Back To School Tips for Clothing Care

September 11, 2021

In Boston, getting ready for another year of school almost always calls for at least one shopping trip. Whether you’re a teacher, parent, or college student you’ve got some looking good to do this year. The most important thing for students is to be comfortable in what they’re wearing. That allows the mind to focus on learning rather than self-awareness.

school girl dressed comfortablyTaking care of new school clothes helps them stay fresh all year long. Today’s fashions still include jeans and T-shirts, but academics have always been more into the business casual category, for the most part. Khaki pants and sweaters go well in the Fall and Winter.

The kids in the pool might not be ready to think about the coming of school and Fall, but it’s not a bad idea to get ready early. The best way to start is by preparing Summer clothes for proper storage and getting your Fall wardrobe out of storage and ready to wear.

Summer Storage

Getting your Summer wardrobe ready for storage takes care and a little bit of time. The items need to be thoroughly cleaned before they go into storage since invisible stains can yellow over time, and soils in the fabric can attract insects to your home. A good thorough cleaning will ensure that these soils are not present and that no stains will come from inside the fabric during storage.

Silks and linens are the most critical, since these items are very prone to invisible stains. The key is making sure they’re cleaned and not worn before they are packed away for cold storage. Summer silks are very delicate and can develop a number of problems in storage, so it is best to have them dry cleaned before packing them away. It is very important to store your garments in proper containers.

Plastic bags used for dry cleaning are not suitable for long term storage, since they often contain lubricants and can trap air in with the garments. Other types of plastic are not suitable for storage if the garments have even a hint of wetness – this can cause mildew to develop on the garments while they are in storage, or create water stains.

Storage Tips

Store your cleaned clothing in cardboard boxes in a dark, dry place that has a regular temperature, such as under your bed or in a closet. Make sure there is no direct sunlight contacting the clothing, or even artificial light, since overexposure to light has been known to cause color fading or yellowing in whites.

Be sure there are no fumes contact your stored wardrobe. Garage or furnace emissions often cause a discoloration in dyes.

Do not store your articles in a damp area. Doing so could cause difficult to remove mildew odors.

Fall Freshen-Up

Having put away your summer clothing, it’s time to pull out those fall sweaters, and even wool jackets and coats.  Sweaters and coats can gather musty smells in storage. Fine haired sweaters can get pressed flat in the heat of the attic or under some other storage items in a closet. After getting the items out of storage, check for color fading or small holes in sweaters (the result of insect bites). If your garments look good then your clothes survived the storage, but they’ll need a little bit of “freshening” to get you back in Fall style.

Professional dry cleaning rejuvenates and imbues clothes with a “like new” appearance. Many insoluble soils collect in the fibers of clothing. Over time they wear away at the delicate threads until a hole eventually develops. Dry cleaning removes the soils that home washers can’t.

Relief from the hot days of summer and the chance to begin anew can be very invigorating. The Fall months are often exciting times. The change of seasons can bring tidings of fresh beginnings, especially for students and educators. Wearing a favorite sweater for the first time in a year is like getting to see an old friend after a long hiatus. Impending inclement weather means scarves, rainwear, boots, velvet dresses, and leather jackets. These items can be professionally cleaned and brought back to fashion.

woman sorting fall clothing in her closet

woman choosing clothes in front of full closet

Tips on Keeping a Great Fall Wardrobe

Having your fall clothing out of storage and ready for wearing, you may wish to consult the latest fall fashion and incorporate some new items in your fall wardrobe.  Having said that, the first step toward having a great fall wardrobe is still being able to work with what you already own. You may think you need to start from scratch, but what about those great clothes you already have in your closet? If you have a great skirt and no matching blazer, why buy a new set? Just buy a blazer instead! What about those wonderful wool pants you haven’t worn because of a broken zipper? Replace the zipper, not the pants!

Here are some tips you can follow for maintaining an updated, streamlined closet.

  • Sort through your closet and donate anything you haven’t worn in two years to a local charity. There are few things as satisfying as cleaning your closet and helping someone else at the same time!
  • Determine which items need repair, cleaning, or pressing. It may be helpful to make a chart listing item, color, style, state of wear, and any repairs or cleaning needed. You can take this chart with you when you go shopping to help make rounding out your wardrobe easier.
  • If you have an old skirt that you love but that is seriously out-of-date, considering shortening the garment to give it a new, fresh look.
  • Coordinate new outfits. Maybe the jacket you received as a birthday present is the perfect match for those new suede pants. Coordinate several new outfits and arrange your closet in a way that’s convenient for you.
  • Don’t forget to inspect your shoes and boots. Have heels and soles replaced as necessary. Remember that ill-fitting shoes can cause misery for your feet and entire body.

Now that your closet is in great shape, keep it that way. Clean your clothes regularly. Using sachets for your drawers and cedar blocks for your closet will help keep your clothes fresh smelling, moth-free, and a pleasure to wear!



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