Save money with these 8 tips to keep clothes new forever

One of my 2013 resolutions is to save money--and that means NO shopping! Since I'm trying to stretch my dollars these days, I've been trying to just work with the clothes I already have, instead of constantly buying replacements. Here's where the problem comes: I have a closet full of pieces I've had for years that are still quite stylish, but no longer wearable. A majority of my pieces look completely worn out, faded, discolored and some have even stretched out. By the end of every season my clothes look like they've been through war, making them impossible to keep, let alone wear again.

So I've decided to come up with a few easy tips and preventive measures to preserve my not-so-worn-out clothes so that I can get the most mileage out of my wardrobe. Here are a few simple tips to help you hang on to the clothes you already have!


Read more ¿Qué más? Make your old clothes new again with these 6 EASY tips!

1. Don't store dirty clothes: You should never put away worn items back in the closet, especially next to clean garments. Your clothes may appear clean, but your body oils, leftover perfume, and deodorant leave invisible stains which eventually can lead to discoloration.

2. Invest in dry cleaning: Delicate garments should never be tossed in the washer. Make sure to bring them to a reputable dry cleaner who understands how to clean and care for fragile garments. If sending your clothes to the dry cleaners isn't exactly in your budget, try to purchase fewer delicate and dry-clean-only clothes.

3. Know when to fold vs. hang: There are certain clothes that shouldn't be folded and certain clothes that shouldn't be hung. Knit sweaters should be folded and stored neatly in drawers. Hanging them in your closet can cause them to stretch. Dressy tops or items that tend to wrinkle easily should be hung. And more delicate pieces, like an embellished gown, should be stored flat between layers of tissue paper in a drawer or breathable box.

4. Avoid fading: Try using a laundry detergent that's especially formulated to maintain your clothes' original color. This is especially important when it comes to dark denims. I like to turn my jeans inside out before tossing them in the washer to keep the color vivid. Try Woolite Laundry Detergent for Dark Colors ($17).

5. Let your clothes breathe: Proper air circulation is key for preserving fabrics. Make sure to always remove the plastic garment bags from the dry cleaner immediately. Also, try not to overcrowd your closet. Keep enough breathable room between garments.

6. Wash clothes in cold water: Most fabrics hold up better when they are subjected to less heat, especially dark colors. It's also a great way to cut down on your energy bill. Save the warm water for when you're washing whites. And always make sure to separate your colors into blacks, darks, lights, and whites whenever you're washing. Throwing random colors together in one load is asking for fading and stains.

7. Keep clothes away from light: One of the main causes for garment discoloration and fading is exposure to light. Always keep your garments in clean, breathable areas away from light.

8. Invest in a steamer: There are certain garments you just can't iron, which is why you should have a steamer at home to keep all your clothes looking fresh and wrinkle-free. It's super quick and easy to use and cuts the cost of having to take clothes to the dry cleaners. Try the Rowenta Ultra White Handheld Steam Brush ($30). This compact size steamer is easy to store away and perfect for traveling.

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: clothing  cheap/affordable