Clothing Care Tips for the Busy and Stylish

by Jaime on September 28, 2011

Nobody ever said you had it easy… between work, family and maybe thinking about eating something other than leftover Taco Bell (oh, that’s only me?), it’s not easy to find time to take care of yourself.

But your clothes? If you ask me, a great pair of jeans goes a long way to making you feel better about how you look and feel. When you find the perfect pair for your figure, you want to make them last as long as you possibly can. Here are three easy tips for denim care that won’t stress you out OR break the bank.

Tip #1: Wash before you wear. I’m a big proponent of not washing your jeans, but there are a couple of main reasons you need to give them a good wash (on Cold/Cold, please!) before you wear them. First, many brands use chemicals and silicone to treat their denim. While it may not irritate your skin, it’s still best to not risk getting them into your system (and if you do have sensitive skin, you don’t want to be uncomfortable all day long). Also, if you went to a boutique to try on those new 7 For All Mankind jeans, odds are you’re not the first person in them. They’re yours now… start the love affair with a clean slate. Finally, washing an untreated or dark indigo helps remove the excess dye. If you don’t do that, you’ll end up turning everything from your shirt to your shoes – and even your skin – blue. And I don’t think you want to be Smurfette.

Tip #2: Find a great tailor. One of the obvious signs of someone who doesn’t know how to care for their jeans is a dragging hem. This is terrible for your denim (and not to mention gross… you don’t know what you’re dragging those poor things in!) and can lead to fraying, shredding and an altogether sloppy look. Get your jeans hemmed for either flats or heels (bring both when you go if you’re not sure which you’ll want!) from someone who has experience with premium denim. A good tailor is an artist, and while you may have to pay more for exactly what you want (like keeping your original hem), you get what you pay for. Also remember to factor in the cost of alterations when purchasing – it can cost anywhere from $10-$50, depending on where you live and what you need done. (PS – know a good tailor in your area? Leave a comment for other readers. It’s the stylish thing to do!)

Tip #3: Please, PLEASE keep your jeans out of the dryer! This one has been coming up more and more lately. I’ve said it before – it’s how to have longer lasting jeans! – and I’ve heard every excuse in the book. I do not care if your jeans “feel starchy,” or “they’ve stretched out too much” because my mind is made up and this rule is set in stone: Premium Denim does NOT go in the dryer. This is especially true for stretchy denim; it’s likely that extra stretch in your skinny jeans is from Spandex that was added to your cotton. While this blend is great for giving you an amazing backside, it does not like large doses of dry heat. Do it enough and you’ll “blow out” the spandex (giving you a pair of jeans that are saggy in all the wrong places). It’s just like putting that new All-Clad non-stick skillet into the dishwasher; sure, you won’t see the effects after the first wash, but soon you’ll lose that amazing nonstick coating.

What are your clever tips for keeping your clothing – and especially your denim – clean?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula September 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I have the best tailor in Columbia, Mo at French Laundry. He ‘gets’ designer denim. Not only does he prefer to lift hems in order to keep the original – he will also, when taking in the waist of denim, reattach all the original tags, etc.

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Klara September 30, 2011 at 10:11 am

i want to wear my pair of jeans till the end of the world:) when i find the perfect one, i always buy two pairs of them. And i take care of them, of course. As you wrote, they must not be dried in the dryer. I also wash them always inside out.
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