Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I was in the dressing room at American Eagle a few days ago when I overheard a conversation that got made me raise an eyebrow.  A customer had asked the salesgirl ‘Where is H&M?’ which prompted the following statement.  “Oh, you don’t want to go to H&M, their clothing is only one-time wear”.  Huh?  If, at the time, I hadn’t been undressed down to one floppy sock and my skivvies I would have politely interjected and told the lady the following:

H&M is not one time wear…while it isn’t the HIGHEST of quality clothing, if you are selective and take good care of the clothes, you should be able to get AT LEAST a seasons wear out of them.  Which got me thinking; maybe people just need to know how to better handle these clothes so that they get more value out of them.
So, here are my tips to getting the most out of the items you get at places like H&M and Forever 21.

1)      NEVER put your items in the dryer.  Most of my items from these stores get washed in a color appropriate machine cycle and then hung up on hangers to dry. Once the clothes have air dried, I throw them on a warm spin through the dryer (with dryer sheet) just to fluff them and get the wrinkles out.  15 minutes tops.

You loved that sweater the way it fit when you tried it on in the store, didn’t you?  If you dry it, unless you just had a 6 week bout of Montezuma’s revenge, it’s not going to fit you the same afterwards.  If you MUST dry these items, either buy it a size up, or count on it fitting like a sausage casing once it comes out.

2)      Know your fabrics.  Polyester and Rayon blends (sometimes with some spandex in the mix) are the least likely to wash well.  These fabrics tend to rip and fray easily.  Take these items to the dry cleaner.  If you must wash, put them in a laundry bag and wash on delicate.  Don’t dry these items, not even for a fluff cycle, just hang them up to dry and put them away. 

3)      Consider if you even need to wash the item every time you wear it.  We are girls, we know we are clean, just hang that baby back up when you get home.  If you can wear an item a couple of times in between washes, you will get a lot more life out of it.

4)      Don’t buy a knit sweater in black.  It is going to pill up, and when it does, it is going to look dingy and old.  For knit sweaters, look for greys, browns, taupes, or colors.   And really, as a general rule, if you buy an item in black it is going to fade out pretty quickly.  Just go into that relationship knowing it’s not going to be a lifetime commitment.

These are the most basic tips.  I am sure most of you already know this, and maybe even have your own secrets.  Feel free to leave a comment below to add to this list. 
And on that note...Here is the laundry room I WISH I was doing my laundry in.  A girl can dream.

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