A quick poll of the InStyle office reveals each and every one of us is still reeling from a laundry-related disaster – be it the Realisation Par silk skirt that was accidentally washed on hot (may it rest in peace) or the treasured Acne cashmere that never quite recovered from its unfortunate encounter with powder detergent.
But any fashion girl worth their collection of Ganni silk slips knows the secret to getting the most mileage out of their wardrobe is all in the way they do their washing. Glamorous? Not so much. But does it keep their favourite pieces looking good for as long as possible? Absolutely.
Read on for our tried and true ways to help keep your clothes looking fabulous, season after season.
1/ Treat your clothes like you do your hair
We’re not joking. Just as you shudder at the thought of using any old supermarket shampoo, it pays to be discerning with your detergent. Liquids are more gentle on your clothes than powder, which can speed up the wear and tear of your most precious pieces.
Just as you shampoo and condition your hair, so too should your clothes-washing be a two-product process. To help keep your red Gucci slogan tee looking as bright as the day you bought it, consider adding a fabric conditioner to each load. Not only will this help to maintain the vibrancy of your most statement pieces, it keeps fabric soft-to-touch, extra smooth and smelling fresher. Try the Comfort 4in1 Fabric Conditioner, which has a scent to rival your signature perfume and is designed to boost the wear you get out of your wardrobe.
2/ The drycleaner is not your best friend
Savvy fashion girls know you don’t have to blow your fashion budget on weekly dry-cleaning – that cash is better spent on new clothes, not cleaning old ones. Worse still, regular dry-cleaning can actually damage your delicate items over time, dulling their colours and increasing the risk of losing any embellishments like beading or sequins. Instead, save dry-cleaning for bulky items like coats and blazers and anything that really needs to stay away from water.
3/ Get to know your machine
Your wardrobe deserves more than a casual ‘trial and error’ approach to cleaning, so get to know your machine’s different cycles to avoid any further laundry disasters. This goes way beyond not mixing reds with whites (or black with anything else for that matter – a guaranteed way to turn your crisp white shirt grey). Delicates should go in the gentlest setting your washing machine affords, with cold water and preferably stowed away in a laundry bag (hot tip: front-loader machines are kinder on your clothes than top-loaders).