So you have learned what kinds of clothes you need as well as the specific garments that make your now streamlined wardrobe go further. Now how to take care of it all?
I don’t buy clothes unless they are machine washable. Not only does dry cleaning cost too much money, but I find taking things to the cleaners and remembering to pick them up is too much of a hassle. When you do wash your clothes, don’t over stuff the washer. Turning the clothes inside out and washing them on as cool a temperature as possible keeps the color fresh longer. And although I hate hanging my clothes out to dry, doing so keeps them in much better shape than tossing them into the dryer.
Not all clothes are machine washable however- make sure to hand wash very delicate items. Truly delicate pieces of clothing are fewer and farther between than you might think however, most stuff can just be tossed into the washing machine in a zippered net bag. And have you heard the one about freezing new pantyhose overnight before you wear it the first time? It really does prevent runs, at least for the first few wearings.
Another frugal way to make your clothes last longer is to make sure that you fit into them. I read a comment recently which said that the commenter was not going to buy any new clothes, only make sure she fit into the ones she already had. I don’t know how practical this strategy is, but I do know that maintaining different wardrobes for different clothing styles takes up more space and costs more money than having one unique selection. This excellent post from Blissfully Domestic talks about how your clothes should fit.
It’s also important to know how to do basic alterations to your clothes. Whether that is hemming pants, replacing a button, or darkening a faded t shirt, a bit of tinkering with your garments can make them last much longer. I have at times gone even further, for example shortening the hem on a man’s dress shirt and adding darts to the front and back to make it into a woman’s dressy blouse. And there’s also the classic move of taking a dress and turning it into a top and skirt.
Taking good care of your clothes makes them last longer. The most frugal tip of all might be to change from your ‘good’ clothes into your ‘house’ clothes when you get home from work. I try to do this as much as possible, saving wear, tear and potential stains on my nice outfits for the grungy ones. If you don’t have to pay to replace your wardrobe, that’s the most frugal tip of all.
How do you take care of your clothes? What are your frugal clothing care tips?