This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
We write a post nearly every week about fashion and the pieces that we are lusting after. However, after this last year, we have all had a bit of a re-think of our wardrobes. We have more than enough clothes, but I am not afraid to admit that buying something new still brings a thrill. However, there is also something unfortunate when a favourite item of clothing or pair of shoes falls into disrepair and are no longer wearable. You may search far and wide for a replacement, but you probably have not found anything that quite matches up. So I thought I would give some tips about caring for fashion and keeping your clothes, shoes and accessories fresh, clean and repaired so that they last a little longer.
I have found that washing some of my more precious clothes in a laundry bag protects them from stretching, pilling and getting your garments in a tangle. It can also help catch fibres or the odd button that may have come loose, saving your machine from getting clogged up and damaged. Me+Em sell a really good one in cotton.
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There is a brilliant travel steamer from Fridja. It heats up in 45 seconds and has enough water in the tank for 14 minutes of steaming. It is perfect for refreshing clothes when you arrive at a hotel or to stay with friends. I find it so much easier than an iron.
Washing Shoes and Trainers:
Do you want to clean some shoes similar to trainers? I bought some white slip-on shoes in a woven, stretch fabric from Ugg. They are not the most practical colour, but they look so nice. However, I now need to brighten them up. I must not put them in the washing machine as that will ruin the soles and melt the glue.
Mix equal parts of baking soda, white toothpaste, a gentle washing detergent (I use the one that I wash my woollens in) with a splash of warm water. Scrub the trainers or shoes with the mixture using a toothbrush or nail brush and then rinse once. If they have laces, then soak these in this same mixture for some time and, whilst they will not be as good as new, they will be better than before.
Use Batiste dry shampoo spray. Spray on the mark and leave for 10 – 15 minutes, then dab it off or rinse under the tap. I carry a mini can of this in my handbag. How often do you spill something on your clothes when eating out?
This method is also extremely successful with lipstick as Grace and I found when doing a photoshoot in pale coloured, cashmere sweaters!
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Reviving suede shoes:
If you have just taken some suede shoes out of your cupboard to wear and they look a bit dull, try steaming them. Boil a kettle and keep boiling it whilst you hold the shoe in the steam. Please be careful that you do not burn your skin. Wear some oven gloves or similar. The steam will revive the shoes and enrich their colour. Of course, for a longer-term solution for black, navy or brown suede shoes, some sprays will revive the colour. However, nothing for pale coloured suede that works that I know of.
Restory is a company that will restore special bags. When I say special I do not mean designer bags only, I mean special to you.
One client bought a wicker basket in Mauritius. Eventually, the handles broke. Restory offered her three different designs. The client chose a backpack design for her bag, which gave it a new lease of life. Have a read HERE of this case study (below). I have never used this company, but I know someone who used it on one of their grandmother’s Chanel bags. It was a great success. Restory will also restore shoes, trainers, dye bags or even repair a leather jacket. You can get a quote before the work begins, and then you can decide if it is worth the cost.
The Handbag Spa is another company that offers a similar service. I had a black and white silk bag cleaned here once and it came up as good as new. I often use this bag at weddings as it is so pretty but quite delicate and I now keep it in a silk cover when I am not using it as it does attract dust and dirt.
At The Handbag Spa, they will deliver a high quality service with a 2 week turnaround time working personally with your handbag from start to finish.
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Finally, dare I mention your precious jumpers. When you get your knitwear out of storage, they may be looking a little fluffy. It would help if you got rid of those annoying fabric pills. This is a battery-operated fabric shaver. I use it all year to get my knitwear looking shop new again.
There are so many laundry items I would love to buy from this website. The Clothing & Shoe mist is bound to be a gorgeous fragrance. Even if I only used it on my knitwear, I can feel a Hygge moment coming on – whoops, that is Danish. Steamery is in Sweden but only just over ‘The Bridge’!
Caring for fashion is so important in these days of unnecessary waste. Look at what we already own and see if a small repair or a change in the colour will give the item a new lease of life. This is what we should be thinking about now.