Flattering color? Check. Figure-complimenting shape? Check. Mix-and-match worthiness? Check. You’ve made some great wardrobe investments — congratulations! Now, how will you assure that they last their available lifespan?
It’s not just about collecting garments, it’s about converting them into outfits and putting them up against the test of time. Use spring closet-changeover time as an opportunity to give your clothing the care it deserves. Here are some starter steps to test your wardrobe-maintenance savvy. See what you might add to your wardrobe-care repertoire, and feel free to chime in with your own suggestions.
- As you remove cold-weather garments from your closet for spring and summer, launder or send them off for dry-cleaning before seasonal stowing. There are often stains and spills not apparent to the naked eye. As they are allowed to “set” over time, they not only become visible, but permanent.
- Before packing up any items for storage, give them the one-year test. If you didn’t wear them at all this past season, what’s the likelihood you’ll see value in them next year? Eliminate the clutter before you even create it by shipping these things out for donation or resale.
- Conduct review and repair of all garments. If an item is worth storing for next year, it’s worth tending. Replace buttons, repair falling hems, and take a clothes shaver to pilled knits so they’re wear-ready when you retrieve them next fall.
- Give your warm-weather clothes the same one-year test that you put to your cold-weather wardrobe. As you bring them out from winter storage, review the pieces that you know had no daily wear activity the last time they hung front-and-center in your closet. Keep your daily closet contents welcoming by removing the “dead weight.” You deserve to be greeted by closet contents that you love, find attractive, and feel comfortable in.
- Prepare garments for wear in advance to save a.m. dressing time (and stress!). Press with an iron or use a garment steamer for those items you launder at home. For gentle care to your garments, and ease of use, consider a personal garment steamer. This one, by Jiffy, is the version I keep handy in my closet. Jiffy is the brand professional dry cleaners use. If you order from them, use my code IMAGE225 for free shipping on your order.
- Let your garments breathe. Often when I visit a client’s closet, I’ll find many garments “well protected” in their plastic dry cleaners bags. As an image coach, I find that most people don’t realize that this can damage fragile fabrics as cleaning chemicals are allowed to remain trapped within the plastic. Many dry cleaners use paper shoulder covers before covering garments with plastic. Leave these on as dust protectors, and dispose of the plastic covering.
Just a bit of upkeep now lends your wardrobe a more useful life over time. Why not stretch your clothing dollars and decide for yourself when you’re ready to retire a garment.
What are your wardrobe preservation tactics?
Patty Buccellato, is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups. Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.
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