Clothing Maintenance – advice from an image consultant

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As an image consultant in the credit crunch, I've found hundreds of women who are looking for ways to save money and make items last a little longer.  When we buy clothes and shoes we invest not only a lot of time in their selection but also quite considerable sums of money in their purchase.  We want them to look good and last for a long period of time.  Ensuring our clothes and accessories are cared for properly and don’t look shoddy is a very important part of our image.  Even the most expensive items will look tatty if they are not maintained well.

Investing in good quality wooden or padded hangers is essential to keeping your clothes looking their best.  Using the cheap wire ones given away with dry cleaning will not support your clothes well and could leave ugly hanger marks which will ruin any outfit.  Blouses and dresses are best hung on padded hangers and skirts and trousers on clipped hangers.  If possible, always zip or do up buttons on clothes to help them keep their shape while not being worn.  Belts and scarves can be stored on special tie hangers rather than being screwed up in drawers.

Every night before you put your clothes away, be disciplined and check if they need mending or are dirty and need laundering.  Also, use a clothes brush to remove dust, stray hairs and fluff – it’s amazing how much collects by the end of the day.

Before being returned to the cupboard, jackets should be left out for at least 24 hours to enable them to breathe.  This also applies to any garments made of natural materials such as silk, wool or linen.  Leather shoes and boots also absorb moisture when they are worn so this needs to evaporate before you wear them again.  Once aired, use shoe trees and store your shoes in clear boxes.  This makes choosing the correct shoes for your outfit quicker and easier.   For unjumbled underwear and tights, drawer dividers are essential.

Any items of clothing that cannot be hung up should always be folded carefully to avoid ironing.  Sweaters, cardigans and t-shirts are best folded to avoid hanger marks and kept on shelves or in drawers.

To make outfits quicker and easier to choose, try grouping clothes together in type and colour order.   T-shirts, for example are best stored on a shelf according to colour with darker colours at the bottom working up to lighter colours at the top. 

Finally, only ever have clothes in your wardrobe that are ready to wear.  Never put anything back that it not up to scratch and that is unwearable due to being creased, dirty or in need of mending.  This will just clutter up your closet and make choosing the perfect outfit very difficult.

If you have any doubts, contact your nearest image consultant.

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