affordable august: clothing care to prolong wear

After a month of sharing budget-friendly style and beauty content, we’ve come to the final week of Affordable August. Thank you for all the wonderful feedback and support in regards to this series. I think I will bring it back in the future. Thoughts? The first week I covered my favorite drugstore makeup. Next, I shared tips on how to achieve a classic and versatile look at a great price point. Last week, I shared drugstore skin and body care items that I have adored and used for many years.

Confession: I am pretty particular when it comes to the business of laundry and clothing care. It’s just so disappointing when your favorite sweater is put into the washer and suddenly shrinks 5 sizes too small, rendering it useless no matter the frustrated tugs and pulls to stretch it back to its former perfection. Or how after one wash, a makes-me-feel confident top looks worn and ready to be tossed out. Or grabbing a cozy knit and discovering little moth holes peppering across it. Because of these reasons and more, I want to discuss some extra (but realistic!) steps that I take to better care for my garments so they remain pristine. And of course, when your clothing is in good shape for longer periods, that means less of a need to shop and thus saving you money in the long run. Now, if you want to shop…

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Minimize dryer use? I am a big fan of air drying clothes. I find that the dryer, even at lower settings can cause clothes to shrink and change the texture of knits. To avoid that all together, I hang my wet clothes in the guest room closets and lay delicate fabrics such as wool and silk flat to avoid stretching. A hanging rack is also a space saving solution for air drying.

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Dry clean or hand wash only items? If a label reads “dry clean,” I do as directed. I have made the mistake of not doing so and ruined a handful of favorite pieces. If taking items to the dry cleaners is not within your time or budget, think about minimizing dry clean only purchases. It’s not worth the investment to buy an item only to ruin them after the first wash. As for hand wash items, I sometimes will hand wash. However, for those that don’t have the time, place hand wash items in a garment bag and wash at the cold temperature in a low tumble cycle. This has worked for me every time.

Water temperature? I wash all clothing (excluding bedding) at tap cold or cold temperature to avoid color bleeding or shrinkage.

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Iron and steam? A simple way to revive an article of clothing is to steam and/or iron it. Most irons have a steamer function and can be purchased at an affordable price. Smoothing out wrinkles and making crisp hems and collars can liven up pieces.

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Spot treat? I try to spot treat immediately after a stain occurs. If I am unable to soak it at the time, I will blot out as much of it as possible and saturate the area with water. Upon the earliest convenience, I will soak and wash the spot prior to throwing it into the washer.

Special care items? Fabrics such as silk, wool, leather, and suede are high maintenance. Assess if it is worth it to purchase such items. Otherwise, there are plenty of gorgeous pieces with a simpler care guide.

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Moths? There are so many clever ways to keep the moths from making holes in your clothes. First, make sure clothing is dry and clean before storing, especially off-season clothing that will be packed away in boxes (sealed!) for months. Second, there are multiple natural remedies that repel moths such as cedar, lavender, and peppermint. Personally, I use cedar blocks, satchels, and discs that slip on hangers. If the potency begins to wane, I sand down the blocks to revive them.

Pet hair EVERYWHERE? I have two lovable dogs. Olive (also known as “Ollie”) makes her debut today on the blog. For those that know me, it was only a matter of time before my canine companions made it on The Prudence Profile. The only issue is that there is always dog hair on all of my clothing. I even find pet hair on new clothing that I have never worn around my dogs. A lint roller is great saver to use before I leave the house and when I’m traveling.

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Again, I hope you’ve enjoyed Affordable August. Lately, I’ve been traveling quite a bit  (see: Instagram) so I’ll be sharing abbreviated outfit and makeup posts along with amazing backdrops in the near future. Also, with all the back-to-school activities and college football gearing up, I am impatiently anticipating autumn. Never mind that it’s still in the 90s where I am; I am ready to break out the flannel and boots. Truly, many of us have a time of the year where they feel more in tune with themselves and their style shines. For me, that’s autumn and winter in my beloved California. So. there are lots of creative and fun blog posts to look forward to. Feel free to leave any suggestions about what YOU want to see, because you matter to me a lot. Until next week, have a wonderful day!

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