We like to educate customers on how to get the most longevity and wear from your clothing purchases at our shop...or anywhere for that matter! We've included some tips on how to keep your outfits looking nicer for longer!
Tip 1: Wear it more than once!
Some people think that if you wear something, you need to wash it after one use. Not true. Unless you have been working up a sweat -- wear your articles of clothing more than once to keep them looking newer longer. Every time you wash fabric (no matter what it's made of), the fiber content will break down.
Tip 2: Get a steamer.
Making note of Tip #1 above, you can freshen up clothes by simply using a clothing steamer in between wears. Hot steam kills bacteria and odor. It is also great on items that require dry cleaning. Additionally, it will take out wrinkles easily and is less work than ironing. (Be careful NOT to use hot steam on any visible stains as this can set the stain into the fabric).
Tip 3: Wash on delicate.
Many clothing items today are made from Rayon, Cotton, Polyester and Spandex -- or some combination of these. As a result, many items are dry clean or hand-wash which can make doing laundry a pain and time-consuming. We do recommend reading the labels on your clothing and of course using your best judgement; however, we personally have washed many of our clothing items on the DELICATE cycle in COLD water with like colors. The delicate cycle of your washing machine has a shorter wash/spin cycle and does not agitate the fabric as much as a normal cycle. Therefore, it doesn't break down the fibers as quickly.
Tip 4: DO NOT dry in the dryer. Period.
Your dryer is evil. It is where all beautiful clothes go to die. The only fabric that doesn't seem to be affected as much by the dryer is polyester. Unfortunately, polyester is usually combined with other fiber contents to make clothes hang or function a certain way. And as soon as that is introduced -- that means your clothes will likely shrink or fade in the dryer. We recommend hang drying your clothes after you pull them from the delicate cycle or hand-wash. And then of course, use your steamer when you want to fluff them as it will not damage them the way the dryer will.
Tip 5: Wash similar fabrics together.
Denim jeans are heavy. Rayon tops are not. When you choose to wash them together, the weight of the jean material (especially when it's soaking wet), will compress on anything else in the machine. We recommend washing your denim and pants on a cycle separate from your beautiful tops. If you wash on a cold cycle -- you likely don't have to worry too much about colors running. But washing like-colors makes sense too.
Tip 6: If you must dry, use air dry or low heat.
There are times when we just need to use the dryer because we are trying to fluff something, take the wrinkles out or maybe we are trying to shrink a pair of denim jeans. Regardless, if you are drying something you know you are risking shrinkage, pilling and breaking down your clothes. So, if you must dry -- use air dry or the low heat feature and cut the length of time when using heat.
No one ever pulls us aside and explains how different fiber contents can affect your laundry duty. We will cover the top fiber contents here:
Rayon: This fiber is actually comprised of wood, believe it or not. And what happens to wood when it gets wet? It will shrink up. This is why most things that are made of rayon will tend to shrink after a wash and dry. Agitating rayon (in a spin cycle for example) will break those tiny wood fibers creating more shrinkage. So if you have something made of 100% Rayon and you want it to last awhile -- you may consider dry cleaning, steaming or if you want to try to wash it -- we recommend a hand-wash (or delicate cycle in cold water if you feel comfortable). ALWAYS drip dry and the steamer is your best friend with rayon. Many clothes are made from rayon because it is inexpensive and drapes very beautifully. It also reflects color nicely.
Cotton: A very breathable natural fiber... it is also prone to shrinking, color absorption from other articles of clothing and color fade. Bottom line: wash in cold and don't throw in the dryer. Period. Your cotton clothing will last much longer. Your iron and steamer will be successful in bringing back the life of your clothing after it has been washed and gets wrinkled.
Polyester: This is a synthetic fiber that is actually favorable for not pilling, holding color, creating amazing drape and washes up easily. It is not as breathable as cotton. Polyester does not like heat because the fibers can melt causing some shrinkage. So again -- cold or warm water (not hot), no dryer and when you use your iron or steamer -- use a cool setting or pull your steamer a little further away from the fabric. It is recommended to turn polyester garments inside out during the wash cycle. You can certainly use delicate -- but, if it's 100% polyester, you can likely use a regular wash cycle.
Spandex: This synthetic fiber is utilized in small amounts to create stretch in fabrics. It's an amazing invention that most women can agree we are in love with! Caring for spandex doesn't differ much from the other fibers. Cold water, delicate cycles (no wringing), hang dry -- and you will have an article of clothing that will last much longer.