You spend a decent amount on your clothes, opting for quality goods that’ll last when you can. Even though you paid a pretty penny for your quality duds, you can squeeze that Lincoln even further with proper garment maintenance. Yes, like a car, clothes need to be maintained if you want them to go the distance. That might mean a visit to the dry cleaners or tailor every now and then, but you’d also do well to have the right tools around the house to keep your clothes in their best shape. From cedar to steamers, these are the garment care essentials you need.
We’ve made it through the mass casualization of menswear without needing to take a hot metal block to our clothes. Though the ironing we’ve done through the last several years of workwear, streetwear and athleisure (ugh) have largely been metaphorical, you never know when you’ll be asked to attend a wedding. Plus, suits on their way back.
Steammaster Steam Iron by Sunbeam $30
Steamers are great for clothes that need some smoothing but don’t need to be pressed. For example: casual shirts, chinos, the rumpled jeans on your bedroom chair.
Portable Travel Garment Steamer by Lemontec $19
Bleach is both harsh on your clothes and Nirvana’s best album. But, you shouldn’t use either of these to clean your clothes. Instead, use gentle non-chlorine bleach detergents.
Signature Detergent by The Laundress $17
If you can manage it, air-drying your clothes is miles better than leaving them in, essentially, a rotisserie oven. Every fabric has its own natural humidity and leaving a drying machine to do the job can overdry your clothes. This can cause the fibers to break down faster over time. Wet clothes that are air-dried will eventually reach their natural humidity and last longer. Set it and forget it.
Stainless Steel Clothes Drying Rack by CRESNEL $58
Sewing kits are first-aid kits for clothes. Whether it’s remedying a loose button or suturing a garment’s gash, a sewing kit stashed nearby can save an outfit.
Sewing Kit by Coquimbo $9
Moths love to snack on wool. Whether out of boredom or survival is anyone’s guess, but having cedarwood in your drawers and your closets is recommended for keeping these pests on caloric limit and your clothes opaque.
CedarFresh by Household Essentials $13
Plastic cling wrap is the worst thing you can get back from the dry cleaners. Next is the emotionally clingy ‘We <3 Our Customers’ metal wire hanger. After that in the list of bad things that shouldn’t be a part of your closet are those ubiquitous bulk-buy brittle plastic hangers. Your clothes need proper wood hangers with wide shoulders. Shirts and jackets are made to fit over a 3D body so your wood hangers should have a fuller shoulder if you don’t want your clothes to eventually get misshapen over time. If you can get hangers made with cedarwood, you’ll have done a two-birds-one-stone and prevented moths from feasting on your wool suits, too.
American Cedar Wood Wide Large Coat Hangers with Flat Bar, 4pk by Neaties $40
For dust and lint, you might be tempted to use a lint roller. Don’t. Lint rollers are effective at three things: removing surface debris, leaving adhesive onto your clothes and being totally wasteful. Do yourself and Mother Earth a favor by using fabric brushes and reusable lint brushes instead. Fabric brushes gently brush debris from the surface of your garments without leaving residue behind. They also help to fluff the fabric and restore its loft and luster and natural oils.
Natural Lint Brush by Redecker $27
Clothes Brush with Pearwood Handle by Redecker $37
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