Why do we fall out of love with our clothes? What makes them so desirable when they are new, but less so once they’ve spent some time in our closets? It comes down to our senses. When we see a beautiful brand new garment, in a well-merchandised store, we fall in love with the feel, look and smell of it. Dr. Lawrence Rosenblum, a cognitive psychologist from the University of California, studies this exact theory. “When choosing a garment you may think your choice will be based on what you’re seeing, but think again,” he says. “You face a myriad of cross-sensory influences on your experience – what you see, how it feels to touch, what your nose smells – the look, feel and scent of your clothes all combine to impact the relationship you have with them and your final decision on what to wear.” But once we’ve put that garment through our washer and dryer a few times, it starts to lose its appeal. There is a lot we can do to avoid falling out of love with our clothes.
E! Fashion Police alumnus and stylist George Kotsiopoulos puts it perfectly: “If you take care of your clothes the right way, they can have a very long life and over time, you will be able to create a curated closet of really great pieces. Making it easier to mix and match highs and lows to create fabulous outfits.”
Here are a few tips on how to take better care of your clothing:
Are you using the right detergent for your washer?
If you have a High Efficiency (HE) washer and are not using a HE detergent, you are going to notice a film on your clothes. That is because HE detergents are less sudsy (because these type of machines use way less water). That grey look your black dress has after a few washes is all due to this. Tide HE Turbo, for example, has Smart Suds technology to allow clothing to rinse cleanly in a single cycle. Load size in HE washers are also significantly bigger than a traditional top-loading washer. That also means they contain a lot more dirt! Tide’s HE Turbo has a recommended dose chart on their newly designed cap to make sure you always have the right amount of product to clean your clothes.
Don’t skip your fabric softener
Europeans love their fabric softener, but for some reason North Americans are not totally on the bandwagon. So, next time you are in Milan and wonder how those Italians have such impeccable clothing, it may have something to do with the fact that they use fabric softener religiously. Fabric softener keeps your clothes looking new by maintaining their shape, decreasing wrinkles, making them soft to the touch and smelling fresh. Think of it like a conditioner. You wouldn’t just shampoo and not condition, right?!
Protect your clothes from odors
Have you ever been to a bakery and come out smelling like yeast all day? Downy Fresh Protect, for example, has a 24 hour odor protection that acts like a deodorant for your clothing. You add the Fresh Protect beads to your wash cycle and they bind to your clothing, infusing them with essential a smell shield.
Read the label!
When buying a detergent or using one, make sure you pay attention to the instructions. That way you can make sure you are adding the right amount of product, you are using it on the right fabrics (reading the tags on your clothes is just as important!) and in the correct machines. You may think that every product works the same, but new products are being created every day and some require a different method of use. So spend a couple minutes reading the instructions so that you can avoid any disasters.