Keeping White Clothes Fresh

I always had that dread of taking out white clothes that I’d stored the previous year and finding that it has yellowing areas.

Hopefully these tips will help!

“1. Sort Your Laundry Pile

1. Sort by Color

Separating whites from colors might be one of those classic nuggets of wisdom every mom passes along to her college-bound child. Still, it can feel silly to have a heaping pile of laundry with just a handful of whites. But resist the temptation to merge.

Why? If you’ve ever seen a clothing tag with rather specific care instructions — “Turn Inside Out to Launder,” “Use Cold Water,” “Color May Wash Down,” or “Wash Before Wear” — it’s because those garments aren’t colorfast, so their dye molecules wind up in the wash water only to settle on other fabrics. (Anyone who’s ever accidentally put their new red towels in with their crisp white bed linens knows what this means.)

2. Sort by Fabric

Color separation is Priority No. 1, but if you’re a bit fanatical, you might consider separating them by fabric or level of dinginess. Linens and cottons can be washed together, and so can acetates and acrylics. Wash wool pieces on their own, and if your delicates should be washed by hand, just suck it up.

And if you are determined to whiten your heavily soiled socks, don’t throw them in with your just-worn white tee — the dirt removed from one might end up on the other.

2. Don’t Wait Long

Yes, we get it: You’ve got a measly “pile” of whites that consists of a tank top, a button-down, and a pair of denim jeans. As much as you might think it best to set these aside until you’ve gotten a few more pieces to add to the pile, it’s not.

The longer you let those clothes sit before laundering, the more time once-invisible stains have to set. If you wait a month to wash that white button-down, for instance, by the time you throw it in the washing machine, it has very likely acquired yellow stains under the armpits from perspiration and deodorant that have taken hold of the fabric.

White-Hot Tip: Wash white pieces after every wear, even if they still look clean. We’re all for rewearing jeans and sweaters, but your whites should be the exception.

3. Pretreat Problem Areas

1. How to Tackle Grease Stains

If you’ve got perspiration or other oil stains, pretreat them with liquid detergent, dishwashing liquid, or even clear shampoo. Don’t rub in the liquid with your fingers if you can avoid it — instead, opt for a toothbrush.

2. How to Tackle Colored Stains

For anything that has left a color — whether it’s a dribble of coffee, a splash of red wine, or a dollop of pasta sauce, and even those yellow deodorant stains — apply an undiluted oxygen-based bleach like OxiClean.

White-Hot Tip: If you’ve got time, soak the pretreated garment in hot water to loosen up the stain before throwing it in the wash.

4. Wash Your Whites

1. Don’t Overload

A benefit to not having a ton of whites? You won’t run the risk of overstuffing your washer. You need enough space for the detergent and water to work their magic.

2. Use Hot Water

The best way to retain whiteness is to wash items in the hottest water possible, at least 120 degrees.

3. Don’t Scrimp on Detergent

Now is not the time to be conservative about how much detergent to measure. Use the maximum amount recommended for your whites.

4. Add a Whitening Boost

Baking soda or oxygen-based bleaches can increase the effectiveness of your wash. If you prefer a more natural route, a good alternative is lemons! Use a half-cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice with your detergent to slightly whiten those whites.

White-Hot Tip: Steer clear of bleach. It’s a common misconception that chlorine bleach is a cure-all for all your laundering woes. In fact, if used over time, it weakens the fibers in your clothes and, if you have water that’s high in iron, can even cause yellowing.

5. Rinse and Repeat

If you take a wet garment out of the wash and see that it’s still stained or dingy, do not even think about drying, unless you want the stain to set. Instead, repeat the washing process again. If it’s an aggressive stain, consider applying ammonia directly to it, soaking it for 10 minutes, and then putting it back in the wash, by itself, for another go.

6. Dry Your Whites

For the most part, drying will set the fabric, so what you see is what you’ll get. However, if you are able to air-dry your clothes outside, the ultraviolet rays of the sun act as a natural whitener. (This method works best if you used lemon juice in the washing process — just as putting lemon juice in your hair in the Summer can make you blonder, the same works for clothes!)

White-Hot Tip: Clotheslining your garments in the direct sunlight for a few hours should be enough, but to make them even whiter, feel free to put them back out for a few hours another day. Just don’t leave them out for days at a time, as that can weaken the fabric.

7. Accept What You Cannot Whiten

You can surely keep your whites looking crisp, but after a few wears, they might never look fresh-from-the-store perfect, no matter how hard you try. White fabrics are typically treated with optical brightening chemicals that boost whiteness, but they eventually wash out over time.

White-Hot Tip: Annoyingly, storing whites in the dark can even cause yellowing, which is especially frustrating for those who do the seasonal closet switch. Storing items in acid-free tissues and nonplastic boxes can help.

8. And If All Else Fails . . .

You can always wear black.”


Great Advice: “7 Reasons Why Money Can’t Buy You Style”

I loved this article because this kind of true style is what I’m going for now that I’m graduating.

I’ve copied it below! This is the link:

We all scoffed when “Real Housewives of New York” star LuAnn de Lesseps released a single in 2010 called “Money Can’t Buy You Class.” While the song was, to be sure, utterly laughable (if a teeny-tiny bit catchy), it turns out the countess might have been onto something—especially when it comes to fashion. We hate to break it to you ladies, but money can’t buy you style either.

Obviously, anyone with a credit card can look fashionable. Very few people though—credit cards or not—can be considered women of genuine style. Take someone like Kim Kardashian. The reality star has gone from no style to constantly stepping out in high-fashion outfits that even top editors are itching to copy. She looks good, sure, but there’s something about her transformation that screams “I understand fashion now, everyone!” as opposed to an organic shift in how she—and she alone—wants to present herself to the world.

Similarly—thanks to today’s rampant street style and Instagram culture—we’re inundated with young women whose sources of income are dubious, but always seem to be in possession of up-to-the-minute items from Céline, Stella McCartneyGivenchyChanel, and other top-level labels, which often causes us to wonder whether many of these women would be considered inherently stylish without the pricey swag.

Look, don’t get us wrong: We love nice things, and we’re all for releasing your inner sybarite from time to time. There’s nothing better than treating yourself to a piece by a designer you truly love, that you know you’re going to proudly use for years to come. The problems arise, however, when you start feeling less-than because you can’t participate in the more-more-more cycle of having the new “It” items season after season.

Well, guess what? You don’t really require them to look amazing. To convince you, here are 7 reasons why you don’t need money to be stylish.

1. Because there are so many untapped stores to check out.

Here’s a little secret: They might not broadcast it, but truly stylish women will troll any—and we mean any—store or site with zero snob factor and probably always emerge with something they can seamlessly incorporate into their wardrobes. We’re not talking about regular “acceptable” fast fashion stores (we’ll get to those later), but rather teenybopper-seeming mall stores, dusty Salvation Army outposts, cheap departments stores, even dollar stores, which are heaven for cool accessories like bandanas, canvas totes, and pool slides.

Stylish women also seek out off-price havens like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Century 21 for quality designer items (we’re talking Marc Jacobs, Prada, and Chloe, and J. Brand) at lower prices. In some cities, those types of items are hit or miss, but that’s part of the fun.

2. Because eBay and Etsy are a fashion dream.

Quick story: A StyleCaster editor recently almost spent over $400 on a pair of cowboy-inspired boots from a top designer. Before doing it, she took to eBay and found loads of similar vintage styles she actually liked better, and scored a killer pair of brown lizard shoe boots for $10, plus shipping.

Stylish women know that you can pretty much find anything on sites like eBay and Etsy, including high-end labels like vintage Chanel (just do your research so as to avoid getting duped), and collectors items such as Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga.

3. Because you know how to accessorize.

Even old clothes can be elevated with the right accessories—none of which have to cost a lot of money. Try juxtaposing your accessories with the nature your outfit for a really stylish twist. For example, pair blue jeans and an old gray tee with glittery statement earrings or a blingy necklace. Conversely, try more casual accessories like a slouchy hat or an armload of bracelets with inherently dressy pieces like a cocktail dress or a full skirt and heels.

4. Because fast fashion.

You don’t need us to tell you that between H&M, ASOS, Forever 21, Zara, and now COS, the sleek European favorite that just started shipping to the U.S., you can pretty much build a solid wardrobe that looks like it came from any number of high-end labels or boutiques. You also don’t need us to tell you that “fast fashion” also has become something of a dirty phrase lately, but the fact remains that these stores are a panacea for women looking to try out a trend without foolishly spending half her paycheck to do it.

The trick, however, is using fast fashion to your advantage by choosing pieces you genuinely like and know that you’ll wear, as opposed to loading up on every little trend because it’s inexpensive.

5. Because you pay attention to beauty.

Think of the coolest girls you know—they probably have great hair, right? They also probably know what color lipstick looks best on them, too. In some ways, the right haircut and the right makeup can do more to elevate your style and send a message than the clothes you’re wearing.

Plus, chopping your hair, snagging a notice-me lipstick, or going for a color consultation is a hell of a lot easier on your wallet than being a slave to fashion.

6. Because tailors exist.

Fit is everything when it comes to style. Even if stylish women are wearing something purposefully oversize or shrunken, it’s still in proportion to their body. It’s for this reason that finding a good tailor is absolutely key. Not only can a tailor customize pieces to fit you better, but they can also transform almost any garment, making them look totally different. Those wide-leg pants you bought last year that don’t feel so modern anymore can be turned into chic wide-leg culottes to wear this spring, or a maxi skirt that never looked that great can be transformed into a spring-ready mini.

7. Because you understand labels don’t make you cooler.

This is the big one, ladies. The most stylish people in the world are the ones who understand that they don’t need the $700 sweatshirt or $2,000 handbag to make themselves look or feel cool. When it comes down to it, what’s the point of buying the same stuff everyone else has or wants? To show how much you spent? Doesn’t that seem a little silly?

Instead, seek out things that you authentically like, things you can afford, and things that look great on you. It’s as simple as that.

You might not get 200,000 Instagram likes every time you post a photo, but you will seem self-possessed and a little above the fray, which is—pardon the cliché—priceless.