Six Looks of the Season—and How to Care for Them

Looking your best day after day takes effort. First you have to pick an outfit, then you have to pull off the look, then you have to treat it right so you can wear it again! Here are some useful tips and tricks that will keep the season’s top looks clean and bright.

 

THE OVERSIZED SWEATER

 

How to Wear:

Sometimes called the “boyfriend sweater,” options include cardis, V-necks and turtlenecks in a wide range of colors. To avoid a boxy look, pair chunky sweaters with a slimmer-fit pant or skirt.

How to Care:

1.       If the care label says dry-clean only, ask your cleaner to “block” the garment before drying. Blocking is a gentle process that stretches knitted fabrics back into shape.

2.       If the care label says hand wash, squeeze some liquid detergent on it and suds gently through the fabric in lukewarm water. Never rub or twist! Rinse thoroughly, then dry flat on a towel.

3.       If your sweater has piling (little balls of fabric that accumulate on the surface), don’t fret–and don’t pull! Try using a sweater comb or a motorized fabric shaver to coax them off. Scissors also work but be careful not to cut a hole in the fabric!

 

 

COLORBLOCKING

 

Nothing’s more fun than mixing (not matching) bright colors. As long as they’re all bold hues, primaries go surprisingly well together.

How to Care:

1.       Make sure you sort your laundry into whites, lights, brights, darks and delicates.

2.       Use liquid laundry detergent pods. Each one contains cleaning agents, stain removers and brighteners so hues will stay vibrant.

3.       Wash in cold water and dry on a cool setting. Washing in cold water keeps fibers from swelling and releasing dyes, which can make your favorite garments fade.

 

 

DARK DENIM

 

How to Wear:

No more mom jeans! Dark denim is not only more stylish, it’s also more slimming–no matter which cut you prefer, from skinnies to bell-bottoms.

How to Care:

1.       Always turn jeans inside out before washing. This ensures that rubbing between clothes does not cause uneven or worn spots on your jeans.

2.       Wash in cold water to prevent fading. Try using a detergent that is formulated specifically for cold-water conditions, which will save energy and money.

3.       Don’t overdry. Take your jeans out of the dryer while they are still slightly damp, turn them back to normal and shake them flat. Otherwise, they might get an unwanted crease or fold. When they are still damp, you can stretch the inseam as much as needed. Let them dry naturally before folding.

 

 

LEATHER

 

How to Wear:

Check out the fabulous leather and faux leather options this season, including jackets, T-shirts, jeans and pencil skirts. Caution: unless you’re joining a biker gang, don’t wear the look from head to toe!

How to Care:

1.       Read first, wash later. Before treating any leather or faux leather garment, always refer to the instructions on the care label.

2.        Apply a good conditioner with a soft cloth to your leather goods periodically. This will protect your leather from stains and moisture by making it more water-repellant.

3.       If you do stain leather or faux leather, clean the spot gently with a leather cleaner and a damp cloth.

 

 

WINTER WHITES

 

How to Wear:

Forget the old adage that has you packing away whites after Labor Day. Even white jeans are cropping up for the cold-weather months this season.

How to Care:

1.       Don’t use bleach. Repeated washing with chlorine bleach may gradually weaken fabric fibers and shorten the life span of your clothes. Instead, try a detergent that contains no chlorine bleach and is safe for all your machine-washable clothes.

2.       Remember to carefully sort your clothes into whites, lights, brights, darks and delicates. Even one stray black sock can turn your white load a dingy grey.

3.       Don’t overload your washer. You want to leave enough space for detergent to lift and wash away dirt. Otherwise dirt may just lift and redeposit.

 

 

FAUX FUR

 

How to Wear:

Faux fur is a great and stylish replacement for the real thing. You’ll still achieve a luxe look, but it will cost a lot less.

How to Care:

1.       As with all special-care items, read the care label before treating.

2.        A gentle brushing will dislodge loose dirt and fluff up most faux furs so that they’re as good as new. However, if needed, you can also hand wash most faux furs in cold water and then lay flat to dry.

3.       Never stick faux fur in the dryer as the heat will most likely alter the fur’s size and shape.