While looking our best and staying warm may be our top priorities as the weather gets chillier, we also want to make sure that we're well prepared to take care of our wardrobes in the coming months. Stay effortlessly layered with these comfortable fabrics for a season of changing colors and cooling temperatures.
Few things say fall quite like curling up with a big cup of coffee in your favorite oversized knit. To keep your favorite cuddle buddy in great shape, place your knitwear item into a mesh laundry bag before cleaning, and use the delicate cycle. If you're washing by hand, use warm water mixed with a gentle detergent. Press or squeeze to remove excess water—wringing will stretch the material—and lay flat or hang to dry, depending on specific instructions, to maintain its shape so you can keep wearing that cozy top all season long.
This sleek, durable material works well for a lot of looks. Dress it up with a pencil skirt for work, or keep it casual with ripped jeans on the weekend. To keep your leather apparel in top condition, entrust it to a specialty cleaner—they can maintain the natural oils in the fabric, while protecting against color changes or cracks. In between professional washings, there are a few things you can do to prolong the lifespan of your leather:
- Ask your cleaner for advice on an appropriate leather conditioner.
- Hang leather pieces on wide wooden, plastic or padded hangers, in order to maintain shape.
- Keep leather out of hot or damp areas.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, and don’t cover it in plastic—all of these factors can cause your leather to dry out.
- If stains do arise, blot them out with a wet cloth.
Jeans are an uncomplicated style staple that look good on almost everyone, but consider a distressed jacket for a different twist on denim—and an on-trend ode to the 90s. On that note, take a cue from street style bloggers and pair denim on denim in different shades. While this is a sturdy fabric, you should avoid machine washing because denim can shrink and fade. Most denim can be washed in cold water with mild detergent and hung to dry, but some brands would benefit from dry cleaning, and raw denim is better left unwashed.
For occasions when you want to give your leather jacket a break, reach for a corduroy coat to channel a style that's equal parts polished and preppy. Look for quality details such as brass buttons, which can elevate the look of standard corduroy clothing. This versatile fabric is easy to care for. It can be machine washed in warm water (for lighter hues) or cold water (for darker hues). Remember to turn it inside out before tossing the item in the machine to avoid collecting lint on the material. A quick spin on the normal cycle—tumble dry low between wears—and you're good to go.
A fall classic, flannel is perfect for scarves, shirts, outerwear, or even a poncho—a comfortable transitional piece when the outside temperature doesn't quite call for a winter coat. Check the clothing label for the most optimal cleaning options. Most basic flannel pieces can be hand washed with a gentle laundry soap and hung to dry, while other items (such as scarves or coats) may require dry cleaning.
When the fall season gets especially chilly, you can don a wool coat, hat or sweater to stay warm. Most wool can be hand washed, but follow the label's instructions for specific guidelines. Sweaters should be swished and soaked inside-out in lukewarm water for at least ten minutes. When drying, squeeze out excess water before laying the garment flat on a mesh rack. Don’t wring out or hang your wool as it stretches easily.
With these clothing care tips, you can stay stylish all season long in the cozy textures of fall.
Photos: Maria Shanina, Llywelyn Nys, John Mark Arnold, Priscilla Westra, Luke Pamer, Benjamin Combs, Ben Blennerhassett