How To Care For Sweaters I Banana Republic

It is starting to feel like winter today in Washington D.C. and as I begin to wear more of my wool and cashmere sweaters I am finding that some of them need a little TLC. I have teamed up with Banana Republic to share my top 5 style tips for caring for your sweaters this winter season. 

1. Hand wash sweaters when needed.  I usually throw my sweaters in the washing machine on a delicate low spin cycle and I use warm water with a gentle soap. But to be honest it's probably best to hand wash them in a sink if you can. (I am just too lazy!) After washing never wring sweaters because doing so will cause the sweaters to lose their shape. Also to mainstain the shape of sweaters sure always lay them flat to dry and never hang them up on the drying rack. Once my sweaters are dry I like to either run a steamer on them or toss them in the dryer on very low heat for 2-3 minutes. It helps to soften and fluff them up a bit.

2. Steam sweaters between washes. One of the easiest ways to care for your sweaters between washes is to steam them. A steamer is more gentle than an iron and it is convenient and produces great results. I have this handheld steamer and LOVE IT.  Not only does a steamer remove wrinkles but it works great to freshen up and restore the shape of sweaters as well. 

3. Properly store sweaters by folding them. It's best to fold sweaters instead of hanging them so that they maintain their shape and don't stretch. But having said that I hang all my sweaters with these plastic hangersI tend to hang mine only because I have more hanging space vs. drawer space.  But for cashmere or delicate sweaters I always fold them and put them in drawers. 

4. Use a de-pilling and de-fuzzing comb. Pilling is common with sweaters and it is caused by rubbing during wear. Pilling is most apparent under the armpits and elbows but I have seen it happen all over my sweaters. Try an inexpensive comb like this one to de-pill and de-fuzz sweaters. Also as soon as you see pilling, lint, or fuzz you should remove them-don't let this build up. Also if you get holes in your sweaters it's best to take it to a seamstress to be repaired. This happened to me with my favorite cashmere cardigan and luckily I was able to fix the hole and the sweater is as good as new. 

5. Wear a base-layer under your sweaters. Unless the sweater is fitted and tight I usually wear a tank or long sleeve tee (like this one) under my sweaters. The idea here is that the tank touches your skin and creates a barrier between your skin and the sweater. The barrier will prolong the life of your sweater because the sweater isn't coming into contact with your body oils, sweat, and odors. Also some wool and mohair sweaters are itchy and wearing a layer in between helps reduce itching and discomfort. 

Feather Trim Cardigan



 Thanks to Banana Republic for sponsoring this post. Photos by Tamzin Smith