Ten rules of caring for your clothes...

We all need love.....so do your clothes.

You work hard, so you can buy beautiful clothes, right? Of course! Purchasing wisely is a skill best learned early; well made pieces of clothing will last and look better longer than their bargain counterparts. I am a stickler for quality fabrics and workmanship in my dresses. I want them to be in your wardrobe, serving you well, for a long time!

My parents taught me that quality was always better than quantity. My Dad, whom we fondly called Dapper Dan, was always well turned out, and enjoyed purchasing nice things for my Mom as well.

I'm now going to age myself by revealing the retailer my family loved, and where I spent the first ten years of my retail career: I still remember Dad saying to Mom, when she needed a good dress, coat, or suit, "Let's go to Bullocks' and get something nice." (Sadly, Bullocks was swallowed whole by Macy's in the 90's and we lost something wonderful)

But I digress! When we buy good things, and we want them to last, they must be cared for. In my almost 40 years in retail, I am consistently surprised (and wounded like a mother for her children!) by the bad treatment of lovely garments. So, let's get down to business! I'm going to save you some money here, so listen up! Without further ado...

The 10 Commandments of Caring For Your Wardrobe:

1) Make friends with a good tailor! "Ready to Wear" means that you could put it on and wear it. Since no one is the perfect size anything, most all of us need some tailoring to make clothes hang and fit perfectly. Ask your salesperson if you're not sure.

2) Read the care label. Ex: "Hand wash cold" means wash by hand, in cold water. "Tumble dry low" means set the dryer on delicate, and watch carefully. Instruct any housekeepers who work in your home.

Variation: Cashmere. Best hand washed gently, and dried flat. Roll in a towel first to remove excess water, dry flat, and pat into the orginal shape. It will dry beautifully and so soft! Don't dry clean it!

3) Have stains removed quickly. Don’t try to do it yourself! Remember what the stain is, and tell the dry cleaner.

4) Inspect your clothes regularly for minor repairs, and have your dry cleaner complete these. This is less costly than your tailor.

5) Fold sweaters. Place wool and cashmere in large 2-gallon ziplock bags. This is the only way I've ever found to stop moths in their tracks. Never hang them!

6 Use underarm shields. www.kleinerts.com Yes, I'm serious. They will save your expensive blouses and dresses, and save you money on cleaning. Perspiration will break down clothes over time. Your silk blouses will thank you.

7) Take leather and suede to a specialist.

Your clothes say a lot about you, Take care of them!

8) No more wire hangers! Keep the shape of your garments by using hangers that have padding, or are curved.

9) Reweaving is possible on woolens. There are specialists; ask your dry cleaner.

10) Use fabric garment bags to store evening wear or cloth coats out of season. Again---moths!

And the bonus: Find a great shoe/handbag repair! Quality shoes and handbags will make any outfit look better. Trust me. Nothing looks worse than run-down shoes and a tired handbag. Buy quality, and keep them polished, conditioned, clean, and especially on shoes--replace the heel taps! (please.....) That clackity-clack on the floor from worn-out heel taps is like nails on a chalkboard....