Remember that rush you got when you finally found, purchased, and triumphantly brought home the perfect pants? Their fit was unparalleled — they likely had powers akin to those in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. You reasoned away the price by swearing you'd always cold-wash them (by hand). You foolishly thought, I can keep my clothes looking brand-new — no prob. Then a few weeks went by, and you accidentally threw them in the wash with that pile of clothes on your floor.
And so the 'perfect' pair of pants became the "pretty good" pair of pants — it's a tale as old as time. But you don't have to keep repeating this heartbreaking tale. Don't deprive yourself of nice things, simply because you think you'll destroy them in the wash. Whether you're trying to wash super-delicate bras, or you're cursing that out-of-nowhere wrinkle running right down the middle of your silk top, maintaining nice clothes is just another joy of adulthood. But seriously, when you're proud of your brand new clothes, it's worth it to understand the hacks that keep them looking that way. Ahead, every necessary steaming, folding, and storing trick you need to have, if you really care about your clothes.
Quickly Steam Away Wrinkles — Even On Vacation
Portable Fabric Steam Cleaner, $30, Amazon
After a few teeth-cutting years as a retail assistant, I could write a lengthy love letter to this tool and its abilities to transform crumpled silk blouses into the best-looking pieces in the showroom. This easily handled gadget heats up in 25 seconds, and it automatically shuts off when the water's too low or gets too hot. You'll have up to 18 minutes of steaming time, depending on the setting (though you'll likely need much less than that), and a steam spritz from this is the difference between "Ah, the shirt's fine" to "Ah — that shirt is fine." Bonus: This travel steamer comes with its own pouch for keeping luggage-constricted clothes looking fresh, instead of wrinkly.
Keep Sweaters, Cardigans, And Swimsuits Fuzz-Free
Conair Battery Operated Fabric Defuzzer , $13, Amazon
Whether you prefer oversized cardigans or you live for the three months a year when half your wardrobe is swimwear, a fabric defuzzer is one of those things it never occurred to you to get. But it's so helpful for for looking pulled together, no matter the season. This gadget safely defuzzes your clothes without ripping or snagging — a far cry from what your quick "razor fix" will do. It runs on AA batteries (so no tangly cord to worry about), and the head detaches for quick cleaning. When you catch yourself absentmindedly picking fuzzy fabric pills off your clothes, it's time to find a better way.
Store Fragile Bras (And Underwear) Without Denting & Bunching
Creatov Collapsible Storage Boxes , $13, Amazon
If your love for lingerie is exploding out of your underwear drawer, don't cut back — organize! These collapsible storage boxes are genius because they help you keep your bras and underwear in pristine condition (no more tucking bra cups within bra cups to force them to fit, or worse, just shoving them down into your drawer). These boxes help everything keep its shape, and they fold up when you don't need them (aka laundry day). The set comes with four pieces with two six-pocket compartments, one four-pocket drawer, and one with 24 (for socks or undies).
Keep Your Favorite Clothes Protected (While At Home And Traveling)
B&C Homegoods Garment Bags (Set of 3), $32, Amazon
This best-selling set of garment bags is exactly what you need for you next vacation. Lightweight but durable, each features a see-through panel so you can spot your patterned sundress and striped button-down in a hurry. Plus, the fabric is breathable, so your clothes won't smell stale and weird once you uncover them. (Bonus: This set comes with a shoe bag for travel, too!)
Yes, There Is A Way To Display Boots And Keep Them Upright
Whitmor Paint Boot Organizer, $18, Amazon
If you've been throwing your boots into the corner of your closet and hoping for the best, level up your footwear care. This nifty storage piece takes the shoe rack one step further, and it helps you keep your boots (always a hefty investment piece, am I right?) looking like they came right out of the box. Plus, it offers the ideal amount of hooks — how many people have nine pairs of knee-highs, right? But even if you do, at less than $20, it's not too much of a setback to double up.
Be Encouraged To Hand-Dry When You Have The Right Tool
Household Essentials Folding Drying Rack, $21, Amazon
A big part of keeping your clothes looking like new is actually hanging them to dry when they say so. Make it easier on yourself by getting a preassembled drying rack — this one folds back up, so you only have to have it out when you need it. Eleven coated rods mean plenty of space for delicate shirts, lacy bras, and underwear with elastic waistband that will get destroyed in the dryer. One user said, "Its biggest plusses are that it's very light-weight, and stores well when not in use."
Big Plans for the Pool? Keep Suits Vibrant With Special Soap
Summer Solutions Chlorine Neutralizer, $9, Amazon
When you already know you're logging major pool hours, it makes sense to save your favorite suits. Prolong the life of your swimsuits by shielding them against common pool chemicals, like chlorine. This special detergent eliminates that gross pool smell and saves your suit's elasticity from damaging chemicals. Simply add two cap-fills to your next laundry load, and finally get your two piece to last more than one season.
Save Space And Keep Clothes Off Closet Floor, Once And For All
Black Velvet Non Slip Hanger Pack (50 Pack), $33, Amazon
As any clothes lover will tell you, few things are more annoying than taking the time carefully hang silky, fragile garments — only to find them in the corner of your closet weeks later. Not only is this particular pack of hangers geniusly designed to keep that very annoying thing from happening, but they make it possible to store pants, skirts, or tops all on the same hanger. That means more room and a cohesive looking closet that'll have you breathe a sigh of relief every time you open that door. The hanger head swivels 360 degrees too, so even if you're extra particular about how you organize, you're ensured as little frustration as possible.
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