Why is it that expensive things are also expensive to care for? It’s pretty infuriating if you think about it. You already dropped a hefty sum on those leather boots and now you have to get them buffed and stretched? And what about all those silky, cashmere-y things that say “dry clean only”? Here, eight pieces of advice for easily (and inexpensively) keeping your clothes looking fresh longer.

wash as needed list

Wash only as needed

Apart from your underwear and socks, most articles of clothing don’t need to be washed after every wear. Just immediately air them out between wears and be careful not to apply perfume or deodorant too close to the fabric.

steaming
Steamfast

Steam clothes between wears

Beyond removing wrinkles, a quick steam can also release odors from your clothes--all without damaging the fabric like a dryer or iron can.

RELATED: 7 Things in Your Closet You Should Wash Only Once a Year

skip dryer list

Skip the dryer when possible

Prolonged heat breaks down fabrics and can cause fading or shrinking over time. Instead, tumble dry clothes on a low setting for a few minutes to release any wrinkles and then lay them flat to dry fully.

gentle detergent list
Twenty20

Switch to a gentle detergent

It’s hard not to reach for the detergent that claims to “lift stains” or “brighten whites,” but you’re much better off with a gentler formula. Those heavy-duty soaps often contain harsh ingredients (like bleach) that can be too aggressive on certain fibers.

RELATED: How Often You Should Wash Everything in Your Life

shoe tree list
Twenty20

buy a few shoe trees

Better yet, make them cedar ones to absorb any funky odors. Place the old-school wooden stretchers inside your favorite closed-toe shoes whenever you’re not wearing them. It will help keep their shape so they don’t start to crease or sag. A worthy investment for your extra-special pairs.

sweater stone list

And get a sweater stone

Keep your best knits smooth by gently running a sweater stone over them when you start to see pilling. Trust: It’s a much better (and safer) alternative than plucking anything off with your fingers.

seal in buttons

Seal in buttons

Grab your clear nail polish and paint a coat over the buttons to seal in the threads and keep them from unraveling. 

store clothing list

Store clothing properly

To prevent wrinkling or sagging, know what to hang (dressy shirts, jackets, dresses and skirts) and what to fold (sweaters, pants and jeans). And however you store your clothes, make sure to give everything plenty of breathing room so they keep their shape. Marie Kondo can help you clear some room.

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