Closet Hacks to Keep Your Clothes in Good Shape

Take good care of your threads by hitting a few easy points in your wardrobe routine.

Buying nice clothes is one thing, but keeping everything in top notch shape is another matter entirely. Unless you're careful, even Saville Row suits, bench-made wingtips, and delicately crafted cashmere will start to look rough around the edges after some time in your rotation.

So to protect your top tier investments and make even lower end stuff last for as long as possible, you've got to take good care of your wardrobe. Which involves a few easy points:

Store Your Suits on Proper Hangers

A flat plastic hanger isn't gonna cut it. The narrow profile means your suit's shoulders are resting on a very sharp point, which stresses the fabric and can cause set-in creases.

Instead, invest in flared ones that mimic the natural shape of your shoulders. That'll preserve the drape of the jacket, so you don't end up with prematurely worn-down or permanently creased fabric.

Keep Your Sweaters Folded, Not Hung Up

Especially fine knits like cashmere sweaters are soft and beautiful, but they're also very delicate. Keeping them hung up on hangers, even nice wide-shouldered ones, will leave unnatural creases and stretch out the fabric.

Keep 'em neatly folded to avoid the stress from hanging and the wool will keep its shape for far longer.

Invest in Some Shoe Trees

These are hands down the best thing you can do to expand the life of your leather shoes. They fit snugly inside any shoes that aren't currently on your feet, which holds the shape while the cedar freshens up your insoles.

Use them religiously and your lace-ups will still look full even after years of wear, rather than ending up flattened and creased.

Wash Your Denim the Right Way

Jeans are resilient. Washing 'em every time you do your laundry is overkill, and will rapidly drain the inky color from your favorite pair.

Take a cue from The Best (and Worst) Ways to Wash Raw Denim, even if your jeans aren't made from the high end raw stuff. Wash them as rarely as possible, and when you hit your breaking point, use cold water with denim-specific detergent or Woolite Dark.

Steer Clear of Aluminum Antiperspirant

You know those embarrassing yellow stains that sometimes show up in the underarms of white shirts? We hate those, and if you get 'em, you probably do too.

The culprit isn't your sweat — it's your sweat mixed with aluminum, the active ingredient in antiperspirants. It does help keep you dry by blocking your pores, but it can also wreck your shirts, and the yellow stains that result can be a real pain to clean.

If you want a truly aluminum-free option, stick to deoderant. It won't prevent sweat like antiperspirant does, but it will mask the sweat with a fresh scent. If you really need antiperspirant, look for ones with aluminum chlorohydrate in low doses.

Don't Skimp on Shoe Polish

At the very least, you should hit your leather shoes with a coat of cleaning & conditioning cream every couple weeks. That'll clear out any corrosive gunk from the leather's pores, like road salt, and recondition by adding moisture deep down into the surface. That keeps the leather soft, supple, and durable.

To boost the color, follow up with shoe polish, and then get 'em shiny with a protective layer of wax. Here's a full how-to for quick-hitting touch ups, regular maintenance, and intensive mirror shines.

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