And other expensive dress clothes

7 Ways to Extend the Life of That Little Black Dress

by Camille Cabrera


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Investing in a classic statement piece such as a little black dress or a timeless suit is a great idea for those rare (or frequent) special events. The key to investing is protecting your investment and making sure it looks just as good as it did that first day in the store. These eight tips will help you to make the most of your new outfit for longer than you thought possible. This little black dress was obviously bought to make you look the best that you can and returning the favor is equally beneficial for you and your wallet. Choosing an investment piece that has a nice quality makes preserving as well as expanding its lifespan much easier.

1. Invest in a Quality Little Black Dress

The type of fabric, stitching, and craftsmanship of a little black dress shows the first time and, sadly, the last time, too. Invest in a relatively timeless style that you can see yourself wearing at least five years into the future.

2. Read the Label (Check for Cleaning Symbols, Too)

This is extremely important before committing to any purchase. A label's directions are important to make sure that you help maintain clothing by giving it proper attention.

3. Take Your Time Removing the Tags

It can be easy to use force to rip off a tag, but with quality material, why risk a tear that can eventually spread? Taking the time to properly remove tags can be an important preventative step by using scissors to remove the tag or tags. Make sure the scissors are on the furthest part of the tag away from the garment. If you still feel hesitant, try to create a border between the scissor and the garment like a book to mark the middle. Make sure you haven't caught the back of the garment before you cut. For this number, your time is cheaper than ruining the entire item by one quick rip.


4. Use a Garment Bag

Covering that little black dress can help provide extra security against dust and other unwanted problems like moths. A garment bag or even an extremely long and heavy-duty trash bag that has been repurposed can help protect against these problems and protect your dress while it remains in your closet.

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5. Put into Closet Properly

This is an extremely simple, yet often overlooked task. Take your time placing that little black dress into the closet. Make sure you are using the right hanger, so the shoulders don't rip or become misshaped due to the hanger. Be careful that your garment doesn't fall off the hanger into the bottom of the bag unnoticed until you unzip the bag months later. Take time placing it on the hanger and into the garment bag. Also, when putting it into the closet, make sure that it is completely straight and unwrinkled by running your hand over the garment bag.

6. Use Buffer Items to Surround the Little Black Dress

Choose a place in your closet next to other nicer clothing. It will help protect each clothing article as these items take more time and care to hang up and put away. Because this type of clothing is used less often, the buffer helps reduce the risk of wrinkles due to movement.

7. Become a Thoughtful Clothes Washer

If you wear your little black dress for two hours, feel free to air it out (turn it inside out) and then put it back into your closet. Frequent washing breaks clothing down and ruins the color.

Take the Next Step:

  • What can you do to extend the life of your little black dress?
  • Visit the TDS library for ways to save when buying retail.
  • Don't miss how to buy special occasion clothing for less.
  • Stop struggling to get ahead financially. Subscribe to our free weekly Surviving Tough Times newsletter aimed at helping you 'live better...for less'. Each issue features great ways to help you stretch your dollars and make the most of your resources. Subscribers get a copy of Are You Heading for Debt Trouble? A Simple Checklist And What You Can Do About It for FREE!

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