I’ve added a few pieces here and there but when I launched my blog, I used the pieces that were already in my closet. Some of them I’ve had for 3 or more years. One of these pieces is this black sheath dress that I found on the sales rack at Express a few years ago. When I bought it, it was a few sizes too big, but because the fabric stretches, it was a great fit for my size 8 frame then and it is still a great fit for my current size 10, (now bordering on size 12) curves.
People generally don’t believe me when I tell them how old some of my pieces are. I guess part of the surprise is that the pieces are from discount chains and as we have been told, pieces purchased from discount chains are ”disposable.” I don’t believe in “disposable” clothing and this is why I think extra care should be taken with your clothes so that you don’t have to replace them regularly. Wearing, washing, drying and ironing can take its toll so here are 5 ways to keep your “disposable” clothing looking new.
7 ways to Keep Your Clothes Looking New
1) Maintain your weight. Clothes that fit properly will always look new.
2) Hand Wash. I am from Jamaica so hand washing large loads of clothes is not a foreign concept to me. As a matter of fact, when I was there last August, I was surprised to see the number of people who are still laundering their clothes this way. Hand washing is a more gentle approach than having your clothes agitated in a machine. There is less fraying of fabric, pilling, fading of colors, etc.
- I assume that everyone knows how to wash clothes by hand, but if you don’t, get a small basin and fill it with cool water. Add your clothing item into the water with laundry detergent. Grab the fabric in 2 small sections (2 fists, the left fist should be facing up the right fist should be facing down – depending on if you are a lefty or a righty, but the stronger arm should be facing down) and rub the fabric back and forth. Dip into water again and repeat the action until the soil/sweat/smell has been removed.
3) Use a gentle detergent like woolite. This is a must for certain fabrics and also for colored pieces to prevent pilling and fading.
4) Air Dry. My towels are the only things that I dry fully in the machine. The rest, I let them spin in the dryer for a few minutes and then hang them up to dry. [Side note: Try not to entertain company when you are doing this...]
5) Do Not Hang In the Sun. For those of you that have the luxury of outdoor lines, do not hang your colored pieces directly in the sun. We have heard of sun-bleached hair, but I bet you didn’t know that some cultures “bleach” their whites by hanging them in the sun.
6) Keep your clothes in good repair. A few black Friday’s ago, I went out and snagged a sewing machine. I’ve dusted it off a few times to fix hems and seam rips. I’m also a button popper and I usually fix those with a good old fashioned needle and thread.
7) Wash With Cold Water. Maybe perhaps the general thought is that hot water helps to break up soil/sweat and other things. That might be true, but hot water fades colors faster.
[Maybe in a future post, I'll explain how my grandmother used to boil her whites, our starch alternative, and how we managed with a cast iron that we heated up over an open flame.]
*This outfit was originally posted last July.*
I am wearing:
Dress – Express black sheath dress
Shoes - Nude pumps from DSW
Scarf- cheetah print scarf bought from a street vendor in New York City
Robert took these photos