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Caring for Your Outerwear Items

Winter Fashion Tips

Whether digging a well-loved coat out of the closet or thrifting a stylish new find, winter outerwear is a crucial part of any wardrobe. Rewearing these garments season after season is a great way to save money and be mindful of consumption habits, but caring for winterwear can be intimidating. Here, we’ll look at some tips and tricks for keeping your coats and sweaters fresh for years to come.

Plan Ahead

As tempting as it is to cast aside all coats on the first warm day of spring, make sure to launder these garments before storing them away in the summer months. Stains, sweat marks, and lingering odors are more likely to settle into the garment if left untreated. Well-stored, clean clothes are also less likely to draw infestations from moths and other critters. To prevent stretching and wrinkles, hang bulky coats and neatly fold sweaters before storing them in a closet or wardrobe. Use garment bags, vacuum-seal bags, or tissue paper for an added layer of protection. 

Know Your Coat

After cleaning and properly storing your winterwear, your garments will be ready to go when it’s time for caroling or hitting the ice rink. Thankfully, most winter coats don’t require weekly laundering. Depending on use, heavier coats can be washed once or twice a season, while lighter jackets and sweaters might need to be cleaned every few wears.

woman in winter clothes

When ready to launder a garment, start by referring to the care label, often on the tag or side seam. While modern laundry machines are certainly convenient, the water cycles and intense dryer heat can be permanently damaging to certain fibers. Some natural materials, like leather, suede, wool, and fur, are recommended to dry-clean and best left to the experts. Other outerwear, like fleece and down coats, can be laundered from home without too much hassle.


Handwashing might be a drag, but in the long term, this can be much kinder to your fabrics than throwing them in the washer. Knits, like beanies, sweaters, and scarves, are prone to shrink, stretch, and pill without proper care. Pretreat any stains on the fabric before washing with water and mild detergent according to care instructions on the label. An easy trick to drying out the sopping garments is to lay the fabric on a dry towel and roll up the towel, pressing out excess moisture as you go. Lay your knits on a flat surface to air dry.

Tools of the Trade

clothing brushes
Clothing Brushes
wool dryer balls
Wool Dryer Balls
sewing kit
Sewing Kit
down wash detergent
Down Wash Detergent
dry cleaning
Dry Cleaning Kit

Clothing Brushes

Make your leather jackets and suede shoes look new again by using clothing brushes to remove lint, hair, and debris from fabric.

Wool Dryer Balls

Throw these in the dryer with your puffer jacket on low heat, and the balls will help break up clumps of down feathers in the lining.

Sewing Kit

Even for those jackets that have seen better days, lost buttons, rips, and worn-out elbows don’t have to be a death sentence. Some simple mending can breathe new life into any garment.

Down Wash Detergent

Over time, strong detergents can break down clothing fibers, while specially formulated soaps for down or knits will be much gentler on your sweaters and puffer jackets.

Dry Cleaning Kit

For those pesky dry-clean-only garments, at-home kits are available to treat small spots and blemishes.

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