Clothes and shoes that are looked after are clothes and shoes that are a good investment because they’ll do you justice for so much longer. Here’s how to keep everything in great shape for seasons to come – plus our roundup of the key trends for spring/summer 16 to replace the stuff you decide to ditch.
Clean up your wardrobe
Looking after your wardrobe needn’t take much time or effort – if you know how. Little and often is the way to go.
Give your suit a quick brush and air it after each wear. Are there any marks? You can try to get rid of them with a stain remover but remember to work from the outside in towards the centre of the stain to avoid leaving rings on the fabric. Otherwise, it’s off to the dry cleaners. At least that way, your suits will be returned protectively wrapped up and ready to be stored away over the summer.
Dust can damage a good quality suit as the millions of tiny particles become entrapped in the weave, so shake out and brush down your suit. Always hang on a wooden hanger as plastic hangers are robust enough and your suit jacket will lose its shape.
Get woollens dry cleaned (or wash on a short, cold wash – but check the care label first). Store away winter jumpers – especially cashmere – in zipped plastic clothes bags and protect against moths with cedar cubes or lavender sachets (which smell nicer anyway).
Shoes needn’t be polished to a brilliant shine all the time – a little TLC with shoe cream or wax from time to time will do. Clean them with a brush to remover any dirt then apply wax polish using a soft brush or a soft cloth with a circular motion to obtain a high shine. For suede shoes, simply use a special suede brush to get rid of any dirt. Remember to use shoe trees after every wear to maintain shape. Now’s the time to get heavier winter shoes and boots re-heeled and re-soled (which also means they’ll be polished for you too).
Clear out your wardrobe
A good rule of thumb is to never keep anything you’ve not worn for the last few years. An easy way to work this out is to have hangers all facing the same way and then turn them the other way once you’ve worm a particular shirt or suit. You’ll be able to see at a glance the items that are too now old or too tired or too boring for you.
Be ruthless about getting rid of any stragglers such as underpants with holes or socks that lost their other halves months ago or five white T-shirts that now look grey. It’s time to treat yourself to new ones.
Create three piles: a good pile, an unwanted pile and a pile you’re not sure about. Go through this last one and try everything on then weed out anything you really, really don’t need. Bag up all the unwanted stuff and take it to your nearest charity shop. Never be tempted to hang on to anything that’s now a size smaller and you think you may fit into in a few months’ time. Just bin it.
Well done – you’ve now made room for some great new additions…
And treat yourself
So, what’s on trend for spring summer 16?
Grey is set to be a popular colour in the coming months and is easily enlivened with pops of colour, whether a brightly coloured sweater or pair of natty leather loafers. Desert shades (khaki, olive, beige) are also key, but don’t feel you have to go head to toe as if heading out on safari though. Work the look with a double-pocket shirt or jacket or combat-style trousers.
Think wide. Trousers shapes have changed over the last few seasons and a loose-fitting or
baggy shape was popular on the catwalk. Think relaxed and slouchy – from jeans to work wear. It’s certainly an easier style for when temperatures start to climb. Talking of which, no need to save white chinos for holidays. Create a Mediterranean feel at home by pairing with navy or dress down with brown boots.
Stripes are definitely in and we’re not just talking shirts. Go bold so you don’t look like you’re wearing PJs. And avoid wearing vertical stripes if your build is on the large-side.
Bomber jackets are big for the new season. This versatile zip up is easy to carry off, and great in any fabric from cotton to suede.
Step up leisure. Smart casual is now casual smart. Trainers have moved up a gear and the really cool ones are deemed smart enough to pair with a suit, with a lightweight nylon anorak at hand for rainy days.
And let’s not forget key accessories……backpacks have moved away from school days and many high end designers have created their own versions to store anything from briefcases to gym kit. Your backpack needn’t be worn Tom Brown-style, but casually carried by the handle instead. A baseball cap is also big for summer, whether or not the sun is shining or you even play it. Just don’t wear it Charlie Brown style.