The genius hacks to make your clothes last longer

Experts swear by these clothing hacks. Photo / Getty Images
Experts swear by these clothing hacks. Photo / Getty Images

When you've invested more of your paycheck than you should have in something for your wardrobe or you have a favourite piece you can't live without, you want your clothes to last.

Now experts have revealed their top hacks to make your clothing last longer, such as putting coffee in the wash to revive faded material.

And if you want your shoes to stand the test of time, storing them in a pillowcase will keep them in good condition.

1. Don't wash clothes too often

"Many people operate under the misconception that they need to wash clothes after every wear - this is completely wrong!" says Theresa Pope Co-Founder of Dandi Patch, which absorbs armpit sweat to protect clothing.

"Obviously some items such as underwear and your gym kit will need to be washed every time but most clothes, such as jeans, jumpers and dresses don't, provided that you haven't split anything on them of course."

2. Use clear nail varnish on buttons

"Buttons falling off or becoming loose is a common problem," Theresa said. "An easy quick fix here to use clear nail polish to coat the button and ensure everything stays where it should!

3. Know when to hang

"Having a good storage strategy can also hugely improve the longevity of clothes," Theresa explained.

"For example, knitwear lasts longer if it is neatly folded rather than hung onto clothes hangers and then shirts and suits will be in better condition if hung on natural wood hangers.

"Wood hangers are better than plastic here because they maintain the garments shape, relax creases and also draw harmful moisture away too."

4. Use a steamer

Using an iron to remove the creases from your clothes is also a huge factor in how long your clothes will last.

"The hot iron will take its toll over time, wearing fabric thin or even creating an unpleasant sheen where the fabric has been damaged," Theresa said.

"To be kinder to your clothes and also remove the unwanted creases it's much better to steam them, either by using a small home steamer or even by taking your clothes into the bathroom while taking a hot shower to make use of the resulting steam!

5. Refresh colours

"If you do find that you have faded dark coloured clothes and you want an easy refresh option, try adding strong coffee or tea to your rinse water and your clothing should come out good as new," Theresa advised.

6. Avoid tumble drying

Air drying is always best as it's much easier on your clothes and will also save energy, delicate items especially should be kept out of the tumble dryer. Another drying tip is to try to hang white/ light coloured clothes outside as the sunshine will help to keep them bright whereas for darker coloured clothes, hang them inside to prevent fading.

7. Don't put shoes in the wardrobe

"Moist leather can easily be stretched out of shape when worn, so it's very important to keep the leather dry, but not too dry," Anders Ojgaard, Managing Director of Waremakers luxury leather retailer explained.

This means that you should not leave your leather shoes right next to your front door, and certainly not in a damp basement or attic.

Closets aren't great either. Store your leather shoes in a dry and ventilated place away from humidity - but also away from direct sunlight. Exposure to sunlight can dry the leather out and make it crack.

8. Use a pillowcase

If your shoes came with a dust bag to protect them, make sure you use it.

This is an extra you'll usually only get with a more expensive pair, but if you don't have one a pillow case will work just as well.

9. Apply leather protector

"Leather is an organic material, so think of it as your own skin," Anders said. "Being drenched after an afternoon stroll in the woods doesn't feel very nice. Hands dried out by a day in the sand and sun is quite unpleasant too.

" So treat the leather so it doesn't absorb too much water - while keeping it conditioned. Using a good leather protector, like a polish with beeswax in it, will do both."

10. Beware of safety pins

Susie Nelson of the vintage fashion brand Modes And More warns to look out for safety pins that are often left in at the dry cleaners and forgotten.

"Make sure all safety pins are removed, so they fabrics don't get tarnished if they go rusty," she said.

11. Invest in a shoe tree

"A shoe tree will obviously help the shoe keep its shape, but just as importantly, a good shoe tree - like one made out of cedar wood - will absorb moisture from the inside," Anders revealed.

"Keeping the inside of the shoe dry will prolong the life of the shoe and help make sure it isn't stretched out of shape when worn. It's virtually impossible to make stretched shoes fit snugly again, so maintaining their shape is crucial if you plan on wearing them a year - or 10 years - from now.


Susie Nelson of the vintage fashion brand Modes And More shares her top tips for prolonging the lifespan of delicate pieces.

1. Always check for moths in vintage clothes. Placing woollens and fur garments in the deep freeze will get rid of these pests.

2. Don't expose skin or leather garments or accessories to sunlight.

3. Don't use wire hangers as they will damage the fabric and cause loss of shape.

4. Don't hang vintage pieces at all from the 1920s/30s because you would damage the bias and beadwork.

5. Wrap garments in acid free tissue paper where possible and stuff shoes and handbags to make sure that they don't lose their shape.

6. When hanging in wardrobes, make sure there is sufficient space between garments.

- Daily Mail

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