Shoes and clothing are expensive. Even if you purchased some great pieces secondhand, you still had to spend your hard earned cash. The best way to protect that investment is to put a little thought into caring for these items—that way you won’t have to buy more to replace worn items as often.
Let’s start with your shoes. I’m very willing to pay more for a pair of good quality, comfortable and supportive shoes, but that doesn’t mean I look forward to parting with the cash. For that reason I make it a point to take good care of my shoes, and it really does add to their longevity. Don’t forget to also protect and maintain accessories like belts and purses.
Polishing your leather shoes is one of the best ways to prolong their life. Trust me, this lost art really does help. I also like to spray suede or leather shoes with a waterproofing spray before wearing them for the first time. This is especially helpful in colder climates as it helps cut down on the amount of damage done by road salt.
There’s also a shoe repair shop in town that does very reasonably priced work. Check to see if you have something similar. I have had heels replaced, soles repaired and grommets replaced when necessary. Granted, I have had to spend a few dollars here and there to do so, but it has saved me from having to spend a bundle on a new pair.
Clothing can also benefit from a bit of maintenance. A little TLC will help your favorite pieces enjoy a longer life—and keep more cash in your pocketbook!
One mistake I think many people make is to wash any piece of clothing they have worn, no matter how short the time. Now, I’m not saying stop washing your clothing—obviously there are some items that need to be laundered with each wearing. However, unless they have been obviously soiled, I tend to wear jeans and jackets or sweaters (if I’m wearing another shirt underneath them) more than once before I wash them.
Laundering can be very hard on your clothes—especially the dryer. I am also very careful to never throw my work clothes, since they tend to be pricier, or more delicate items in the dryer—yes it’s quicker, but instead I hang the items on a rack and let them air dry. It keeps them looking nice longer and reduces my carbon footprint a bit as well.
We keep a basket in the laundry room and the family knows to put any items that repair there. I try to take a few minutes each week to mend anything that needs mending. Some weeks I’m lucky and don’t need to, but I make it a point to replace buttons, re-sew loose hems and re-stitch seams as necessary. If I wait, something will inevitably make the situation worse—I’ll lose the missing button, the tiny rip will turn into a huge tear or the kids will catch a heel in a loose hem and destroy the bottom of a pair of pants. An ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure!
Photo Credit: iClipart