26 August 2017

Wardrobe Maintenance: Can I Wash It?

What's in a Tag ?  

A lot. 

I have several clients that equate dry cleaning to the expense or perceived value of a garment. $250 jeans? Dry clean. Yoga pants from Target? Wash on hot*. Often, a great item will not be considered for purchase because of the "Dry Clean Only" label!

Have you ever ruined something in the washing machine?  It’s the absolute worst. Based on empirical and professional evidence, I’ve compiled a list of how to care for every item of clothing you are destined to get dirty. 

1.Bras, Lace Panties, Hosiery, and Support Wear (i.e. Spanx) 
 If at all humanly possible, hand washing is always best. The second-best option is to wash in a lingerie bag in cold water in the washer. Never, ever place in the dryer.  Lay flat to dry. 

2. Your Expensive Jeans
Inside out in cold water in the washer. It's suggested to not use detergent and instead use white vinegar. Why? Most dark denim has a coating to preserve the color; that's why it bleeds.  Do not place in dryer. Instead, lay flat to dry on a (dark) towel or hang on a skirt hanger.  DO NOT DRY CLEAN. 

3. Anything Silk
 Dry clean. Silk is notorious for shrinkage and rips when repeatedly exposed to heat.

4. Pretty White Blouses
In washer on cold. Hang to dry. Professionally press. Cotton blouses are known for turning yellow. It's from constant unnecessary dry-cleaning.

5.  Pants and Dresses with a lining (Work Clothes)
Dry clean. Most items are now lined in acetate. Over time, the lining will rip if care is not preserved. 

6. Cashmere and Wool
Dry-clean. It's a sad day when cashmere shrinks. A hand wash in seriously cold water works, too. If this is your route, be sure to lay flat to dry without stretching.

A few years ago, I compiled a video series on wardrobe maintenance including storage techniques. Check it Out! 

 * Wash you yoga pants and workout gear in cold water. Use a cap full of vinegar to get rid of the workout funk. Dry on the coolest setting available. 

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