When shopping for apparel and accessories, the best way to look at these types of purchases is to view them as investments in your wardrobe. Whether you’re buying expensive quality accessories (like designer jewelry) or you’re on the hunt for a timeless staple (such as a belted trench coat) that will last for decades, building a closet that lasts from season to season requires a combination of smart styling techniques as well as proper cleaning and maintenance.
In addition to buying the right pieces, the secret to making your purchases hold up over time is to take care of them through regular maintenance, tailoring, and cleaning. Not only will these extra efforts ensure that your ensembles look fresh and clean, they’ll help to preserve your apparel and accessories for decades to come.
Style Expert Shares Exclusive Fashion Tips:
To teach us about how to make your wardrobe look new again (without spending a fortune), style expert Maddox Haberdasher (a stylist and fashion consultant from the Monterey Peninsula) shares his exclusive tips on updating and maintaining apparel and accessories in ways that make your wardrobe look new again, and keep you looking stylish from year to year.
In addition to being a regular contributing stylist for upscale lifestyle publications (such as Carmel Magazine and Pebble Beach Magazine), Maddox has also hosted or styled local fashion shows, including the Big Sur Fashion Show and the Blue Ocean Film Festival Fashion Show. With his enthusiastic personality, dapper style, and signature bow-tie, Maddox is known for adding panache and flair to everything he does.
How To Make Your Wardrobe Look New Again
CLP: What products or at-home tools do you recommend for effectively cleaning clothes?
MH: I would suggest Dryel as an inexpensive way to dry clean clothes at home. I also use Oxiclean to keep my whites as white as possible. A constant problem is keeping collars and French cuffs clean and for that a stain stick is always good.
CLP: For readers on a budget, when should they get clothes dry-cleaned or professionally pressed (versus washing or ironing at home)?
MH: For special pieces, it depends on how often you wear them. I would say for pieces that don’t touch the skin, dry clean them every fifth wear you should dry clean them either professionally or at home. For pieces that do touch the skin, you could get by with dry cleaning them after every third wear. For most pieces, Dryel is an inexpensive way to freshen your clothing. Of course, any major stains should be handled by the professionals and, Dryel does not press the clothes like the professionals. For seasonal pieces, at the end of fall and winter, take them to the cleaners and hang them up so they will be fresh and ready for the following year.
CLP: What DIY or at-home products can be used to clean and preserve shoes and accessories (like bags)?
MH: To preserve your leather shoes and bags, use saddle soap. For shoes, one should also use cedar shoe trees. For suede items, use a clean shoe shine brush (that has never been used) with polish, to clean loose dirt and such from the items. To keep shoes clean between use, keep them in either a dust bag or use an old t-shirt and wrap the shoes in the shirt. A cotton moisture-wicking shirt would be good.
CLP: When do your suggest using a hot iron versus a steam iron on apparel?
MH: Hot iron for natural fibers like cotton and some wools (but not all). Always check the tag and follow the instructions. For thin blouses, sport coats and linen, a steam iron is a good way to go.
CLP: When shopping for clothes and accessories, which materials or fabrics should readers look for (if they want longevity out of their purchases)? Which fabrics should they stay away from?
MH: Stay away from synthetics. Nature is built to last. Go more for cotton and other natural fibers and pieces that get better with age like denim, tweed and heavy cashmere.
CLP: When it comes to styling outfits, what are your tips for making apparel and accessories look new again?
MH: Maintenance and re-interpretation! Maybe that old skirt you used to wear would look completely different with a slit in it or shorter or with the introduction of belt loops or wearing it more high-waisted. Utilize your tailor! For shoes consider a re-sole. Switch out the laces on your favorite shoes to give them a different look. You could switch out the laces on all of your shoes and that way you don’t even have to buy new laces. If you are ambitious, you could even consider dying a pair of shoes. Consider having jewelry leaned by either the professionals or by purchasing the appropriate cleaning products.
From cleaning to tailoring, now that you’ve learned how to maintain and care for your clothes and accessories, you’ll know how to make your wardrobe look new again.
[Image Credit: Shutterstock]
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