20 Tips to Make Your Wardrobe Last
1. Hand wash cashmere. Repeated poor-quality dry cleanings can lead to fiber breakage. Plus, an old-fashioned hand washing leaves the cashmere considerably softer. Use lukewarm water and a mild soap, such as the Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo ($19 for 16 ounces, thelaundress.com), and lay flat to dry. Remove excess water by rolling the garment in a towel―never wring it.
2. Don’t drive in good heels. “The floorboard scuffs the heel, and the pedal scratches the toe,” warns Elena R. Aronson, a San Francisco–based stylist and personal shopper. Drive in simple flats, or try heel protectors by Smart Heel ($9, smartheel.com), which are plastic coverings that slide over high heels.
3. Stock up on underarm shields. To prevent armpit stains that crop up no matter how diligent you are about cleaning, Mary Lou Andre, author of Ready to Wear: An Expert’s Guide to Choosing and Using Your Wardrobe ($20, amazon.com), suggests creating a barrier between you and the fabric with adhesive underarm shields, which attach to the inside of the clothing (Garment Guard, $11 for five, solutionsthatstick.com). A sleeved tee layered underneath works, too.
4. Never hang pearls. “This weakens the silk threads that hold the necklace together,” says Helena Krodel of the Jewelry Information Center, in New York City.