How to Care for The Garments in Your Capsule Wardrobe

If you wear a daily uniform or capsule wardrobe then you should be especially mindful of the upkeep of your items if you want to extend their longevity. 

You may have your own special tricks for caring for your clothes but here’s a simple and handy guide with general rules of thumb for properly maintaining items. 

I tend to gravitate to natural materials because they are environmentally friendly and don’t contain chemicals that agitate the skin, so this guide focuses on organic fabrics. 

Cashmere

Cold hand wash
Air dry flat on towel
Konmari folding method 

Cotton

Wash warm on normal cycle
Bleach whites if needed
Tumble dry and iron ok
Simple fold or hang (depending on item)

Denim

Cold delicate wash (sparingly) 
Turn inside out in wash
Air dry flat  
Fold in halves  

Leather

Treat with protector before wearing
Spot wipe with damp cloth
Hang jackets on sturdy wood hanger
Avoid rain/wet conditions 

Linen

Warm delicate wash
Air dry flat or on rack
Iron on wrong side, linen setting
Fold or hang (depending on item)

Silk

Cool hand wash
Low heat iron on silk setting
Use mesh bag for intimates
Hang clothing, fold intimates

Wool

Delicate wash sweaters (wool cycle) 
Air dry sweaters flat on towel
Konmari folding method
Dry clean wool coats (before storing) 
Hang coats on sturdy wood hangers 

General 

Treat your items with a sense of respect and gratitude (i.e. do not ever throw your clothing on the floor, step on them, or leave them balled up in the corner of the room for days on end). 

Intimates, swimwear, and workout gear I wash immediately after wearing. Everything else I typically wear about 3-4 times before washing, except for coats which I dry-clean at end of the season. 

When washing use gentle chemical-free detergents, wash with like colors (and fabrics if possible), and if ever in doubt, follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. Though I mention ironing, I actually prefer a steamer as it doesn’t come into direct contact with the material. 

Always clean items before placing in seasonal storage and use breathable, well-sealed, fabric storage bags. Cedar chips will keep moths away.  

 

Caring for your garments is one of the modules taught in my free Capsule Wardrobe e-Course. It's a comprehensive 10-step process for crafting your personal style and curating your perfect, simple closet. Learn more.