Protecting your clothes through London winters

Header image for the article Protecting your clothes through London winters Credit: BALLYCROY
Keep your winter attire looking great for longer.

This year, puffer coats are very popular. Many of us will gladly acquire a new puffer jacket, and happily wear it, without taking it off all winter. However, rarely does anyone think about how to properly wash a jacket so that it lasts as long as possible. It turns out that modern models of warm jackets are very sensitive to washing and do not always retain their original appearance even if you’re careful and stick to the rules.

The most important rule is an initial careful assessment of the product and verification of all labels. If there is no hand wash icon on the label, it means that the down jacket can be washed in the washing machine.

Secondly, when preparing a puffer jacket for washing, you need to check the contents of all pockets: what if there was an old candy wrapper or a used paper handkerchief in one of them? All these forgotten parts can spoil the puffer during the washing and drying process and cause unwanted problems.

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After all the pockets are empty, you should check the down jacket for obvious stains. Light-coloured models are especially likely to get dirty in the collar and cuff areas. In these areas, you may have to use a stain remover. In extreme cases, you can rub the annoying stain or darkened area with soap.

It is important to remember that a puffer jacket can only be machine washed one at a time. That is, two jackets, especially two different colours, cannot be put in together.

To wash a jacket, you should use a special detergent and also put the wash on a special mode. If the washing machine does not have a separate ‘puffer jacket’ mode, it is best to choose a delicate wash mode (wool and silk), in which the water temperature does not rise above 30 degrees. At the same time, it is better to turn off the spin function - a quick spin at high speed will not benefit the jacket, and in the worst scenario, it may even ruin it.

It is recommended you dry the jacket in an upright position on a hanger, you must first shake it to distribute the down more evenly and leave it turned inside out.

Shoes

From boots to elegant sandals, there are a lot of top shoe trends that will be sensational in the coming Fall/Winter season. Some of them come and stay forever, some are just temporary, but how to take care of shoes so they stay with you for years?

During winter, footwear is constantly exposed to stressful situations; it gets wet, freezes, contacts with salts and walks on slippery sidewalks. However, even in these harsh conditions, you can keep your shoes in great shape for years and make them last longer.

It is necessary to take care of shoes regularly in winter, ideally every day when they’re outside. Leather shoes or boots should be wiped off immediately to remove major dirt. Models made of suede should stay in warmth until they dry completely, only then can they be treated with a special brush.

Drying should be as natural as possible. Leather and suede shoes do not tolerate outside interference in the form of drying with a hair dryer, radiator or other unnatural means. Better to leave it for a few hours at room temperature. This will help to keep the shape and prevent the appearance of creases, which turn into cracks over time. Normally, for winter you will have to buy not one, but two or three pairs of shoes per season and alternate them.

Before leaving the house, when putting on your boots, apply a protective coating to prevent salts from entering the material. This way, the beloved shoes will not be covered with unattractive whitish spots and will last longer.

Don’t forget to use anti-slip outside pads. They protect the shoes from moisture and damage (and you from fractures and bruises). They can be bought and installed in any shoe repair shop. This choice is especially relevant during Canadian winters, when the puddles turn into a skating rink in the evening and melt again in the morning.

Be prepared, and take care of your clothes, and they’re sure to survive the wicked London winter.