How to make your clothes last longer

Save money with 11 tricks to get maximum mileage from your wardrobe

Times are tough but there’s no excuse for looking down in the heels. An unbunched sweater, polished shoes and fresh-pressed blouse are the hallmarks of someone who takes pride in their appearance, and has — if not an extensive wardrobe — a well-kept closet.

Storage strategy
• Give your shirts some breathing room already! Cramming items together on a rod will make them super wrinkled and makes it hard to see everything.

• Natural fibres like wool, cotton and linen need to breathe or they break down; so don’t store them in plastic dry cleaning bags.

• Invest in good quality hangers (i.e. padded or wooden) that won’t distort shoulders. As for linen, you can maintain it two ways. If you favour a crisp look, dry cleaning will ensure the construction (linings, shoulder pads) and the finish stays sharp. If you love a more relaxed look and don’t fuss over wrinkles, linen can be cleaned at home and will get softer with every wash.

Shoe repair
• Perspiration from shoes can cause leather to dry and crack. Shoes need time to recover so don’t wear the same pair two days in a row. Rotating your favourite pairs will help keep them looking better longer.

• Leather is skin and like ours, it needs moisture. Equestrian stores have a wide selection of leather care products that cost less than what’s available from shoe retailers. Buy a block of old-fashioned glycerin saddle soap but don’t use a lot of water as the “soap” moisturizes and gently cleans.

• Gather leather shoes, boots, bags and belts for regular lashings of saddle soap followed by a leather conditioner and they will look “younger” — think of it as a spa day for leather.

• Invest in shoetrees and shapers for boots to avoid the dreaded floppy-ankle wrinkle.

Knit fix
• Never hang knits to dry as they will lose their shape – make sure you always lay flat.

• To store winter sweaters fold them carefully and then tuck in a layer of acid-free tissue to help maintain shape and deter wrinkling (a trick fancy boutiques use). Bonus: next season it will feel like unwrapping a new purchase.

• If every winter you store your knits unprotected to avoid the cloying smell of mothballs, try a natural deterrent such as blocks of cedar. When the scent starts to fade simply sand them to renew and repel.

• Moths are attracted to body oils so if you really want to avoid a holey mess, be sure to launder clothes before storing them for the season.