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How I Care For My Clothing

A boring, but kinda necessary post

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Because I am a Grandma YouTuber in a world of never-ending Fenty Beauty reviews (I’m not going to lie, I’ve watched about 20 and I think I might need a contour stick), I’m often asked how I care for my clothes. Whilst I appreciate that this isn’t the sexiest of topics, it’s a necessary one and if I’m going to haul a silk shirt for the 76th time, then it’s only right that I share how I don’t end up buying shares in my local dry cleaners. Given that I’m all about the ‘less is more’ thang, I like to take care of my garments so that they last a really long time and don’t end up shrunk after just one wash (been there, done that, attempted and failed to style out the snug sweater look). I’ve split this down into cashmere/wool, silk, denim and other miscellaneous items so this post should be easy to navigate if you want to hone in on just the one category, or if you fancy an education in detergents and washing cycles then ROCK ON…

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CASHMERE & WOOL

Before we get onto the main event (THE ANTICIPATION IS KILLING YOU I KNOW), just a couple of general care things to note when it comes to cashmere and wool. You know when everyone says to fold your jumpers instead of hang them? Well they’re right and I now don’t walk around with massive hanger marks jutting out of my shoulders. In the depths of winter wear a t-shirt under your chunky garments if possible, because as gross as it sounds it soaks up your scents, keeping your jumpers fresher for longer and not needing a wash as often. Also invest in a cashmere comb. Cashmere naturally balls up over time and giving it a good brush down will make it look brand new again. Additional plus point: it’s also extremely therapeutic.

I’ve been hesitant to write this post because I feel that I may be held responsible for someone’s shrivelled up cashmere jumper, so please take this advice and mix it in with your own research, label-reading and gut feelings. For cashmere I operate a three-tier risk system. If I’ve been somewhere that’s smokey, have sweated a tonne or the jumper cost a fortune, I take it to the dry cleaners (I’ve found one near me that’s surprisingly cheap which is perhaps my best adulting find). The middle tier is for when the jumper isn’t completely grim, but was still rather pricey, so I do a cold hand wash and follow these instructions from the Whistles Blog. Sometimes I’m feeling lazy and I stick them in the machine – yep I’m a terrible person, but hear me out on this one. I use a cashmere/wool wash, I use the delicate cycle COLD WATER ONLY (that’s very important), dry it out on a line and then give it a once over with the cashmere comb afterwards.

Wool on the whole is a little hardier, so I’m less likely to take it to the dry cleaners and tend to go for risk level three and find it to work pretty well 95% of the time. *does a hesitant looking thumbs up*

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SILK

If you thought cashmere was fun, then silk is a whole different ball game. I’ve fudged up more silk shirts than you can shake a stick at over the years. Some silks just aren’t made for washing. Have a read of this article to see how you can test for that. So I do have two Equipment shirts that due to their colour (one is a washed black silk and the other a blue), I always dry clean them, but my other pieces get the machine treatment too.

Again I use a fabric specific detergent on a cool and delicate short wash. I ditch the tumble dryer and instead leave them hung up to dry, which depending on the fabric can negate the need for ironing. WHOOP. I actually find ironing silk a real pain in the ass, so I’d suggest picking yourself up a clothing steamer, which makes you feel like you’re an intern in the Teen Vogue closet, L.C style. There are ones much more elaborate than this, however the one I’ve got does the job and is travel friendly too if ever you have to pack it up to do some crease-releasing on the go.

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DENIM

I know some people can put a lot of love into their denim – there are even specific detergents you can use! – however I go for more of an au naturel approach. I lob it in with the rest of my washing (although note that I do split my lights and darks), on a 40℃ quick wash. I always turn them inside out before washing and try not to wash them too often because denim is quick to lose it’s colour and shape. As with all my clothing I don’t tend to tumble dry them, unless they need shrinking down a bit, and instead I hang them out to dry and just give them a quick once over with an iron before I pop ’em back in my wardrobe. Simples (thankfully – can you imagine if denim was a pain to wash?!).

EVERYTHING ELSE

I split my washing into lights and darks, lob it in with a bit of fabric softener (mainly because I like the smell, although I don’t use it on activewear because it fudges up the lycra apparently), non-bio detergent and pray for the best. I’m a big fan of the quick wash function on our machine because it means a cycle takes an hour instead of three (WHOOP!), making it better for the environment, the water bill and your clothes because they aren’t being soaked or thrown around for as long. When it’s done I whip them out on a clothes horse in a very specific way taught to me by my mother (we’re both Virgos), stick a dehumidifier on them if it’s cold because our flat doubles up as a greenhouse and hang everything back into my wardrobe without ironing, because ironing is perhaps the worst task in the world just under unloading the dishwasher. Can I get an AMEN?

Photos by Lauren Shipley

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Comments

  • I don´t mind unloading the dishwasher, but ironing? No way!

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • Hello there,
    I’m going to share the indication for cashmere wash coming from the Eric Bompard’s team (the best French cashmere you can put your hands, on in my humble opinion): put each of your cashmere sweater in a net or a pillow case, use the “wool” program for your washing machine (ie cold water, minimal spinning), soft detergent, no softener, spin drying at 500 revolutions / minute maximum (that’s key!), dry flat, no ironing.
    Good cashmere balls up, when it does it just means it needs washing. I personnaly don’t comb my sweaters.
    As for silk and my black Equipment shirt, I wash it in my washing machine which has a “Silk & delicate” program (cold, low dry spinning). I make it dry on a hanger and as their silk is so beautiful I don’t even need to iron it. (Theory’s silk is as good as well, great for travelling).
    Dry cleaners tend to use lots of chemicals which are not that good for clothes on the long run 🙁
    Have a fab day!

  • Anna, you genius! This is just what I needed!!
    I have lived on my own for a while but still, these kind of tips will possibly save some wool jumpers come winter.
    As always, lovely post!
    x Maria

  • Safiyah C

    EXACTLY the blog post for me! I have just decluttered (KoniMaried) my clothes; building a capsule wardrobe and attempting to take bette care of what I’ve got left. I’ve just ordered that cashmere comb; I’vr got an electric debobbler (!) but a razor seems to work better, eek.

  • Lovely tips! I’ve been quite hesitant to buy Cashmere because I thought it automatically meant dry cleaner every time I want to wash it! I’m glad to hear that there are other options when the cashmere isn’t super expensive. I’m thinking of buying mine on Asos which (as odd as it sounds) I guess belongs to the affordable end of the cashmere market!

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

  • Fiona Mangru Sherman

    I love your hangers and clothing rack, where are they from??

  • Ha I’m loving the three tier system – a more eloquent way of my ‘screw it, I’m risking it’ to ‘hmmm maybe a cold wash for this…’ and finally,’HELLS NO, if I whack in the wash and it’s screwed I’ll never forgive myself pile’! Frankie x

    http://www.joieandthevivre.com

  • Your sense of humour is everything Anna! As someone who just started investing in quality basic pieces, I found this really helpful as I don’t want to mess up my clothes. Thanks for this. xx
    Coco Bella Blog

  • I literally had no idea for so many of these tips Anna, you’ve completely opened my eyes! I’m going to save this to come back again and again ha!

    I hope you’re having a lovely Monday,
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.com

  • very useful post!!!
    miki x

    https://littletasteofbeauty.blogspot.it/

  • Nicole Lindbloom

    Thank you for this post! I look forward to your life/lifestyle/routine/goal crushing/home/travel/getting through the mundane yet necessary parts of life with style posts!

  • HarrisonBeach

    Do you think it’s worth buying cashmere… undecided for my autumn wardrobe!?
    http://www.byharrison.com

  • Jasmina Bharwani Puri

    You are bang on with this post! A clothing steamer has been my god send! I made a video on how to adapt this to a small living space, check it out here> https://goo.gl/UJm2FN

    Jasmina Xx

  • Very resourceful post! I’m all about keeping my clothing in good condition. 🙂 I’m a virgo too!

  • Julia Deutschen

    Such a useful!
    I moved out of parents’ to move to a different city for uni and one of the first calls I made was to ask my mom which detergent I should buy for the washing machine.
    I try to handwash my knitwear only, because otherwise, I find that it bobbles quite quickly and I am too scared to ruin them with one wash.

    xx Julia

    http://www.talesofjules.com/

  • Paige Whyman

    Throwing your jeans in the dryer to shrink them up only makes them bigger in the long run! It can burn the elastic and they’ll just get bigger, and bigger, and bigger… When I worked for a denim brand we always recommended washing inside out, cold water and hang to dry.

  • Karen Ball

    Great post Anna, loads of useful tips even for a ‘ senior’ blog follower like me !!! I keep clear of wool jumpers for allergies but treat my cotton/cotton jumpers mix in a similar way. You are so right about detergents and using a short wash cycle. Hand washing is actually better done by a machine on the delicate program as quite often the wringing action with your hands can damage fibres. Look forward to your posts x

  • Such a useful post! I’m try to invest more in key pieces, so this is going straight into my bookmarks!

    Sara – Flemingo

  • I live by all this tips! Constantly dry cleaning my coats!

    http://champagne-lifestyle.com

  • Erin Russell

    Such a fab post! I am investing more and more in knit as I get older, so I find myself constantly researching the best ways to keep them clean! 🙂
    Erin || MakeErinOver

  • I needed this post just shrank new shirt I bought and I know it’s just a shirt but I’m very upset. Lol
    https://www.bevseyeview.com

  • Stephanie

    Off topic I’m sorry, but could you post the chicken pesto lasagna recipe mark makes?

  • Great post. Very informative and good tips! xxx

    http://whoisvelouria.blogspot.co.uk

  • Thank you for these tips, they are absolutely great! I think people are often oblivious about how to care for their garments so it is good to share the knowledge of it!

    Lii
    https://byliil.wordpress.com/

  • Naomi Shiek

    I’m going to treat you like my laundry guru now and ask you a super specific question: How do you stop color bleed – and if it happened – how can you correct it? My real life example (the horror!) I have a pretty black blouse with white trim. It’s a cotton-polyseter-stretchy-fabric-thing that I washed cold gentle cycle with other dark garments. On the third time I ever washed it the white turned grey. Have no idea why or how to fix it!

  • Katie

    Great post. And as we shouldn’t only take advice from you it is time to give back… Buy a wool razor (on amazon) for your cashmere pieces but also blankets, sofa, coats, pretty much everything that pills. If you find the comb therapeutic this is going to relax you even more. And no I am not crazy and also not a sales(wo)man for the razor 😂

    Love from Bavaria. Katie

  • Those jumpers look amazing!
    http://www.lottiegibbons.com

  • Sally Colleen

    AMEN! Young Grannies Unite!

  • Great post! Totally taking your advice, especially with all of our wool and cashmere now coming out with the cooler weather! 🙂
    -Ash & Shelbs xx
    http://www.astoldbyashandshelbs.com

  • I actually really enjoyed this post and to be honest, pretty useful advice right there. I would not have known that a cashmere comb existed.
    And ironing….yuck!

  • Erica Autumn

    Now I’m curious to know what the ‘specific way’ of hanging your clothes is! #virgoproblems

  • nash

    Useful tips, keep up the good work.

    https://styletwentythree.squarespace.com

  • Lisa Autumn

    I also mostly hand wash my cashmere pieces.. thanks for the tips Anna! I don’t own any silk so I don’t have to worry about that (yet)

    xx Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  • Nerdfish

    I really really really hope you don’t store that beautiful 300 pound Acne sweater on a WIRE HANGER.

  • This is quite literally the post I never knew I needed, but now need so much in my life. It’s also the kind of questions I’ve always, always wanted to ask someone, but never thought to do it. Because who talks about laundry? ME, THAT’S WHO. It doesn’t help that I’m only somewhat new into the realm of “fancy fabrics and dry clean only” (Ma was a fan of ‘cheap and cheerful), but I also can’t afford dry cleaning for every piece. I have been sneaking my wool and silk into the washer every now and then, which I always felt very guilty for. It’s so useful to know that other people do this, too! AMEN to your ironing too, btw. My ironing board is dusty. That’s my view on ironing.

    Eire | Wolf & Stag

  • Shahida Khan

    You need a heated drying rack for ultimate adulting points! I first discovered it via Lizzy Hadfield’s videos- cheap to run and handy for silk/cashmere that cant go in the tumble dryer

  • *casually removes all my jumpers from my wardrobe into my drawers*

    hahah, great tips!
    Cloe X http://clxelouise.blogspot.com

  • My husband does all the laundry AND ironing 😀 I got lucky 😉

  • catherine ♡

    This post was actually so helpful 🙂 I never hang jumpers either – folding is definitely the way to go! x
    http://www.cocoamay.co.uk

  • Olaia

    Amen.