close-up of various clothing pieces hanged inside of a wardrobe
Photo: Karolina Ostrzolek

Getting the most from your clothing is beneficial for all kinds of reasons. First of all, it helps reduce your expenses, which is a great financial advantage in times of crisis. Taking good care of your clothes is also good for the environment because every piece of clothing you buy leaves an environmental footprint. And, lastly, keeping hold of your favorite clothes allows you to keep wearing clothes that have sentimental value for you. 

Taking every aspect into consideration, what strategies might we employ in our day-to-day life to make our favorite clothes last longer? The following practical tips will help you to get the maximum out of your wardrobe, save our planet and economize your budget. 

• Invest in quality

It’s better to spend big on a single item that you know is going to last for years, rather than buying cheaply and repeatedly. Of course, just because you’re spending a lot doesn’t mean that you’re getting quality, but experienced fashionistas should be able to tell at a glance whether a given item is going to last. Check the quality of the seams, the pattern-matching, and the material itself. Don’t be afraid to tug on things to see whether they’re about to come apart. Just don’t tug too hard.

• Pay attention to the labels

Manufacturers will include instructions on how to wash their apparel, on the label that’s on the inside. The little symbols might not be self-explanatory, so it’s worth learning what they all mean. If you struggle to remember, then you might keep a cheat sheet pinned to the wall, wherever you do your laundry.

close-up shot of a clothes care label

• Store Correctly

Don’t just shove your clothes in a couple of drawers, make sure you hang coats and dresses and fold everything else neatly. You could even invest in a walk-in wardrobe to keep all of your clothes neat and tidy. Not everyone knows how to fold and store their favorite clothes properly.

Treat yourself to a refresher course, there are tonnes of resources online to help you learn. If you’re going to be storing things for the long term, then you might vacuum-seal them. On the other hand, simple measures like putting lavender or cedarwood in your drawers and wardrobes will keep moths at bay.

• Clean Stains Immediately 

If you notice a food or drink stain on your clothes, wash it as soon as possible. The longer a stain is left, the harder it can be to remove. If not treated immediately, stains can become permanent. If you leave a stain on your clothes, it can also develop an unpleasant odor, especially if the stain came from a strong-smelling food or drink. The only solution you have then is to throw away your favorite piece.

women clothing are hadged carefully on a clothing hangers
Photo: Ron Lach

• Switch to Cold Water

Using cold water while washing your clothes is beneficial for many reasons. First and foremost, washing machines use a lot of energy to heat water. By using cold water, you can reduce the energy consumption of your washing machine and help to decrease your carbon footprint. Cold water washing can also help to reduce the number of greenhouse gases emitted by power plants.

Cold water can also be more gentle on certain types of fabrics. Delicate fabrics, such as silk or wool, may be more prone to shrinking in hot water. A gentle washing cycle also makes clothes last longer. 

• Wash Them Less Frequently

How often do you wash your clothes? Frequent washing can cause fabrics to break down and wear out more quickly, particularly if the clothes are washed in hot water or dried on high heat. By washing your clothes less frequently, you extend the lifespan of your favorite fashion finds. It is good for the environment: saves water and energy.

• Hand Wash When Possible

Why load a washing machine, when you can hand wash your clothes? Yes, hand washing is time-consuming. On the other hand, hand-washing uses less water and energy. It allows you to be more gentle with your clothes, which can help extend their lifespan. This can reduce the amount of clothing that ends up in landfills.

clean clothes are air drying in a yard
Photo: Karolina Grabowska

• Air Dry Your Clothes

Clothes dryers can be hard on clothes, causing them to shrink, fade, and wear out faster. Air-drying clothes allows them to dry gently, which makes your favorite clothes last longer. You can hang them out to dry or lay them horizontally. 

• Alter the Fit

If you have clothes that are too big or too small, or you are simply bored with the cut, you can alter them to fit better. This can help you get more wear out of them and reduce the need to buy new clothes. Do it yourself as a hobby, or ask for professional tailoring help. After a few altering touches, you'll fall in love with your new old wardrobe once again.

• Fix it Yourself

Problems and little issues tend to hoard. The same rule applies to your favorite clothing pieces. The longer you wear them, the more holes and tears appear. Repair and mend your clothes as soon as possible to help extend their lifespan. Repairing your clothes instead of throwing them away is good for the environment and your wallet.

Final Thoughts

Let's wrap up today's guide by mentioning that there are so many simple and practical ways to make your clothes last longer. I mentioned only the most popular of them. By following these simple tips you will not only help your clothes last longer, but also save money, and reduce your impact on the environment. In addition, you can always upcycle your old clothes, and keep using them for as long as possible.

Lots of love,