I love everything in my closet; I try to make a point of not buying anything I can’t see myself still wearing in a year. Or two. Or, in some cases, 15. (I have a cashmere twinset that I bought in 1997. Still wearing it! Go me.)
In order to make things last, I hand wash a majority of my wardrobe — everything from pricey pieces, like my cashmere sweaters and washable silk blouses to super cheap shorts and tees. Why bother? Because no matter what the price point of my clothes, I want them to last as long as possible, with no shrinking or fading or excessive wear and tear.
These shorts do not do in the washing machine. Ever.
Things I make a point of hand-washing: Cashmere sweaters, bras, anything I don’t want to accidentally shrink, anything that would need to be ironed if it went in the washing machine (hand washing leaves things less wrinkled).
Things I do not hand wash: Running clothes, underwear, basic workhorse tees, anything belonging to my husband and children (although my husband’s fancy pants cycling kit doesn’t go in the dryer and he sends his dress shirts to the laundry because they do a better job, of course). Swimsuits — mine and theirs — go in the washing machine, in a lingerie bag, but get line dried. My jeans also go in the machine, inside out, and are hung to dry. Everyone else’s jeans? In the dryer, baby. Always.
(The dryer actually does the most damage to your clothes. Where do you think all that lint comes from? It’s your clothes, slowly disintegrating! Which is just sad.)
I typically do my hand-wash laundry once a week, often early in the morning when no one else is awake yet. It takes me maybe 40 minutes to launder everything I wear during the week. Here’s how I hand wash, in five easy steps.
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