Happy New Year! Each year, millions of Americans make New Year resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking, and end bad habits. Many of these resolutions go by the wayside before we even celebrate Valentine’s Day. For 2012 make some resolutions that are easier to stick to, and will benefit your personal style all year long! Baby Your Shoes. Shoes make the man…and the woman. However, what’s the point of paying a pretty penny for fabulous footwear if you allow it to get destroyed by wear and tear? Last year I wrote a post about shoe maintenance: easy steps to keep your footwear in great shape. There are also some fabulous little gadgets on the market that help your shoes keep their look and shape. Tip Top Shoe Saver is brilliant for you women who love pointed heels: it slips in the toebox to keep it from crimping and bending with wear. SoleMates help you stand in grass while wearing heels without fear of sinking, and Smart Heel will protect your heels from typical city wear and tear.
Baby Your Knits. Want your sweaters to look better longer? Take them off the hangers and fold them in a drawer. Knits are delicate, gravity will cause sweaters to pull against hangers creating lumps in the shoulders and uneven hems. Even your weekend staples of tee shirts will look better if you wash them on gentle in the machine and air dry.
Baby Your Laundry. Did you know that fabric softener can age your clothing and isn’t really necessary? Baby your laundry, and baby the planet, by switching to reusable dryer balls. The dryer balls will fluff your clothing to prevent static cling, and will save you money and reduce the amount of chemicals in your home. You can find dryer balls everywhere from Target to Amazon; I have also found some great wool dryer balls on Etsy that have given me years of happy laundry.
Bleach may get your whites whiter, but it is a harmful chemical and can eat away the fibers of your favorite clothes. Switch to an oxygen cleaner and line dry in the sun to get clothes just as snowy bright.
Your delicates should use a different detergent from your denim and towels. While you can purchase Woolite at the grocery store, many lingerie specialists recommend baby shampoo. It’s cheaper and does a better job at removing body oils from delicate fabrics.
Also delicates really should be hand washed and line dried, but sometimes you need pieces washed in a hurry. No matter how short on time you may be, do not put lingerie in the dryer; however an occasional tumble in the washing machine on the gentle cycle isn’t too harmful as long as you use a lingerie bag. The bag will keep your bras, tights, and underwear from getting stretched and snagged on other garments in the wash.
Baby, Be Prepared! Have a sewing kit on hand with at least black and white thread. It’s not too tough to baste together a busted seam or sew back on a button. A sweater shaver and lint remover to bring fabrics back to their original glory. Stitch Witchery is brilliant–with the heat of an iron you can repair hems, shorten pants, and even seal up bulging pockets. A travel steamer can get rid of wrinkles in delicate and hard-to-iron fabrics and can even get rid of odors from last night’s curry dinner. You can find really great ones for less than $30 on Amazon. Fill with distilled water (found in the eye care aisle of your local grocery or drugstore) to prevent water stains.
Alison Gary has over ten years experience as a personal shopper, stylist, and visual merchandiser. Her blog Wardrobe Oxygen provides fashion advice to all women, regardless of age, size, budget, or lifestyle. She is a full-time working mother, blogger, wife, and frugal fashionista located in the Washington D.C. area.