There have been significant price increases in everything with apparel seeing one of the biggest rises. One could argue that consumers should simply stop buying clothes and save their money but we all know that’s easier said than done. Carefully selected pieces that are cared for and stored properly can last a long time, however, reducing the necessity for replacement. If you struggle with making your clothes last, consider these tips to promote wardrobe longevity:

1. Follow Care Instructions.

By following care instructions closely, clothes will last longer and you can enjoy them for years. If you have dry-clean only items, avoid professional cleanings with at-home kits and use mesh bags for delicates to prevent damage from the washer drum or other garments. If is says “Hand-wash only” then you should be to follow these instructions. I have ruined many items due to sheer laziness.

2. Wash inside out.

Avoid fading and reduce pilling by turning your clothes inside out when washing. This is especially important for denim and dark articles of clothing. Additionally, search your whites pile for colored clothing that may be hiding in there before loading it into the washer.

3. Invest in classic pieces.

Avoid spending too much on trendy clothes and invest in classic pieces instead. After all, buying $100 worth of cheap, trendy items is no deal compared to a $100 blazer that lasts a lifetime. To reduce the initial hit on your bank account, consider purchasing discount gift cards and store cards at places like Macys, Bloomingdales and Nordstroms .

4. Hang vs. fold.

Crumpling your clothes on the floor every night requires more turns in the washing machine and leads to faster wear-out. Hang up your clothes the minute you remove them to increase longevity. If space is an issue, double up by placing two blouses or two pairs of pants on one hanger. For knitwear like sweaters, it’s best to keep those folded in a drawer or shelf since a hanger can damage the stitching.

5. Don’t replace, repair.

We all have that favorite pair of shoes we can’t stop wearing and can’t imagine giving up. I wore down one such pair of boots and begin aggressively looking for another similar replacement pair. Upon finding nothing that could compare, it occurred to me I could just get them re-heeled. For a few bucks my faves were as good as new.

6. Pay attention to shoe care.

Water and dirt can damage shoes over time, especially those made of suede and leather. Apply a protector spray after each wear, and use a wire suede brush to remove dirt and scuff marks. Keep leather shoes looking new with a touch of polish. Place tissue paper in the toes of heels and flats to maintain their shape, and make boot shapers out of cardboard boxes to keep boots from creasing.

Clutchettes, what tips do you follow to hold on to your clothes longer?

-Nikia Pope

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