It’s obvious by now that I’m a big believer in investing in quality pieces for your wardrobe. Once that investment is made, it’s equally important to protect those items so they stay in tip top shape and last even longer! I’ll be the first to admit that proper garment care can be a bit of a mystery to navigate, especially when there are so many fabrics to keep in mind. In the winter, we’re often juggling the delicacy of wool and cashmere, shearling and fur textures and so much more. If you’ve been wondering how to keep your favorite winter fabrics clean and in pristine condition, I’m decoding some of the trickiest ones below!
Max Mara Teddy Bear Coat (better for budget here) | Similar Brown Sweater | Lovers + Friends Denim (exact style sold out, similar here) | Alexander Wang Booties (exact style sold out, similar here) | Similar Aviator Sunglasses | Louis Vuitton Multi-Pouchette Accessoires Handbag
Fur or Shearling
When dealing with real fur or shearling textures, it’s best to follow the care instructions on the tag or go directly to the brand’s site to see what their recommended care instructions are. For instance, my Max Mara teddy bear coat specifically states to refrain from wet cleaning, machine washing or ironing. There are even specific notes for how to dry clean it – I follow this to a tee, taking my coat to a trusted cleaner.
I’m less careful with my faux fur and faux shearling coats – but still do my best to preserve them. I find that you can wash these faux textures at home either by hand or in a high-efficiency washing machine (using the gentle/delicate cycle). You can even throw the coat or jacket inside a mesh bag for extra protection. Whichever method you choose, use a gentle detergent with cold water and hang dry the garment. If hand washing, do not wring out the water.
Cashmere & Wool
I can easily live in wool and cashmere sweaters and scarves in the winter – but it’s probably best not to! These items should be washed every 3-4 wears and are actually super easy to clean. You just need to soak them in lukewarm water with a specialty wool and cashmere detergent (HERE). After about 10-15 minutes of soaking, I swish the garment around and then drain out the sink or bucket. I’ll then rerun cold water through the garment to completely remove the soapy water. Once that’s done, I’ll press any excess water out of the garment. To let it dry completely, I’ll reshape it, lay it flat on top of a towel and roll the sweater inside the towel to help expedite the drying process. Remember to reshape after!
You can’t survive Midwest winters without a good down jacket. Since I’m typically wearing mine through harsh weather, it’s super important that I keep them clean. Just like fur and shearling coats, it’s super helpful to read the care instructions on them since it can vary by brand and style. For instance, Canada Goose parkas have to be dry cleaned but lightweight jackets can be washed in the machine.
I usually just throw my more affordable parkas in the washing machine (make sure yours doesn’t have the center spindle) with a special down detergent (HERE). When that’s done, I dry it on super low heat while fluffing it up in between to ensure there aren’t any clumps in the coat. I recommend using wool dryer balls to help!
Michael Costello Velvet Dress (exact style sold out, similar here and here) | Similar Chandelier Earrings | Christian Louboutin So Kate Pumps (better for budget here) | Tory Burch Perfume | King of Christmas Flocked Tree
Finally, there’s velvet! I’d throw everything in the washing machine if I can – but just like everything else above, you always want to reference the tag for cleaning instructions. With more expensive pieces like a gown, I’ll take it to the dry cleaners. But in most cases, I find that velvet can be tossed into the machine with a few extra steps. First, flip the garment inside out, place inside a delicates bag, then wash on the cold cycle (and low spin) with a gentle detergent. Be sure to wash with similar or more delicate pieces and not denim. Always hang dry your velvet pieces, and if you need to remove wrinkles, use a steamer!