How to take care of your clothes

That tag found on the neck or down the side seam of your shirt is not for decoration: It gives you a garment’s laundering instructions, which are designed to ensure that it stays in great shape. In fact, looking at laundering instructions is part of the shopping process. Take care of the instructions in order to avoid end up ruining a garment.

Some other laundering tips can help keep your clothes in great shape. While you should always check the instructions on the tag, these are some general techniques to keep in mind as you hang out in the laundry room.

  • Wash dark clothing inside-out. Dark-wash jeans, black blouses, and other darker material can become faded in the wash, particularly as it rubs up against other garments. Always launder your washer-safe dark clothes inside-out to ensure they hold their color.

  • Avoid dryers. Line-dry your clothes.

  • Wash metal separately. Buttons and zippers often find their way into the wash but can become seriously hot in the dryer, which can lead to melting on your other clothes. Wash clothing with metal components separately and never with delicate clothes, such as silks or knits.

  • Safe your colors. Bleach helps make your whites whiter but it can also stain colored clothes and damage delicate fibers. Swap your regular bleach for a color-safe alternative, which is also gentler on fabric.

  • Wash your clothes less. The washing process is tough on clothes. Agitating, tumbling, and coming in contact with other garments can leave garments faded, stretched, pilling, and damaged. Unless your outerwear is visibly dirty, you probably don’t need to wash it after each wearing. See if you can extend washing to every other wear, or even three wears, before you toss your garments in the laundry.

  • Get to know what you're using. While each model of washers and dryers is different, they all have something in common: they come with instruction manuals. Read up on your model so you know how to use it.

  • Iron with care. It is better for you, the environment, and your clothes if you air dry. When you iron, you're using heat to loosen fabric fibers and press them flat. Unfortunately, there's also a good chance you can end up burning or yellowing the fabric if you're not doing it properly. Using too much heat on delicate fabrics can completely ruin them, so make sure you always use the right heat level for the type of fabric you're ironing. Many irons have different levels for various fabrics on the heat dial - read carefully the instructions.

Practice good storage habits

  • Fold heavy sweaters on a shelf. While you might think that hanging is best for your expensive sweaters, heavier garments such as wool sweaters can actually stretch out when you hang them in your closet. Your best bet is to stack them folded on a shelf so they keep their shape – and save that precious hanger space.

  • Button buttons and zip zippers. Sharp zipper teeth, studs, and even buttons can catch on clothes and result in damage, so make sure they’re fastened when you hang them in your closet.

  • Invest in better hangers. Sure, you can score wire hangers from your dry-cleaner for free, but they’re not made for long-term storage. Wire and plastic hangers can stretch out the shoulders of your garments, which means they won’t lay nicely on your body. Consider investing in better hangers with wood or plush arms, which help garments keep their shape.

  • Give clothes some breathing room. Even if you’re short on space, resist the urge to pack your closet full of clothes. Squishing a ton of items next to each other can result in wrinkling and fading as the fabrics are constantly mashed together. If you’re having to squish hangers and garments just to squeeze in another shirt, it may be time to look into other storage solutions. For example, a standalone armoire can help reduce some of the pressure on a bulging closet.

  • Think cool and dry. Excess wetness and heat can encourage mold growth - even on clothes. Never store clothes in a humid bathroom or west basement closet.



  1. Wash gently: washing T-shirts with cold water and drying on a permanent press to avoid wrinkles.

  2. Stash carefully: folding in the sleeves toward the back, and then folding the T-shirt in half once crosswise, to avoid creating extra creases. And keeping them in a light stack on the shelf. Don’t hang your T-shirts it creates unsightly hanger marks and it stretches them.

  1. Pay close attention to the insides of collars: it’s here that stains can creep up from skin products, like lotion or perfumes. Be sure to wash them immediately, especially before hanging shirts in the closet (scroll down for tips on how to remove stains).

  2. Avoid dryers: they will break down the fibers of the fabric and cause the garment to shrink and age prematurely.
    Instead, air-dry on hangers: the width of the hanger should not overpass the width of the shirt shoulders. Make sure the shoulders are well laid on the hanger and more generally, pull a little bit the fabric of the shirt to limit wrinkles (this will facilitate ironing). When storing hangers in the closet leave space between them —to keep the pressed shirts smooth.

  3. Rewash stains: before ironing, it is important to check that there are no more stains. If there are, wash the shirt again.

  4. Iron with water: steam or no steam, whatever you prefer, but cautions against completely dry ironing. It is better to iron the shirt when it is still humid. If necessary, a spray with water can make ironing easier.

  5. Iron in order: the correct ironing order is: collar, cuffs, and then the rest of the shirt.

Pack it well before traveling with a shirt:

  • Button the shirt completely.

  • Put a plastic or cardboard band — the kind that comes inside new shirts from the store, or from the cleaners — inside the collar (to help support the collar and maintain its shape.)

  • With the shirt front-side down, place a sheet of paper or tissue paper on the back of the shirt before folding it (to avoid creases).

  • Use soft cases to keep the shirts in good condition. When piling the shirts, alternate their directions.

  1. Avoid cleaners: don’t throw your suit into the washer. While a trip to the cleaners every once in a while is inevitable, do so only when visible dirt or odor has built up and spot clean the dirty areas rather than have them clean the entire suit jacket. Dry cleaning will expose your jacket to harsh chemicals that will eventually take their toll on the fabric. Some cleaners will also not exercise sufficient care during the process and may damage the internal canvassing.

  2. Steaming, NOT ironing: using a garment steamer on your jacket is one of the best ways to not only free your jacket of wrinkles but also deodorize it. Steaming is a more delicate method of rejuvenating the fibers of your suit that will help prolong its life. More importantly, AVOID the use of a regular iron to press your jackets, the direct contact of iron at a high temperature may damage the fabric and cause a “shine”. If you must iron, use a press cloth as a barrier to protect the wool.

  3. Hanging: always hang your jacket up in a well-spaced area when you’re not wearing it. Invest in a proper wooden hanger with a wide-spread contoured shape to preserve the shape and drape of the jacket. The hanger should be wide enough to touch the edge of the shoulders and wide enough to fill up a portion of the shoulders.

  4. Brushing and rolling: dust, loose hair and dandruff can accumulate in your hair over time.  You keep it clean and neat with shampoo and brushing. Your suits deserve the same care. Wool is a natural fiber that can hold dust, dirt, and lint from the environment which if left untouched, can cause damage to the fabric over time. Just hang up your jacket and brush downwards (never perpendicular to the fibers) gently and slowly. Start at the shoulders and work your way down.

  5. Give it a break: try not to wear the same jacket every day to avoid deterioration. The natural fibers of your suit need time to rest and recover, so make sure you rotate your suits evenly throughout the week. Not all blazers are seasonless. Have it dry cleaned before you put it away for the end of the season.

  1. Don’t immerse the jacket in the water, or place it in a washing machine: if the jacket gets wet, empty its pockets, then hang it evenly on a dryer and leave it to dry at room temperature. Never use a radiator, or a dryer to dry out the jacket. Keep it away from all heat sources until naturally dry. Once it's fully dry, you may apply a leather conditioner in case the leather's been completely soaked and feels dry or stiff to the touch.

  2. Make sure you don't use leather conditioner too frequently: rubbing it in restores oil to the leather, but frequent usage can clog the leather's pores, and affect the way the jacket looks over time. Before using the conditioner, make sure to use the label to see if it's suitable. Never use products containing minerals or petroleum, and avoid cheap options which contain silicone or wax. All these products can cause significant damage.

  3. You can use a damp cloth to wipe off salt deposits that may form on the jacket in winter: wipe off these deposits as soon as you see them, since they may lead to dry spots and cracks if left untreated. For general light cleaning, read the tag for instructions. Dust the jacket gently with a dry cotton cloth or camel hairbrush, then clean affected areas with a damp cloth. Dry the jacket immediately, at room temperature.

  4. Ask the expert: the safest option, of course, is to take the jacket to dry cleaners who specialize in leather.


There are a few different ways to wash a sweater, but washing them properly is absolutely essential. The life of your sweater may very well depend on it, so if you want your sweater to continue to look good for years to come, pay close attention to the ways that you should care for them.

  1. Dry cleaning: it’s nearly essential for wool or wool blends. Cotton can be dry cleaned, but it isn’t as necessary as with wool. Machine washing wool will damage the fabric and probably ruin your sweater. The best way to preserve the color and texture of your wool sweaters is to get them dry cleaned. Hand washing is an option as well, but any stubborn stains should be taken to a dry cleaner.

  2. Hand washing: gently wash the sweater with cold water and a mild soap or shampoo, then rinse the soap off with the cold water. If there is excess soap in the sweater, don’t twist as that may compromise the shape of the sweater by stretching it out. Simply press the sweater gently to remove excess soap and water.

  3. Lay it on a dry towel: put the sweater into its proper shape gently as it’s laying on the towel and then roll the towel up with the sweater in it. Press the towel down to remove the excess water, then repeat this once more with a dry towel. In the end, lay the sweater on a flat surface on top of a dry towel until it’s air-dried.

The two most prevalent fabrics we see in sweater production these days are cotton and wool. Let's take a look at these two fabrics in order to determine the best ways to care for them:

  1. Cotton: typically, the best time to wear a cotton sweater is in the spring, summer, or early fall, when it’s warm but too warm for a wool sweater. Cotton is very comfortable in warm weather and it may be a great idea to invest in some cotton sweaters for the warmer months. Because of cotton’s durability, it is able to be washed frequently and should be considered the fact that cotton is not great when it comes to keeping its shape, and it will also wrinkle much easier than wool. In fact, cotton becomes 30% when it’s wet, so you shouldn’t be afraid to throw your cotton in the wash.

  2. Wool: better in the winter months for its warmth, is not as tough as cotton and must be cared for more carefully. Wool does keep its shape much better than cotton, and it doesn’t wrinkle as much. Heat can very easily damage wool fibers, as can water and bleach, so putting wool sweaters in a washing machine is the last thing you want to do. The best way to treat wrinkles in wool is by using steam, and the best way to wash wool sweaters of stains or dirt is to either get them dry cleaned or hand wash them.

Of course, all sweaters are different, and their labels will reveal the best way to wash them, so make sure you always pay attention to what the label says.


  1. Don’t overwash: your regime is a very personal choice but it depends on how heavy the rotation is, clean pants twice during the summer. And then when you’re done with the season, clean them once again before you put them back into your closet. Tip: even if a pair of pants says it was prewashed, pay attention because a bit of shrinkage will inevitably happen in the laundry.

  2. Never underestimate moths: stuff drawers and closets with sachets of lavender to repel the pests and keep things smelling nice.

  3. Hang mindfully: instead of organizing pants by color, arrange them by season, keeping lighter-weight pants together on one end of the closet and heavier ones together separately — so that you can easily find what you’re looking for while getting dressed.

  4. Prepare to sew: buttons just pop. It just happens. Always take the sewing kit and just leave it in the luggage or in the bag. Don’t be above taking them home — that’s what they’re there for.


Jeans may be the most low-maintenance pants of all. Wearing raw denim consistently and not washing them will give you a more interesting pair of jeans down the road. But washing won’t hurt them, and turning jeans inside out will protect the indigo hue.

Similarly, don’t worry about how you store your denim, whether folded neatly in a drawer or tossed into a pile on a chair — "the great thing about denim is that it’s not delicate"— and don’t think twice about wearing it every day, or getting holes. "The knees are typically the first to get worn out, but denim looks great with ripped knees!"

  1. Linen: if your shorts are made from linen, they are dry clean only.

  2. Microfiber: if your shorts are made from microfiber, the machine washes the shorts warm with similar colors. Use only non-chlorine bleach when needed. Tumble dry the shorts on a low setting and remove them promptly. Use warm iron when needed.

  3. Cotton: if your shorts are made from cotton, machine wash the shorts. Tumble dry them on a low setting, and remove them promptly when finished to avoid wrinkles.

  4. Storing your shorts: always re-crease your pants before hanging them. The best method of hanging is full-length, upside-down so the pants’ weight prevents wrinkles from forming. If you choose to hang your pants in the middle of the leg, do not hang them right at the knees, which will cause more wear to an already worn spot. Also, make sure that both legs are hanging smoothly to avoid any unwanted creases.


  1. Use shoehorns: they are indispensable for keeping the shape of the shoe. It’s a simple little tool that ensures that the backs of the shoes are kept intact.

  2. Don’t toss shoes into a pile: to prevent shoes from being wrinkled store them in a shoe closet. If not, clear space on the floor and keep them as neatly as possible.

  3. Do regular maintenance: always check your shoes after wear before placing them in your closet. Wipe leather clean with a cloth or with a brush before putting away, and brush off suede of any dust collected during the day. 

  4. Condition your shoes: just once or twice a year, usually after the winter months. With all the snow and salt in the streets, the leather will become dry and cracked and will need to be conditioned to prevent damage to the uppers.

  5. Let wet shoes dry naturally: if you get caught in a storm and your shoes become wet, make sure to let them air dry in an open space before storing them away. If you store them wet, the uppers may become deformed and you may lose the shape of the shoes. If the shoes are wet from rain or snow, you should immediately wash them in clean water before allowing them to dry in order to avoid the white marks that appear on the upper leather.

  6. Give nice shoes a rest: in order to keep them in premium condition, dress shoes should not be worn for weekly days. Waiting allows the leather to dry and breathe in between wears and lets them rest reduce creasing.

How to clean leather shoes:

  • Wrap a soft cotton cloth tightly around your index finger and dab in the cream. 

  • Apply to the shoe using small circular motions (no sweeping movements). 

  • Leave the cream to seep into the leather for around 15 minutes and then brush off excess with a soft brush. 


  1. Swimming or exercising? Take it off! Diamonds, you know, are the hardest gemstone. They certainly can be worn and enjoyed every day. However, they are a gemstone that can chip. So take them off when you might knock the band into other metals, such as while lifting weights — or even packing up to move. And especially in the water. A ring can loosen on your hand — and try finding it in the ocean.

  2. Don’t fix it yourself: you can actually damage it more by trying to repair something. But before taking it into the professionals, put broken jewelry in a small bag — so that you don’t lose any gemstones, pearls, or metal pieces that must be repaired.

  3. Keep things organized: diamonds can scratch other diamonds and diamonds can scratch other gemstones, so keep them separate. Some stones are vulnerable to heat — like opals, turquoise, and coral — so don’t keep them somewhere warm or in direct sunlight. It will affect their coloring.

  4. Don’t scrub too hard: we recommend soaking most jewelry in warm water, soapy water (or water with lemon), to loosen up the dirt, and then very gently cleaning with a soft brush. Remember, a ring gets the least dirty on top of a stone. It’s the underside that gets the dirtiest because that’s the part that touches the natural oils and lotions on your skin. Avoid hot or cold water (radical temperature changes can affect gemstones) and soaking porous gemstones (turquoise, pearls, opals).


Have you ever bought a new leather handbag or briefcase that came in a cotton dust bag? it’s not just fancy packaging. They help isolate your bag from dust and touching items that may discolor or damage your bag.

Some tips:

  1. Keep handbags stuffed “to help retain their shape.”

  2. Give your bags enough room to breathe to avoid scratches and creases.

  3. Store them somewhere cool and dark, away from damaging UV rays. But don’t leave them in the attic or basement, because dry environments cause the leather to crack and moist ones invite mold.

  4. Clean and moisturize bags four times per year — to “keep them looking new.”


TREAT YOUR DELICATES LIKE DELICATES! To wash by hand and never put in the dryer. The elastic will never be the same. Method for washing delicates at home:

  1. Wash like colors together;

  2. Fill a basin with cool water and a gentle detergent;

  3. Swirl the laundry a few times over the course of an hour;

  4. Gently squeeze out excess water;

  5. Dry on a drying rack.

Swimwear always needs to soak in water after every use; the salt water or chlorine breaks down the fibers and the elastic. Your suits will last much longer if you follow this rule.

Unfortunately, not all clothing items are meant to last forever. They’re bound to wear out, fade, and change shape after repeated use. Still, by being a little more careful in the way you clean, handle, and store your clothes, you can get months and even years of extra wear out of each piece.