The high street is giving high end fashion a good run for its money nowadays and I, for one, couldn’t be happier about it. In an age where every other bloggers is totting a Fendi handbag paired with Dior booties, it's nice to know that us normal-waged folk can still look chic without breaking the bank. One tell-tale sign, however, of cut price 'couture' is crumpled clothing that looks like it's seen one too many wash cycles. Here are my top tips on how to keep your high street haul looking more Balmain than bargain bin.
Choose Wisely: Always my number one tip in these posts but pick poorly and there'll be no saving your sale steals from looking sorry. Heavier fabrics often look more expensive because wrinkles and creases tend to drop out of them as they dry. When you have the choice, avoid buying items that will wrinkle easily. Of course some things like a slinky silk-look tank top need to be thin and that's fine but for common items like collared shirts, t-shirts and leggings opt for thicker materials that will withstand multiple washes without wearing through. I talked more about how to choose fabrics well in this post so do read if you need a refresh.
Follow the Care Label: This may seem like an obvious one but it's amazing how often we ignore the care labels of clothes without even realising it. Be sure to wash them at the correct temperature and to only wash with like colours only. This may mean waiting an extra week or two until there are enough clothes for one wash (especially in you live in a household of two people like me) but it will be worth it when your clothes last twice as long.
Rotate Your Wardrobe: When you think about it, the reason that expensive, dry clean only clothes last so long is not just that they're manufactured better but they are also typically worn and washed a lot less than your average high street item. Most people dry clean an item a few times a year right? Once a month at most. How many times do you wash your favourite item in a year? Probably close to one hundred. If you can, make the effort to give your clothes a rest by rotating your pieces in and out of your wardrobe so that they receive less wear over time. Remember those jeans you have but never really wear? Time to dust them off and swap them for your old faves a little more often. After all, you didn't buy them to sit in your wardrobe untouched.
Dry Well, Store Well: Clothes are like hair in that how they dry is how they lay. If you dry something scrunched up on your washing line it's going to stay like that once you take it off. Therefore, avoid tumble drying as the extremes in temperatures and the scrunching puts a lot of unnecessary wear on fabrics wearing it out faster. Spread clothes out on an air dryer (or washing line if you should be so lucky) to avoid creases. Hang jackets and blazers on wide jacket hangers to dry so that the shoulders reshape as they dry. Always dry heavy items like knits flat so that the weight of the water doesn't pull down on the fabric and stretch it out and store them folded rather than on hangers for the same reason. Keep dark jeans where they won't touch and discolour lighter items.
To Steam is the Dream: I like to steam my clothes because a) I'm a lazy b*tch and it means I don't have to get out the ironing board and b) I think it's a lot less harsh on my clothes. You don't need a professional steamer to steam your clothes, just and iron with a steam function. Place the clothing on a hanger and pressing the steam button run the iron up and down the clothes about 2 cm away, no actual contact, so that the steam goes through the item. Leave the clothes hung until they no longer feel damp and any creases have dropped out of the fabric. When I'm in a pinch for time I'll hang an item in my bathroom while I shower so that the shower steam does the work for me. Note, this doesn't work for really lightweight items like silk as they're not heavy enough for gravity to pull the wrinkles out.
Treat It Like Couture: My number one tip (besides choosing well) is to treat your clothes as if they were expensive to be dry clean only. If you get into your head that your clothes are expensive, even when they're not, then you'll subconsciously treat them with more care and they will last longer. You'll eventually stop of the little habits we have like leaving items on the floor at the end of a long night or stretching clothes to get them on and over time they'll retain their shape and quality and will look expensive for longer.
I hope that this has helped! Do you have any tips for helping to keep your clothes looking dry clean only? If so please share them in the comment section!
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x Jade Mercedes Fraser x