Whether you realize it or not, the people around you tend to create either a positive or negative first impression of you based solely on how you look. This extends to the clothes that you wear. Even though you may not realize it, you are most likely guilty of assuming certain things about others based on their appearances. For instance, it’s understandable why some people would think that a man in a crisp business suit is more successful in terms of their career compared to a man wearing a shirt and jeans.
Put simply: your clothes matter. That is why you wouldn’t dare attend a business meeting wearing a faded dress over a pair of tights with runs and tears, right? If you can’t seem to put together a good outfit based on whatever’s in your wardrobe, you should probably shop for the best corporate attire and buy more tights. With these, you can put together ensembles that make you look more respectable and competent in front of your peers.
Given the impact that your choice of clothing can have on people’s perceptions of you, it makes good sense to keep your clothes in good condition for as long as possible. This is especially true for the high-end items you wear for work and socials. If you’re looking for ways to better care for your beloved clothes, here are several tips that you may want to consider:
Take the Time to Sort and Prep Your Laundry
Are you used to sorting the laundry by color alone? What you may not know is that further sorting is needed to extend the life of your clothes. What do you think will happen to your lacy blouses and dresses if you carelessly throw them into the washer together with your heavy jeans? Simply put: they won’t look as good once they come out of the wash.
That is why in addition to sorting by color, make it a habit to organize your laundry according to fabric type, weight, and washing requirements as indicated on each item’s care label. After all, the clothes manufacturers added these tags so that you have the information you need to keep your garments in great condition. By following these instructions and sorting accordingly, you can ensure that your clothing articles will stay clean and undamaged.
Opt for the Gentlest Cycle and Lowest Water Temperature
Unbeknownst to some, the tumbling and spinning action of your washing machine can ruin your garments’ fabric and shape. To minimize the damage, you should use the gentlest cycle option so that your clothes won’t end up being stretched out, ripped, or torn.
You may also want to put your work attire, delicate items, and other essential outfits into a mesh bag before placing everything into the washer. This can keep your garments from getting thrown around as much. You can also try washing your clothes using the coolest temperature possible. Both warm and hot water can break down the fibers of your clothes’ fabric, causing shrinking, stretching, and fading.
Skip the Dryer
While it is more convenient to machine-dry your clothes, doing so can cause them to wear out more quickly. This is because the heat from the dryer can damage the quality and integrity of the fabric over time. With this in mind, it’s best to skip using your machine’s spin cycle or dryer function. Instead, take the time to air-dry your damp clothes to prolong their life.
If possible, hang your white garments out under the sun, as natural sunlight can help stains fade more quickly. For this reason, however, ensure that your colored pieces are hung up indoors and away from sunlight so as to prevent unwanted fading.
Allow Your Wardrobe to Breathe
Trying to fit all of your clothes inside of a small closet will create wrinkles in them, cause them to emit an unpleasant odor, and make them lose their shape. To prevent all of these from occurring, give your garments a bit of space to breathe. Declutter your wardrobe and see what pieces you can donate to charity or which ones you can store differently to create more room in your closet.
For instance, if your bulky sweaters take up most of the closet space, you can move them to their own drawers or shelves. Just make sure to fold them neatly so that they maintain their form. If closet space is still a problem, you may want to consider other storage options like a standalone armoire or a bigger wardrobe.
Invest in Good Hangers
Clothes hangers are not just for storing your nicer garments neatly and orderly. They are also helpful in preserving the shape of your outfits so that they continue looking good as new—if you use the right type, that is.
Perhaps you are still using wire hangers because they are readily available and cheap. If so, you may want to throw them out right away. You may not realize it, but wire hangers can ruin the form of your garments and cause kinks in the fabric. If they begin to rust, they can also stain and spoil your clothes.
With that said, protect your clothes by investing in high-quality wooden or velvet padded hangers. These are sturdier than wire hangers and are designed to keep each outfit’s shape intact. It’s no wonder why fashion designers and high-end clothing stores use them to hang their pieces up for display.
Repel Clothes Moths with Lavender
Clothes moths can wreak havoc on your wardrobe. They love natural fibers like cashmere, silk, and fur, which means they will most likely ruin your high-end and most expensive items when given a chance to thrive.
Fortunately, you can keep these moths at bay by placing sachets filled with dried lavender in your closets and drawers. This is because the scent of lavender is highly effective at repelling these pests. Instead of dried lavender, you can also use cotton balls dipped in lavender oil. Just make sure to keep the sachets from touching your clothes so that the oil won’t seep into the fabric. Remember to change the sachets immediately once the sachets have lost their scent.
Finish Your Hair and Makeup Before Dressing Up
Cosmetics, hair sprays, and perfumes are packed with chemicals that can fade, stain, or discolor your garments. That said, dressing up before applying your makeup and doing your hair may not be the best idea. No matter how careful you are, mishaps can happen while getting glammed up. Your lipstick may fall onto your outfit, or your mascara wand may accidentally hit your pristine white top. Even your hairspray contains alcohol that can cause serious damage to your beloved clothes.
To keep your clothes pristine, you can put on a robe before starting on your makeup. Once you complete your beauty regimen, you can then put on your outfit for the day.
What you wear is a reflection of who you are. As such, you should take extra effort to care for your clothes so that they can remain in good condition even with repeated use. By paying attention to the little things and being extra careful with how you wash, handle, and store your clothes, you will always have a decent outfit available to boost your confidence and create an excellent first impression.