How to Get Longevity Out of Your Wardrobe

Rihanna in Acid-Washed Jeans

Remember to play with your accessories
Accessories are a staple in any outfit and can completely change the look of an already worn outfit. Try pairing various accessories with an already worn outfit, instead of buying a brand new outfit in this troubled economy. For example, a tunic that was already worn can look completely different when paired with a bold waist-belt, or colorful bold jewelry.

Go shopping in Mom’s closet
…or your aunt’s closet, or your grandmother’s closet, or…well, you get the idea. Everyone knows that saying “everything that old is new again”, right? Well, that applies to fashion especially. If it’s possible, I would suggest going shopping in an older relative’s closet to see what they can part with from the days of yesteryear.

Have a clothes swapping party
A clothes swapping party is where you and your friends gather pieces of clothing that are gently used (but well taken care of) or completely unused and swap with one another. When hosting a clothes swapping party, make sure to assign the number of pieces each attendee should bring so that everything is equally distributed.

Pay close attention to the care tags in your clothes
Improperly caring for your clothes can lower its longevity. Remember that Woolite is your friend…it helps fabrics retain color and resilience. Always wash clothes inside out, especially jeans. Also remember that it’s very important to find a good dry cleaner that you can trust, and make sure that you speak to your dry cleaner about your “longevity” concerns.

Whenever possible, store away out of season clothes
“Why?” you ask. The answer is simple…clothes last a lot longer when they’re not exposed to the elements. When you store your clothes, you are protecting them from things like dust (which can fade your clothes over time) and bugs (such as moths, which live by eating fabrics).

Mix and match
Some, if not most, of the items in your closet should be versatile…meaning that the items can mixed and matched with various other items you own and can make the transition from day to night, work to casual, etc. A crisp white shirt, for example, should be able to be paired with jeans or a pencil skirt for various looks; in other words, you should be able to wear it to work, church, or out to dinner with friends.

Remember the cost per wear rule
The cost per wear (CPW) rule is the idea of putting your money towards a piece of clothing or accessory that you will continually wear while embracing the view that it’s like an investment; in other words, the more times your wear a piece of clothing, the better the return on your initial purchase. So if a top costs $100 and you wear the top 4 times, the top could be interpreted as costing $25.

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