Make your clothes last longer

Put off a trip to the mall with these smart wardrobe-saving tips

Flip out. Turning your clothes inside out and washing them in cold water is the best way to keep color from fading. This maneuver is especially important with jeans, which are often dyed only on the surface.

 Loosen up. Don’t crowd your clothes when hanging them in your closet. Otherwise, they’re more prone to wrinkle, which means you’ll have to iron them―and that increases the risk of damage. Wire hangers also can harm the shoulders of your shirts, so it pays to invest in better quality plastic, wood or padded hangers.

Soften with caution. Fabric softeners can leave spots on your clothes. Dilute liquid softener before adding it to your wash, but don’t use more than you need.

Don’t put off patching. If a garment has a small tear, mend it as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the bigger the tear is likely to become and the harder it will be to repair.

Unbutton. Don’t put clothes in the wash when they’re buttoned up. All the tugging in the machine weakens the threads attached to the buttons and makes it more likely for them to come loose or pop off.

Wipe off spills. If you treat a stain immediately, you have a better chance of getting it out. When you take a stained garment to a dry cleaner, pin a note by the mark, listing the cause. That gives the cleaner a good shot at treating the stain.

Opt for folding. Sweaters are better off folded on a shelf than hung on hangers, which can easily damage delicate knits.