
They practically wash themselves. If you feel like washing your own garments by hand is not for you, then simply do not buy them. They have many alternatives on the market, so don’t waste your money on them if you’re not planning to put in the work.
13. Professionally Clean Delicate Materials
This category includes anything from silk and wool, to sequins, embroideries, lace, or beaded garments. Some of those designer pieces are true works of art, and they require professional care.
Unless you’re equipped to care for those special garments from your home I strongly suggest you leave it to those who have the right tools and materials, not to mention patience, to properly clean those items. You don’t want to tackle doing the job yourself if you have no clue how to go about it.
12. Invest in a Good Quality Stiff Brush
For expensive jackets and blazers you need to invest into a stiff goat or horse hair cleaning brush. What those brushes do is not only do they remove lint, but they also get rid of any dust or actual dirt you might get on your outer garments in winter.
In general, jackets are not washed regularly, so dusting them with a brush after every use will keep them looking new longer. It is a very inexpensive tool that is worth investing in so your clothes will remain in good condition for a long period of time.
11. Get a Good Steamer
Another investment, this one a little pricier, but definitely worth it is a good quality steamer. Especially for those of you who don’t like to iron clothes or run to the dry cleaner on a regular basis, it will save you a lot of money in the long run. Make sure you get a model that offers different settings for different types of materials, and you’re good to go.
A lot of delicates require steam cleaning because ironing ruins the fine threads of those expensive fabrics. You can use your steamer on the lowest setting for embroideries, sequins or beaded items. This tool should become your new best friend, and your clothes will love it.
10. Remove Stains Immediately
Life happens and you will get the eventual stain on your most beloved clothing. Unless you’re never planning to wear them around food or drink, then you should learn how to deal with stains. You don’t want to have to say goodbye to a favorite piece that is covered in red wine because you didn’t know what to do!
There are many specific guides you should follow depending on the type of stain and fabric of the item that needs your immediate attention. But one golden rule is that no matter where you are, try to get some water on the stain immediately so it doesn’t set in.
9. Use Natural Alternatives for Odor Protection
Remember when your grandparents used mothballs in their closets? Gosh, the smell was horrendous and it really didn’t help make clothes smell better at all. Au contraire! At least now there are many options you can use, such as lavender sachets, cedar wood chips, or any other essential oil based fragrant sachets.
They smell pleasant without being overwhelming. Just make sure they don’t actually touch your clothes, because the oils can actually stain them.
8. Fold Knits and Delicates
Knits and delicates need special care. Before you put them away, make sure you first air them out, preferably outside if you can, for at least a couple of hours or overnight. If not, those wool or silk fabrics will attract bacteria and that causes damage to the garments. And trust me, you want to avoid that! Once they’ve been aired out, fold them using whichever method you’re comfortable with.
They have many how-to videos on how to fold knitwear and delicates, just find your favorite and try it out. The reason it’s best to fold wool sweaters and other similar items is so they don’t stretch out by hanging them. And don’t overfill your drawers!
7. Hang Your Garments After Every Use
I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but unfortunately it’s not innate for some people. After you’ve worn an item, please don’t throw it in a corner, on some chair, or worse yet, on the floor. If you leave said items bunched up for long periods of time, the moisture from your sweat will ruin them if it becomes a habit.
Take the extra two seconds and hang it up on its rightful hanger. It will save unnecessary frumples and creases, and it will keep its shape for a lot longer. After all, if you’re spending so much on designer labels is because you care about your appearance, right?
6. Invest in Right Storage Materials
Another important factor to consider when looking to save your expensive clothes from getting worn out too quickly is to invest in good quality storage materials. And we’re talking about garment bags or acid-free tissue paper for your most precious delicates. Do not use the dry-cleaning bags they come in after that trip to the cleaners.
They trap in all types of artificial gasses that cause discoloration overtime. Instead, invest in those breathable fabrics such as muslin to keep your clothes from getting dusty. Your most fancy lingerie should be wrapped in acid-free tissue, not those standard colourful party bag tissues that will cause acidity and might even rub off on your them.
5. Invest in Quality Hangers
This is a no-brainer, but it needs to be said. Ditch those wire hangers, they serve no purpose in your closet. We’re not in the 1980s, and they do absolutely nothing but ruin your clothes. You can invest into monochromatic velvet hangers, silk or wood ones, if that’s your preference. They even have sturdy plastic ones as well that can work, but it really just comes down to personal preference.
Whichever ones you choose to go with, please, we beg you, get them in the same color, or at least the same color palette. Your clothes will keep their appearance and shape, and your closet will also look neat and tidy.
4. Don’t Mix Worn Clothes With Clean Ones
Many pieces of clothing do not need to be washed after every use, but fancy clothes even more so. It’s unlikely that you will use them for working in the yard or exercising, so the chance of them getting actual dirt on them is slim. Normal body odor can get aired out, in open fresh air preferably.
Even if you don’t have a backyard or balcony, you can hang them in front of an open window for a couple of hours after each wear. And when you’re ready to put them away, do not store them right next to freshly laundered clothes. The perfumes that linger on worn clothing can attract bugs, so keep that in mind when planning your storing options.
3. Closet Space
Location, location, location is just as important when choosing your closet. We’re not talking about moving houses here. But do not store clothes, especially seasonal items that you’re not using yearlong in attics or stuffy basements where moisture and dampness will ruin your beautiful garments. Dark, dry, and airy spaces work best.
The concept of an open closet, in a separate room if you have enough space in your house, is best. If not, those mobile clothing racks can work too. Or if you have a traditional closed door closet, try getting a fan on the ceiling to let air circulate, or at least open the door regularly throughout the day. Whatever you can do to give them some air, do it. You’ll be thankful later.
2. Elevate Your Shoes and Bags
Technically speaking, your designer shoes and tote bags are not clothing, but they are accessories to complement your well-chosen wardrobe. They also need to be stored properly if you want them looking great for years to come. They are true statement pieces that tie your wardrobe together and they do deserve some TLC as well.
We used to think shoes can be stored on floors, but moisture gets locked in flooring and that creates mold and mildew, which you do not want around your good quality shoes. Instead, they can be stored in a bespoke shoe organizer if you have the space, or wrap them up in cloth dust bags. Do not use plastic boxes or bins. They might give you a uniform look, but they create dampness as well.
Cedar shoe trees will keep excess moisture away from your shoes and keep odors away. And your bags can be displayed or stored upright and stuffed with tissue paper so they keep their shape.
1. Clutter Is Not Your Friend
Many people in the last decade or so have turned to the capsule wardrobe for many reasons. One of them is that we always tend to wear only our favorite pieces over and over. Another reason is also that great quality clothing is expensive and in order to keep it looking brand new it requires room to breathe.
That is why it’s better to own a few, well chosen pieces that you can mix and match, and you can find the room to store them without creating clutter. Organize them in separate sections and preferably without them touching each other. Less is really more. Always opt for quality over quantity.
It takes a lot of patience if you want to acquire your dream wardrobe. Well chosen, curated pieces that will make you look and feel your best take years to find, so it’s imperative you take those suggestions under consideration if you want to protect your investment. If you find other tips, please share them with us.