Clothes can be pretty expensive, even if you're not buying designer brands. As a fashionista mother and wife I understand the need to keep our clothing budgets tight and right (budgetnista). If you have a family, your clothing costs are even higher! That's why it's so important to keep your clothes in good condition for as long as possible. But how do you do that? There are actually several inexpensive ways that you can help keep your clothes (or your kids' clothes) in good shape. Here are 10 Frugal Tips to Make Your Clothes Last Longer.
10 Frugal Tips to Make Your Clothes Last Longer
1. Wash Less
One of the easiest ways to make your clothes last longer is simply to wash them less! Washing puts a little stress on them every time they're in the washer. After all, they're being spun around at high speed, banging against the drum and agitator, scraping against other clothes. Because of this, you'll want to wear most things a couple times before washing them. Shirts and pajamas can be worn a couple days before being washed, and jeans can be worn for practically a full week.
2. Wash Jeans + Printed T-Shirts Inside Out
Another trick to keep your clothes in good conditions is to wash your jeans and printed T-shirts inside out. This is to prevent the colors from fading, or in the case of printed T-shirts, from chipping off the print.
3. Don't Iron
Ironing involves high heat being pressed into your clothes. As a result, it's one of the most damaging things you can do to your clothes. Even if you don't accidentally burn them, ironing them exposes the fibers to high heat, increasing the speed at which they break down. So if you want your clothes to last, try not to iron them. If you need to get your clothes free of wrinkles often, invest in a steamer.
4. Zip and Tie
Something else that may be causing your clothes to wear out quicker is if you throw them in the wash without zipping zippers and tying ties. Leaving those things undone allows the washer, dryer, and other clothes to possibly snag at your clothes. It's also what allows drawstrings to get pulled out of sweatpants (which can be very difficult to put back).
5. Avoid Plastic Covers
If you're in the habit of keeping your clothes in plastic dry cleaning covers you may be doing yourself a disservice. While it may be keeping the environment away from your clothes, it's also trapping any hot air and moisture in the bag against your clothes. If you hope to make your clothes last longer, a better choice is canvas garment bags, which are reusable and inexpensive.
6. Avoid Sun and Heat
The heat from your iron isn't the only heat you want to keep away from your clothes. Avoid storing your clothes right next to other sources of heat (fireplaces, electric heaters, etc.) and sunlight. A dark cool closet is where clothes have traditionally been stored, but nowadays open closets are becoming more common. If you have such a closet, consider getting a curtain that you can draw in front of your clothes, to keep the sun from baking them all day long.
7. Don't Use the Dryer
Your dryer is another potentially harmful source of heat. Believe it or not, a way to make your clothes last longer is to ditch the dryer and let your clothes air dry. Light colored clothes should be put on a clothesline or drying rack outside, while dark clothes should be dried on a rack inside (so the sun won't bleach them). An added benefit to this is that you'll save money on utilities!
8. Rotate Your Wardrobe
Another simple way to keep your clothes in good shape is to simply change up what you wear! While some people don't want to be seen wearing the same thing twice, most people have a few favorites that they wear all the time. Unfortunately, the more you wear something, the faster it'll get worn out. So to keep your favorites around for a while, make sure to wear other things as well.
9. Get Good Hangers
One of the more surprising ways to make your clothes last longer is to get better hangers. Cheap wire and plastic hangers may work to hang your clothes up, but they also dig into the fabric and stretch out the shoulders on your outfits. So rather than using the hangers you clothes came home in, buy some nice hangers to use.
10. Wash Right
You also shouldn't discount how the way you wash your clothes affects their durability. To keep your clothes in good condition, you'll want to stick with cold water (again, heat is bad) and use only a little detergent. A ton of detergent can do more harm than good, and usually isn't actually necessary in the first place.