Caring for Your Clothes (At Home)

“Now that everyone is staying at home and feeling shut in, there’s more time for browsing and more appetite for beautiful and thoughtful things to counter the dreariness.”

Wrote my former professor now friend who, alike some readers, is staying at home amidst the COVID-19 epidemic.

I’m quite optimistic about finding meaningful activities. Reaching out to others and caring for things I own have been personally rewarding.

I don’t always make time to give proper wardrobe care. It’s quite nice to have that opportunity now. Here are some ideas:

Brown corduroy pants with double-sided Kent clothes brush

1. Brushing down your trousers

With a clothes brush. Hang your trousers and walk outside. Brush every area and see the dust leaving the garment. I sometimes brush while my trousers are on.

I use a double-sided Kent brush. If given the choice again, i’d choose single-sided.

Apply cream and polish starting from the heel

2. Condition and polish your shoes

First brush off existing dirt. Starting at the heel, apply conditioner (i.e. cream) throughout the shoe and wait 2 minutes for it to set in.

Brush/buff. Apply polish then brush again. Voila!

If you have smaller leather accessories – like a glasses case or wallet – they can join the factory line.

On top: a wine cashmere sweater that needs de-pilling and cleaning

3. Clean your sweaters

This has proved difficult for me, since I’m a miserable sweater caretaker. The extent of my efforts has gone to freezing my sweaters (to kill moths) in gallon ziplocks.

I recently shipped two sweaters for cleaning and repair at Love Cashmere in Scotland.

It’s my first time using this service. I don’t know if my package will arrive safely, nor would I personally ship again during the COVID-19 crisis since their factory is temporarily closed until April 6.

Shipping costs + import tax were appalling ($159.57 + ~$180).

Tip: Try different mail carriers like USPS (I used UPS) and devalue the sweaters to avoid exorbitant fees. They are used, after all.

Other positive activities include calling friends, reading, and meditating. Creating a room of one’s own can be surprisingly pleasant. Be well, be kind, and stay positive.

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