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How to extend the life of your clothes

Save money on your wardrobe by taking care of the clothes that you have. When shopping, spend a little extra on the classic pieces that will carry you season to season. And then extend the life of your clothes and keep them looking great by caring for them properly.

Woman hanging clothes to dry

1Wash in cold water

Washing your clothes in cold water, using a mild detergent and avoiding bleach can certainly extend the life of most clothing. And handwash apparel when you can — particularly more delicate fabrics. Also, avoid washing when you don’t have to — if you have only worn your jeans for a few hours, you don’t need to throw them in the laundry.

2Skip the dryer

The heat of dryer not only shrinks fabric, it can also deteriorate the fibers over time. Use liquid fabric softener in the wash and then hang your clothes (or lay them flat) to dry. Not only will your clothes last longer, you’ll also save money on energy costs by eliminating the dryer.

3Treat stains right away

Set-in stains can ruin clothes. Carry a stain removing pen or stick for stain treatment on the go, and be sure to treat and wash away all stains as soon as you can.

4Store clothing properly

Use the right kind of hangers — padded hangers for lingerie and other lightweight garments, wood hangers for suits and blazers, and plastic hangers for most other clothes. Skip wire hangers altogether. Footwear needs care too. Cracked, creased and baggy boots look horrible. Keep them looking their best with boot shapers. Shoe shapers and inserts can also keep the natural form of your shoes. Don’t throw your shoes together in a pile on the bottom your closet — store them in boxes or neatly on shelves. If your shoes get damaged, heels break or soles get worn out, take them to a shoe repair as soon as possible to get fixed.

5Don’t wear too much perfume

The ingredients in perfume, hair spray and other products can actually damage your clothes. Use fragrances and hair products before getting dressed to avoid the build-up on your clothing.

6Host a clothing swap

If you have clothing that is in good condition but you don’t wear anymore, host a clothing swap every season. You can save big bucks on your clothes shopping this way. You and your friends can freshen up your wardrobes for free by swapping clothes. Any clothing that doesn’t get swapped can be donated.

What you saidTell us: What is the oldest piece of clothing in your closet that you still wear regularly? Leave your response in the comments below!

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