What People With Great Clothes Always Do

There are pros and cons to having one lucky outfit. On the upside, dressing for the first day at a new job or a big night out (in which lots of Snapchatting will be happening) is as easy as throwing on your trusty standbys and walking out the door with confidence. The downside? Those oft-relied-upon pieces are bound to show a little wear and tear after the third, fourth, or fifth wear in a row. While most people are familiar with this sartorial catch-22 — and will gladly chime in with their own stories of worn-to-death faves — there are some mythically fashionable men and women who manage to keep their signature styles looking just-off-the-rack fresh. These folks never fall victim to wrinkles or frays, hang on to knitwear season after season, and — perhaps most jealousy-inducing of all — keep their white sneakers perfectly unscuffed. Because they are clearly onto something, we tapped an in-the-know group to share their best-kept secrets, from washing intimates in an Electrolux machine to rethinking the way we hang clothes. Read on, and wear your #poweroutfit today, tonight, and tomorrow without fear.
Give your sweaters a shave-down.
While taking a razor to your knitwear might seem counterintuitive (or straight-up ruinous), there's no better way to get rid of pills and frayed edges. "Run a disposable razor over the worn areas in short, gentle strokes," says designer and stylist Ellen Robin Rosenberg. "This shears the pilled fabric right off to reveal a smooth, like-new layer beneath." Still feeling apprehensive about your knits going under the knife? Fear not. We asked a bunch of our friends to put this move to the test, and each agreed that even when she tried to slice the fabric, the blade never so much as caused a nick.
Get intimate with your intimates.
Blame it on a combination of laziness and misinformation gleaned from teen magazines, but it turns out we've been mistreating our bras since day one. According to Rack Shack founder Laura Henny, everything from underwire demis to lace bralettes needs to take a spin in the wash every three or four wears. "This gives your bras a chance to bounce back to their natural shape," she explains. "After washing, stack your collection horizontally — never folded! — with each band closed on the loosest hook." Sure, it's more involved than your current throw-on-and-wear-indefinitely strategy, but it actually keeps your pretty intimates from snagging or sagging.
Turn your closet on its head.
Nothing says "I've got my act together" quite like a wrinkle-free outfit paired with perfectly creased pants. And luckily for those who never got around to purchasing an iron (being a grown-up is time-consuming, we get it), achieving the look doesn't require any equipment or prep. Stylist Liz Rundbaken insists it's as easy as hanging your pants upside down on a hanger with clips at the ankles. "It works because there's more to weigh down the fabric around the waist," she says. "You'll maintain a perfectly pressed leg."
Give your sneakers a secret shield.
Ever since the term "athleisure" earned a place in our lexicon (and Merriam-Webster's), pristine sneakers have proven themselves to be a status symbol nearly on par with red-soled pumps. As such, many resort to treating their white kicks like the proverbial glass slipper — no exposure to inclement weather, no extended walking, and definitely no actual sporting activities. "Keeping canvas sneakers clean is actually pretty simple, as long as you pretreat them before the first wear," says Rundbaken. "Spritz on a layer of cornstarch solution, and you'll create a barrier that makes it nearly impossible for stains to permeate the fabric." Grab a can of aerosol spray starch, or whip up your own solution by shaking up one tablespoon of cornstarch with one pint of water in a mister bottle. Either way, your pearly whites (the ones on your feet, that is) will be good to go.
Treat your accessories like crown jewels.
If your jewelry storage strategy is anything like ours, you've likely got your heirlooms tucked into soft, cloth bags and your everyday favorites tangled into a mass of baubles and chains. Not only does this make extracting your go-to body chain an hour-long ordeal, but it also severely damages your collection. "Handle your plated jewelry just as gently — if not more so — as you would your pricey gold and silver pieces," advises jewelry designer and Tiny Reveries founder Alison McCarthy. "The plating is coated on as a top layer, so it’s important to store each piece in its own bag. That way, they don’t bump and scrape against one another." Opt for simple, airtight plastic sandwich bags, available at virtually any grocery store, and you'll also prevent tarnishing.
Let go of leather myths.
Conventional wisdom — and probably your mom — will insist that applying heat of any kind to leather is a recipe for a mottled mess. Not so, says Rundbaken. "All you need to do is flip the garment inside out, and insert a sheet between the iron and the fabric," she explains. Fair warning: If you try this trick even once, we can pretty much guarantee you'll itch to smooth out every creased-leather item you encounter from here on out.

More from Living

R29 Original Series