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Make it last teams up with Tangent GC – a Swedish brand that provides a superior range of garment care products – for a series of indispensable guides.

Make it last teams up with Tangent GC – a Swedish brand that provides a superior range of garment care products – to present a series of garment care guides. Visit Tangent GC here.

Manage your wardrobe – get in control

Oftentimes cupboards are crammed full of clothes – most of which are not even used. You will grow out of garments, mentally or physically – accept that as a matter of fact. Single out the items you wear on a regular basis, treasure those and lose the rest!

Rid yourself of clothes you do not wear – sell them online or in specialty commission stores. You can re-invest the money in wearable outfits. Of course, you could give them away as well, to friends or charities. Better they come to use, right? A narrower range gives you oversight and power to command. When in control you can easily weed out and you see what is missing.
Make a strategic decision to dress in fewer colours. Presumably, you already have a handful of colours that you wear more frequently, colours that suits you. Focus on those and you will need less of purses, scarves, shoes and belts to match.
When you make your decision – make sure that your purchase not only looks good on you but that it is coordinated with your existing wardrobe as well. A newly bought piece sitting on a hanger because it has no friends, well that is just sad.
Avoid sales if you can – chances are you will buy a slightly wrong-sized item because it is cheap or buy clothes no-one else wants because of its low quality. Ask yourself this: If you want it know – why did you not buy it at full price? A good rule of thumb is to only buy an item on sale if you had planned to buy it anyway.
Hang on to your favourites, make the alterations needed. A small hole or tear might be mendable. If not, you could perhaps put on a patch or an application. Move a few buttons for a better fit. If the wristlets are frazzled – shorten the sleeves. If your pants are stained – make a pair of shorts. Simply: Wear your favourites for longer.

  • Keep your favourites and make use of the rest
  • Coordinate your finds with existing garments
  • Avoid sales if you can
  • Save your favourites – alter and patch

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Know your shape – know your taste

If you know what looks good you, you have a grounded taste. It makes shopping easy and helps you avoid the expensive mistakes.

When looking for advice on getting dressed, you will notice that it often boils down to pre-formulated answers – all according to a conservative standard: What colour to wear at what time of day, the length of a cuff, the length of a skirt. Even the shape of your body is converted into the shape of a fruit or letter.
The one thing that is not standardised is your body, and hopefully not your taste. Learn what looks best on you, with your body type and more importantly, your taste. There is only one way forward really: Try, try again. You will always look the best in clothes you feel comfortable in – think second skin!
Before hitting the shops, do your research. Read magazines, visit the brand websites and see their whole range – stores will cherry pick from designer ranges, maybe the buyer has another fashion sense than you. Get your intel straight, do not miss out.
If you know what you want and what to buy, you will seldom make the easy mistakes that end up in the depths of your cupboard. Those are the priciest items you will ever buy calculated per use. When in doubt – hang it back up.

  • Know your shape and taste
  • You will look good if you feel comfortable
  • Intel is key, do not miss out
  • Avoid the easy mistakes

Trying items on

By knowing yourself you do not need to trust the manufacturers sizing – have a look, with just a little practice, you will soon see what fits without even checking the tag. Trust yourself – not the scheme!

Try this when shopping: Leave the size tags unread. You will notice that you can trust your own eyes and instincts. You are better off doing that than relying on the manufacturers’ sizing. Sizes differ from brand to brand, from garment to garment. You know your body best. Also there is psychology in sizing that you want avoid – perhaps you wish you were a medium and go for that. Do not kid yourself if you want to look great.
Always try the item on. That’s just common sense. When going into the changing room – take a few sizes with you. Feel the difference, do not just see it.
You can ask a sales clerk for a second opinion – but be careful! Flattery is part of their job description and they will always prefer a sale before making the best call. With that in mind – hear them out. If you rely heavily on second opinion, bring a trusted friend instead.
Use a full-length mirror. This gives the best overall vision for good judgment. Only seeing parts of your body can distort your final look.

  • Always try the item on
  • Do not rely on sizing schemes
  • Do not trust sale clerks blindly
  • Use a full-length mirror

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Check for flaws

Once you have tried your find on – check for flaws! You do not want to get home and find stains, loose threads, poor overlaps and bad stitching.

You should aim for quality over quantity. Quality is cheaper because you can wear it for longer – and you will want to wear it because it looks better. And remember, quality is not only about the fabrics and seams, but also in the design and pattern making.
How do you find quality then? Scrutinize the fabric, seams and applications closely. Pull lightly on buttons and let go – there should be no slack or loose threads. Examine the buttonhole. Does the zipper run smoothly, without effort? Run your nails carefully over the fabric, check for snags where there should not be any. If you find no fault – that is quality, no matter the price tag.
The devil is in the details. Leave the size tag unread but read the care instructions carefully. Is it dry cleaning only? If so, are you prepared to make the effort down the line? If the item is made of delicate fabrics – will you get the delicate detergent needed and hand wash it (even if you let your machine do it)?
What is the item made of? Value natural fabrics over synthetics – but be prepared to spend what it is worth. Cashmere, merino wool and silk will cost you – but nothing beats nature’s softness, breathability, warmth and feel. Also remember to check the quality of the fabric itself. For example, individual fibre strands should be long rather than short.
Colour is important! The dye will look different in daylight compared with the bright and unnatural fluorescent light in many stores. So, if you have the possibility – see what it looks like outside or by the window. Do remember to ask a sales clerk if you venture outside.
Buy quality cheap in second hand stores – quality lives on. Knowledgeable second hand store owners know what they are doing, items are already curated and will cost a bit more. For the real finds visit yard sales, flea markets and go online. Perhaps there lies a Hermès scarf in that box of polyester rags. Just make sure the garment smells fresh, and check for stains on collar and cuffs.

  • Aim for quality rather than quantity
  • Scrutinize the details, fabric and colour
  • Always read the care guide carefully
  • Find cheap quality apparel second hand
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2 Comments

Louisa: My mother always puts wool garments in the freezer for a day, which she says is to avoid pilling. I aslo avoid washing (wool) garments too often, just air them as long as they are not dirty. You can also get small brushes from textile shops to brush the pillings off.
August 10, 2016

M: Very inspiring! Would also love some tips on how to handle pilling (noppor) on garments!
August 9, 2016

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