Clothes — we all need them, but frequently, it’s a matter of wanting them. And either way, they often don’t come cheap.
So what are some ways to get the most out of your wardrobe without breaking the bank? Well, here are three tips:
1. Shop smartly
Shopping smartly isn’t necessarily the same as shopping cheaply. Quartz invited shoppers to consider rather than just price how often they’ll wear a garment, in a formula to determine its value: Amount paid for clothing/ number of times it is worn = cost per wear.
An example was given by Quartz of a $50 pair of jeans worn 10 times, to a $100 pair of jeans worn 50 times. The cost per wear for the first is $5 while the second is $2, making the more expensive pair of jeans a better deal for what you’re getting out of it.
Smart shopping requires knowledge of not just what you’d like to wear but what you actually do wear — about 70 percent of your clothes should be basic items you’ll wear again and again, with 30 percent saved for special/luxury items or the clothes that don’t really go with much, Quartz advised.
Lifehack.org also suggested that you be careful of clothes that come with a “dry-cleaning only” label, which means you will be paying for the initial purchase and (sometimes costly) upkeep. If you must buy something that’s dry-clean only, invest in a home dry-cleaning kit or spot clean to stretch the time between visits to the cleaners, it added.
2. Take care of your clothes
Once you’ve settled on the clothes you want, learn how to take care of them.
Stylecaster.com has 101 tips divided into fabric types and the miscellaneous, such as:
• Always read labels.
• Jeans should be given room to breathe, so don’t store them too tightly packed together.
• Cotton is extra durable and for best results should be machine-washed on a normal wash cycle and tumble dried on low setting.
• A swimsuit should almost never be put through the washer (only exception is at the end of the season after multiple wears, and then in a lingerie bag on the gentle cycle), and you should never leave it to dry in the sun.
• Dawn dish detergent is recommended for grease and oil stains on clothes.
• Never put on clothing after it’s just been ironed, as this can cause new wrinkles.
3. Instead of buying, revitalize
Why pay for new clothes when you can give your current ones a makeover?
Lifehack.org said a clothing makeover can be as simple as sewing on a button or a hem. A button-up cardigan can be transformed by replacing the buttons and a new hem can change a pair of trousers into a pair of shorts.
Allforfashiondesign.com has some simple do-it-yourself ideas as well, such as using stencils and paint to turn an old pair of pants into a pair of print pants, or dressing up shirts with pearl beads, strategic cuts or even old CDs (chopped up and used to make an iridescent mosaic on a shirt collar).
4. Don’t overwash your clothes
Clothes don’t always need to be washed after one wear. And as wisebread.com noted, overwashing clothes means water costs, electricity costs, the costs of your detergent, as well as overwashing just naturally wearing out your clothes so you get less use out of them.
GQ has an itemized list of clothes and suggested wash frequencies:
• Undergarments and socks — after every wear
• T-shirts and Henleys — one or two wears
• Button-down shirts — after three to four wears
• Pajamas and robes — after four wears
• Suits — four to five wears
• Pants and sweaters — after five wears
• Jackets and coats — once or twice a season
• Jeans — Can go a whole season without washing, unless they smell
Let clothes you’ve worn hang to let air circulate through the fibers and prevent smell, wisebread.com recommended.