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Style Magic: How to Make Your Fast Fashion Move Slow

Anyone who has had a magazine subscription or followed social media pages deemed fashion gurus has been a spectator of the ongoing war between mass fashion and upper-echelon brands regarding quality.

The recent advice, in efforts to curb the carbon footprint on the earth that the clothing industry induces, is to buy better and buy less. Editors and designers want consumers to go ahead and splurge on the $100-$200 shoes or the handbag that costs upwards of $500+ in order to "make it last" but in truth, it likely isn't the middle and lower classes who are buying tons of clothes only to throw them away or wear them only once.

It isn't just the lower and middle classes that are the main consumers of brands like Zara, H&M, Nordstrom Rack and similar price-points, particularly in larger cities. Anyone who is conscious of managing their money so that it can be better allocated and spread around would be crazy not to spend less on clothing. It is consistently being produced, rather than to save up for that family trip or self-care procedure that comes with a heftier price tag and happens less often.

The truth is you don't have to spend on pricey shoes, or coats, or suiting or tops or anything else that you gravitate towards in order to get your money's worth, but it isn't a crime to buy RTW or couture if you choose.

It is all about how you maintain its care after its purchase. I have several items that I have had for over 12 years that I purchased with a coupon or discount from places The Limited (now a private label for Belk), Cache (now defunct), Charlotte Russe (which recently went through bankruptcy and has adjusted its brand), and yes, even Wal-Mart and Target.

All it takes is a lot of personal hygiene and level of awareness when handling your fabrics. Follow this advice to avoid having to constantly replace clothing until you are ready to recycle them or resell them:

Always keep stain removers and fabric shavers in your home.

I make it no secret in previous posts that I love Shout Spray. I buy the refill bottles and they last me several washes. Some people use the bleaching pens from Clorox or other brands, which is also fine, but I have found them to be less helpful due to the amount of time I have to take on large stains.

When I had my daughter, no doubt she got food and other materials all over her clothes, Shout Spray has helped me keep her clothes looking like new until she grows out of them or it's time to recycle.

As you prepare to wash your load, go through the items that have specific stains on them, and apply your stain remover. Rub the fabric together for 3-4 seconds and then toss it in. I have found that it works best if you don't do this too far in advance of the actual cleaning. I do it as I'm loading the machine.

Sorting and Water Temperature Matter.

I often hear others say that they either hate or just don't sort their laundry before they throw everything in but if you have certain pieces that are favorites or that you consider to be staples, how you wash them is critical if you want them to last.

What has always worked for me is only washing my white clothes with hot water and never mixed with other colors. If an item is primarily white, I wash it with whites. If white is an accent color,, I load it with the dominant colors.

My bright colors like reds, oranges, and yellows, pinks, etc., I use warm water and my dark colors like deep blues, greys, blacks, greens, dark purples, etc get cold water.

I have seen advice online to wash everything in cold water for energy purposes or for fabric content but for me, the whites come out best with hot water and I rarely ever have stains after using a stain remover. I have whites that have lasted me well over 10 years but you should try which method works for you.

Inside Out and Water Fill

Those settings and knobs on your washing machine really do serve a purpose. When doing small loads, ensure that your fill settings are not set to large and vice versa. Too much water will dilute the effectiveness of your detergent and not having enough water will not fully remove your detergent.

Another thing to watch for when doing your laundry is turning something embellished (such as sequins, appliques, or studs), delicate (like sweaters), or ripped inside out. This reduces the likelihood of damage occurring during the wash, such as snagging, detachment, and pilling.

Once dry if you do have a small bit of pilling or lint rolls remaining, a fabric shaver or lint roller will help safely remove them and prevent further damage. It is amazing how this keeps your clothes looking fresh. You can also trim any loose threads before they get the chance to unravel.

Avoid Using High Heat to Dry