Sunday, March 29, 2009

love your clothes

photo by Tim Lyons

The other day, one of the girls who works at my financial centre asked how it is that all my clothes are in such good shape. I'd recently given her a lightweight fuchsia sweater (that she'd seen me wearing last year) because it had a crossover bodice, and I couldn't wear it without a tanktop because my chest kept popping out. I figured that she'd wear it because she always layers her clothes, while I'd only wear a tank if I can layer it with a jacket that I can take off.

At any rate, she mentioned that she cycles through a wardrobe every ten months to a year because the washing machine wrecks them, and no one has ever taught her how to hand wash clothes. When I still recommended it, she replied "I couldn't imagine all the time it takes!"

I suppose it does, but not anymore than machine washing. In my case, I have to trudge downstairs to my tiny laundry room, dig through the piles of towels and jeans and socks and other assorted crap to find my stuff. Then I'd wait half an hour, trudge back down, put it in the dryer (if the dryer is even empty) wait another forty-five minutes, bring it up and fold it.

I'd rather do it my way.

All my skirts, blouses, tank tops, sweaters, and nighties are hand washed. I usually buy a small container of cheap liquid laundry detergent to keep beneath the bathroom sink. Any kind, as long as it doesn't have bleach. I wash two to three items at a time, rinse them once, and roll them in a thick bath towel. Sometimes I leave them in the towel overnight, especially if it's a sweater. The next morning I unwrap it and either drape it over the shower rod or on a hanger. Within a few hours it can be moved to my closet, which has an ironing board set up beside it 24/7.

I have managed to keep certain dressy items for up to four years by doing it this way, and considering that I used to spend $2,000 a year on clothes, it's saved me a bundle. Now when I buy something, it's because I love it, not because I need it.

Have a good Sunday!


  1. That's some good advice. What do you do about lint or fuzzies from the towel?

  2. I should hate myself for knowing this but it's spelled "fuchsia". When we wrote our notes for what colors the kids were wearing (in case they got lost) some of us thought it would be funny to write really obscure words for colors that people would have trouble understanding.

    I am so lazy that I won't even hang my laundry out to dry! But I have to learn how to do it because I don't have a dryer anymore. Also my washing machine is small and takes a long time to wash things so I will have to do laundry more often.

  3. I like bacon and eggs but you can hardly get bacon here and besides I always do everything at the last minute, so I have cold cereal.

  4. I used to handwash when I was in university just cause my landlady was too cheap to buy a washing machne. Now, with my more delicate fabrics, I would hand wash, and like you, I have kept a lot of my clothes in tip top shape. But I am too scared to think of what my yearly bill is - don't make me think about it. lol

  5. Hey C! There are never any lint or fuzzies from the towels.

    Noc - you're right! It's one of my most common spelling mistakes. I'll fix it.

    Tam - I kept track when I was at my last store. The $2,000 was AFTER my 50% discount, so when I left I had to be so careful with my shopping.

  6. I don't spend a lot on clothes anymore. I got out of the habit of handwashing because of dealing with so much laundry with 2 kids and a husband. I needed the easiest way to get by that I could. Now I would like to do investment shopping, but I couldn't wear any of my clothes to work. They would all get ruined since I have to leave my office and deal with the fabric rolls!

  7. Thanks for the tips! I go through clothes fairly quickly because I am always washing them in the machine.
    Hmmmm...perhaps I will try some hand washing.