Making Your Clothes Last Longer

My name is Alyssa J. Ford and I am senior magazine journalism major in the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University. I absolutely love discussing different fashion trends and giving beauty tips

Between our classes, internships, and social lives, we are always on the go. However, all of this constant motion affects the state of our clothes. As time goes on, our once stylish and trendy outfit begins to get worn, tattered, and discolored. When this happens, most people just throw the item out and buy new things. However there are ways to make your clothes last longer.


1. Hang it up, or don’t hang it up at all

If we are going to be honest, the average college dorm room is not the cleanest. Typically, the first thing you see on a dorm room floor is clothing. If you think this has no affect on the state of your clothes, you are very wrong. By leaving your clothes on the floor, you welcome dirt, stains, and if someone steps on it, the ripping of the fabric. The best solution is to put your clothes on a hanger.

However, on the flip side, there are someone clothes that do worse on a hanger and need to be folded. Items of clothing that fit that profile are sweaters and cardigans. When you put these items on hangers, they stretch out, which is exactly what we don’t want for our knitwear. The solution is to fold them away.


2. Your Wash Day: Hot water or cold water

When washing your clothes, the way you wash your clothes makes a huge difference. Since we already know to separate our whites from our colors (hopefully), we will jump right into hot vs. cold water. When washing your darks and bright colors, you use cold water. When washing pastel colors you use warm water and for your whites you use hot water. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Let me explain.

Washing bright colors and darks with hot water can cause the color to fade. It’s happened to me and it’s an absolute catastrophe. The purpose of washing your whites and lighter pastel colors with hot water is to bake out any tough stains. What stain that you have ever dealt with was removed with cold water?

On another note, if the garment is delicate, then I suggest hand washing it.


3. A little patchwork

With the exception of designers and seamstresses who still use this practice, sewing is unfortunately becoming a lost art. However, it is fairly simple. They’re plenty of handbooks, video tutorials, and online resources on sewing. By sewing up any holes or reattaching buttons to your clothing, not only will you save yourself some money, but you’ll save the garment as well. A small hole is no reason to give up on a garment. A little patchwork will have it looking brand new!


4. When in doubt, take it to the cleaners

Some clothing is better off professionally cleaned. This includes expensive suits, dresses, and even coats. Also, if you’re struggling with number 3, this might be a better option for you.


5. Some items are just cheap

It happens to all of us, but sometimes even after going through steps 1 to 3, the clothes are just cheap and cannot be saved. I had a pair of black jeans where even after I washed them correctly and hung them up, they still turned ashy white. The only thing we can do about cheap clothing is to look at the red flags to avoid them or get as much wear out of them as we can.


Remember; be delicate with your clothes! They put up with all your moving around and accidental stains. The least you can do is treat them properly.

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