It's no secret that I wear my clothes repeatedly. It's also quite clear that I'm not a stranger to thrifted threads. I think that currently about 1/3 of my closet is thrifted and I wear at least one of those items with every look I create. You might ask how I do so and am able to care for my clothes (thrifted and new) so well. Here's my secret...handle with care. If you'd like to keep your wardrobe looking fresh, below I share five quick tips on how to properly care for your thrifted threads.
1. Inspect your clothes and gently remove shopping tags.
This is sort of a prep step. Be sure to cut tags far away from clothing as not to damage them. Sometimes you miss stains, rips, or holes when you purchased your thrifted items. If it's worth the repair keep it and do so immediately. You may want to purchase a small sewing kit for these types of repairs. It would be best to already have it on hand. If not, think of another way you can reuse it. A pair of jeans that have a ripped leg can be made into shorts. Get creative!
2. Read the care instructions on the clothing label FIRST.
Before you blindly toss an item in the washer, check the care instructions. You can use a delicate detergent or your regular detergent. Some items can be washed on a delicate setting or hand washed. There are exceptions when you're unsure and an item needs to go straight to the cleaners. These exceptions would be dry clean and vintage items. Vintage pieces should be handled with extreme care. It may be hit or miss but go with your gut. If it says "Dry Clean Only" on the label, don't throw it in the washer with your fingers crossed and hope for the best. Take it to the cleaners and make sure your clothing is treated properly. You won't regret it.
3. Hang up your delicately washed items and let them air dry.
Even if the care instructions on the clothing label say "machine wash and tumble dry low", I still wash all of my thrifted items on delicate, with regular detergent and let them air dry. This is my exception to tip #2. Most of the items I find while thrifting are like new. I have found items that seem to be brand new and still have the tags on them but since they've gone through the ringer to get to the thrift store racks, I figured it's best that I treat them with the utmost care.
4. Steam or iron your clothes.
I personally hate ironing and I am skeptical to do so depending on the fabric. To be on the safe side, I use a steamer when necessary. A light steam will knock out wrinkles and make your clothing look presentable or use a wrinkle releaser if your pressed for time. You don't have to get a big heavy duty state-of-the-art steamer. A hand held mini steamer will do the trick.
5. Store your clothes in your closet, on a clothing rack, or neatly folded in drawers or bins.
I think this is really where your clothes take a beating after being laundered. Believe it or not, when you toss them in a chair or on the floor in stead of folding them or hanging them up, they lose their character. If you keep them balled up and don't fold them and put them in their proper place, they lose their quality. Proper care really goes a long way especially for pre-loved items.
I guess you can say I use the #konmari method with everything in my closet. It doesn't matter if I pay $2 or $200 for my clothes, I show that I appreciate them by how I care for them. To be honest, everything can't be tossed in the wash on a regular cycle and then tossed in the dryer on high heat. I know because I've learned the hard way. These are just the basics but they will make a big difference. You've already took action by being budget friendly with thrifting, so why not continue making coin conscious decisions? This will help you save even more money in the long run. Take note of these quick tips and you'll see the change in your how your clothes look over time, especially if you want to wear them again and again.
How do you care for your thrifted threads? Do you have any special methods? Feel free to share your tips in the comments!