Treat your clothing and accessories with care and they'll keep you looking amazing for years to come. Here's how to care for all your favorite pieces. 

By Kate Rockwood
May 23, 2018
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Jamie Chung

Cashmere Sweaters

Don’t

Hang them—they will stretch and lose their shape. Fold the sweaters instead.

Do

Hand-wash them several times a season (rather than after every wear). Use mild soap (like Woolite Everyday, $9; homedepot.com), then dry by rolling the sweater in a towel and pressing gently. Let it air-dry on a flat surface. Direct heat and agitation are the enemy.

Leather Shoes

Don’t

Store off-season shoes in plastic tubs, which can trap moisture and weaken the leather. Stick with breathable shoe boxes or an out-of-the-way shoe rack.

Do

Make polishing a habit. Clean them first, as shoe polish can seal in dirt. Daily upkeep—like a quick swipe with a cloth to remove dirt and dust—can dramatically extend the life of your leather.

Sneakers

Don’t

Bleach your dirty white laces—it may weaken the fibers and lead to breakage. Instead, soak laces in warm water with an all-purpose bleach alternative (like OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Free, $8; target.com).

Do

Treat the insoles with a deodorizer, and use a handheld steamer to blast away smelly bacteria. For dirty mesh, scrub with a soft-bristled toothbrush dipped in a cup of warm, soapy water.

White T-Shirts

Don’t

Fear the washing machine. Cotton and linen are incredibly durable fibers, and the best way to avoid stains is to deep-clean.

Do

Pretreat sweat stains with a specialty soap (like The Laundress Stain Solution, $18; thelaundress.com) or a paste of baking soda and water; let it sit on the discoloration for 30 minutes before washing.

Bras

Don’t

Just toss them into a drawer. The cups will maintain their shape best if you stack them in a row, like you see at lingerie shops, or hang them in your closet.

Do

Wash them by hand or in a mesh bag every three or four wears, using a detergent made for delicates. Air-dry rather than using the dryer, which can destroy the bra’s stretch.

Tights

Don’t

Cheap out when you purchase. First, consider the opaqueness: The sheerer the tights, the more fragile the material tends to be. Pay attention to the denier (a unit of weight used to determine the tights’ thickness). An 80-denier knit, for example, will probably be much more durable than a 35-denier pair, which will be more sheer and may be more prone to runs. Look for a sheerness-price combination that will give you optimal durability at a palatable cost. Size up if you’re at the higher end of the range to prevent stretching.

Do

Give tights the same care you give your bras: Hand-wash or use a mesh bag in the washing machine, opt for a detergent made for delicates, and skip the dryer.

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