11 ways to make your shirts and blouses last longer

July 29, 2015

You want your favourite shirts and blouses to look good even after years of wear — and they can with a little tender loving care. Here are eleven tips for repairing, storing and cleaning shirts and blouses.

11 ways to make your shirts and blouses last longer

1. Clip loose threads

  • You've just purchased a nice new dress shirt or silk blouse.
  • Before you wear it, check all seams, hems, buttons, and buttonholes for loose threads.
  • To avoid unravelling later, clip them off instead of pulling them.

2. Secure loose buttons

  • New shirts can also have loose buttons. Check each button on your new garment and add a few stitches if they are not sewed on properly.
  • Doing this is especially important for buttons that have only two holes.

3. Sew on buttons with dental floss

  • If you know that the buttons on a garment are going to get a lot of wear and tear, resew them on with white dental floss, not thread.
  • The buttons will hold a lot longer.

4. Polish the buttons

  • To quickly reinforce buttons, put a dab of clear nail polish on the threads.
  • The nail polish will keep threads in place and prevent unravelling.

5. Cover your buttons

  • Button covers can give your old blouse a new look.
  • Slip the cover over the button, snap into place, button, and go.

6. Lint be gone

Have pesky little lint balls invaded the buttonholes of your favourite shirt? Dampen a cotton ball and run it through. The lint balls will disappear.

7. Pamper your silk with the right hangers

  • Drop that metal hanger. When hanging up a silk blouse, use plastic or padded hangers.
  • Metal hangers will leave small creases in your silk, and wooden ones may cause snags.

8. Stop, stuff, and roll

  • Your blouse has a flattering soft-roll collar.
  • Keep it that way by twisting some tissue paper and slipping it under the collar roll while the shirt is stored for its next wearing.

9. Link cuffs

  • If you wear shirts with French cuffs or other shirts that use cuff links, here's how to keep the cuffs from getting accidentally creased.
  • After pressing a shirt, use a bag twist-tie to link the two sides of the cuffs. They'll stay nice and flat while waiting to be worn.

10. Prevent ring-around-the-collar

  • Remember that old detergent commercial that touted the horror of ring-around-the-collar? Well, you don't need any particular soap to get rid of those rings, because it's really very easy to prevent them in the first place.
  • Just apply a little talcum powder or chalk to the collar of your shirt before you put it on. The powder will absorb sweat before it can cause rings.
  • Did you read this tip too late to prevent rings on some of your favourite shirts? No sweat. Get rid of the stains by applying a paste of baking soda and water.
  • Scrub with a small brush, such as an old toothbrush; then launder as usual.

11. Skip the starch

  • If you have your shirts cleaned professionally, they'll last longer if you don't starch the collars.
  • At the very least, don't include starch in the last laundering before putting your shirts away for the season.
  • Starch is an organic material that attracts bugs that will feast on your garments while they are stored.
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