If the temperature is any indication of your future fashion choices, it’s likely you’re going to start hunkering down in those oversized sweaters most days of the week. In order to make sure you get as much wear out of them as possible, follow these tips to properly care for your autumn clothes.
Attention to detail
All sweaters are not created equal. The varying compositions of fabric types mean that caring for, say, a wool sweater as opposed to a synthetic nylon blend is going to be very different. It is always best to look at the care instructions listed on the clothing tag within the sweater before attempting to do any sort of washing, especially if it’s a more expensive piece that you’re not willing to ruin because of a silly care mistake. Always read the tags, and don’t be afraid to look for online how-to articles if you want more in-depth instructions before you try to clean the sweater.
Use your hands
Though the washing machine is of great use when it comes to cleaning your clothes in bulk, it is the sweater’s worst nightmare. There is no cycle gentle enough to keep the quality of this piece as high as it should be. Instead, sweaters of all kinds should be hand-washed with mild soap and water, plain and simple. Though this process is obviously more labor-intensive, it helps keep the integrity of the sweater since you can easily control exactly how much force is being used during cleaning. Once the sweater has been thoroughly washed, be sure to lay it flat, as dry—hanging it or storing it while it’s damp can also ruin the quality.
Be creative with care
Sometimes you’re not going to have access to a dry cleaner, a sweater stone, which is a pumice stone used to get rid of pilling on sweaters, or a number of any other useful tools for clothing care. In these cases, experimenting with other common household objects to help keep your sweaters in top shape is a great idea. If your sweater pills and gets those little fuzz pieces all over, go ahead and (gently) take a razor to it to remove them. Use a hairbrush to remove hair and dust if there is no lint roller in sight. If there’s a will, there’s a way when it comes to sweater care, so there is virtually no object or tool too weird to use.
Wear it well
Just because you have properly cared for your beloved sweater using all of the steps above, that doesn’t mean your job is done — the battle is only half over. When you’re actually wearing the sweater, it’s important to be mindful of it in your everyday life. Pulling at it can stretch it out and make it shapeless, and pushing the sleeves up toward your elbows can have the same effect. You should also keep in mind that layering with a sweater can wear it out more quickly as well — the friction between certain fabrics can harm the well-being of the sweater. Anything similar to the material of a coat should be avoided.
Sweater weather is the best kind, but it won’t be any fun if the only sweaters you have are ill-fitting and misshapen. By following these instructions, you’re guaranteed to have the best looking sweaters around. That snuggly feeling is just an added bonus.