Winter Wear TLC

Nothing says winter like cozying up in snuggly boots, luxurious sweaters and stunning hats. What makes these pieces so scrumptious is their high-quality fabrics, which often aren't as fun to care for as they are to wear. Fortunately we have the tips and tricks that make giving these beloved wears their needed TLC. Here's how to care for your more high-maintenance winter wear.

Woman wearing winter hat

Leather boots

Although leather boots may be a winter fashion must-have, snow and salt can quickly make them go from runway gorgeous to tired and tasteless if not taken care of properly. Follow these simple steps to keep them smooth, shiny and shaped:
1.   Brush off loose dirt and/or salt outside. Hang boots to dry on rack, if wet.
2.   Apply all products with your hand in the boot to help keep the shape while the boot is being worked on. Perform all applications over a covered area.
3.   Use a mild soap/water solution and soft white cloth to wash wood or synthetic heels and trim. Dry thoroughly.
4.   Use a separate soft, white cloth to apply leather-cleaning solution to soiled areas of boots. Rub gently to remove stains. Let dry.
5.   For tough salt stains, use a half water/half vinegar solution applied with a soft, white cloth.
6.   Using the dry, soft, white cloth, buff boots to rich finish.
7.   Stuff boots with tissue paper to keep their shape.
8.   Spray boots with protective solution to prevent future salt stains and damage. Allow to dry at room temperature for one hour.
9.   Keep boots out of direct sunlight, which can cause fading and cracking.
10.   Use shoe polish to fill in cracks, scuffs and scratches.
11.   Wash removable boot liners monthly and dry thoroughly prior to next use.

Ugg boots

Nothing says winter quite like snuggling up in a pair of Ugg boots. However too much cozying can result in a lot of grime, not too mention some pretty uncute stink. To bring back the look, and smell, of when you first fell in love with these socially acceptable slippers, follow these simple steps:
1.   Lightly moisten the outside of the boots with cold water. Do not submerge them in water.
2.   Mix one part suede cleaner with one part water to create a diluted solution.
3.   Gently clean boots' outer surface with the solution using a sponge. Using a clean sponge, rinse solution with cold water.
4.   Stuff boots with newspaper or tissue paper to keep their shape. Dry away from direct sunlight or direct heat – both will cause shrinkage.
5.   Once dry, brush boots with a suede brush or lint-free towel in direction of nap.
6.   Mix 2 tsp. baking soda and 2 tsp. corn flour to create a deodorizer. Sprinkle the mixture into the boots and shake it around. Let stand overnight and shake out the excess the following day.

Wool coats

You know winter has arrived when you pull out your wool coat from summer storage (and hopefully find a left $20 bill in the pocket!). To ensure it, along with the new one you pick up (our recommendation: a bright colored wool trench) this season, makes it to next spring, you need to give these gorgeous goods extra loving care. Here's how:
1.   Start by removing pet hair, human hair and lint with a common lint roller or brush. Wool coats are particle magnets and a lint-free coat will look cleaner in a matter of minutes.
2.   Remove any loose threads. Use manicure scissors or try a clothes shaver to get those hard-to-reach or very tiny threads.
3.   To wash a wool coat, first check the label. Many wool coats can be hand washed. In this case, use a mild soap and roll it up in a towel to remove the water. Do not wring the coat. Lay it flat on a towel and adjust it to its original shape. If the label says dry clean only, most store bought dry cleaning kits such as Dryel will do the trick.
4.   For stains, try spot cleaning it with cool water and wool appropriate stain remover. For food stains, try carbonated water.
5.   Use a cedar hanger to hang your wool coat. Cedar prevents moth attacks.
6.   To remove wrinkles from a wool coat, hang the coat up in the bathroom with the shower on hot. Let the room steam up for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep the coat in there until steam dissipates.

Next up: Cashmere, Fleece and Hats - Oh, my!

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Tags: winter clothing

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