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Tips for Smarter Living

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Tips for Smarter Living

Making First Impressions Count By Taking Care of Your Wardrobe


We all know that first impressions count (“You only have one chance to make a first impression”) and how you dress is a big part of that impression. Regardless of the dress code for a specific situation -- business formal or business casual -- taking care of your appearance can only help you communicate your professionalism.

Whether you’re meticulous about caring for your clothes – putting away your day’s outfit immediately – or not – stacking worn outfits on your dresser, to be put away “over the weekend” – there are simple things to do to make sure your clothes last and keep their appearance.


1.     Lingerie/Swimwear

Never put lingerie or swimwear in the washer/dryer.  Doing so will ruin the elastic, which in turn will ruin the fit.

a. Wash like colors together.

b. Fill a sink or bowl with cool water and a gentle detergent or with shampoo.

c. Hand agitate the laundry a few times and let soak for about an hour.

d. Gently squeeze out excess water.

e. Dry on a drying rack.

f. Put an empty bottle of perfume or a bar of lightly scented soap in your lingerie drawer.  The hint of the scent will be wonderful.


2.     Cashmere

Despite what it says on the tag, cashmere is best washed by hand in cold water with baby shampoo or Woolite for optimal softness and protection from chemicals (and only about two times a season).

a. Never hold up a wet cashmere sweater by the shoulders, it’ll stretch it out. In fact, keep your cashmere in a lump when you go to pick it up when wet.

b. To dry it quickly, use a salad spinner, which releases excess water in seconds. Don’t have one? Lay it flat to dry, pressing it with a towel.


Cotton is super-durable, so it can be washed in the machine with any detergent and bleached as needed.

a. For best results, machine wash cotton items in warm water on a normal wash cycle.

b. Tumble dry on low setting.

c. If your cotton is white, you can wash it with bleach on a hot water setting.


4.     Viscose/Rayon

Viscose has a silky appearance and breathes like cotton but it wrinkles very easily, so it’s advised to use an iron’s medium setting with steam.

a. If the garment is particularly special or has intricate draping, hand-washing is suggested in cool to lukewarm water.

b. Hang wet items totally wet (no wringing or twisting) as this will help remove creasing and ensure the garment doesn’t lose its shape.


5.     Polyester

Most polyester and can be easily machine washed and dried in warm water, with added fabric softener because polyester is prone to static cling. Certain poly-blends need to be dry cleaned, so always check the tag.

a. Dry the garment on a low temperature and use a moderately warm iron if needed.

b. Polyester is easy to care for, but tends to lock in stains. To lift a stain, rub stain remover on the area and allow it to sit for 10 to 20 minutes before laundering.


6.     Silk

While dry-cleaning is fine for basic silk pieces, it’s even better (and cheaper) to hand wash them in order to keep them in good shape.

a. Hand wash silk in cool or lukewarm water using a tiny bit of mild detergent or shampoo dissolved in water.

b. Like most natural fibers, silk doesn’t tolerate changes in temperature, so stick with either cool or warm water the whole way through.

c. Never wring out silk to dry! Instead roll the item up in a towel and gently press the water out.

d. Wash items labeled “washable silk” in the washing machine on the gentle cycle in a mesh bag. Hang dry on a padded hanger.

e. To prevent color loss and to keep silk in good condition, add up to three tablespoons of white vinegar for every two quarts of water.

f. Silk should be pressed while it’s still damp. Iron on a low setting and don’t use steam, which can leave watermarks.

g. Always store silk in a dry dark place, and never keep in it in plastic since the fabric needs to breathe.


7.     Jeans

Unless your jeans are made from raw denim (in which case they should not be washed for six months), jeans can easily be washed, inside out, in cold water. Try not to machine dry them but, if you must, do so on the lowest possible setting.


Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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