Lifestyle, Outfits, Style, Uncategorized

How To Care For Vintage Clothing

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(photography by CHRISTINA EMILIE, Hair by Erica of PinMeUp Hair)

I’m so excited to introduce this mini-series that we put together with method, bringing you everyday tips for your retro (or modern!) life. I’m a longtime user of method cleaning products, which are pet friendly and safe for my animal filled home – which is so important to me (more on that, in a future post)! Naturally, their bright and colorful, non-toxic and biodegradable products were the perfect partner for my vision of this campy, retro themed shoot with Miku. For this part of the series, we’re focusing on caring for your vintage clothing, featuring method 4x Concentrated Laundry Detergent and some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way, during my years of collecting and wearing vintage clothing. P.S. May I recommend the Ginger Mango scent? It’s heavenly. Too bad these photos aren’t scratch and sniff.

How to care for vintage clothing:

    • Reinforce buttons. Threads can deteriorate and become brittle, not to mention simply loosen if not secured properly. Rather than have to replace all of the buttons down the line, reinforce them right away. Remember: it’s vintage, so finding that one replacement might be tricky!
    • Check for weak seams. If it feels a little fragile, go ahead and reinforce the seams with a quick straight stitch, if you have a machine, or carry a repair kit with you just in case it rips. Though it’s not always an issue,  at least it’s easily resolved (as long as it’s along a seam).
    • When in doubt, hand-wash. A lot of people assume that dry cleaning is the best option, but that’s not always the case. I’ve had seemingly sturdy pieces practically disintegrate upon return, so save for my vintage wool coats, I’d rather just gently hand wash my vintage at home. I use method 4x Concentrated Laundry Detergent with lukewarm water. If there are stains, I just use a little bit of the same detergent to pretreat. Don’t wring! Hang or lay flat to dry.
    • Use a steamer. I prefer this over an iron for many reasons: it won’t melt any unknown fibers (essential if the fiber content tag isn’t intact), it’s easier to use/gets wrinkles out quickly, and it doesn’t require an ironing board (for which I don’t have room). My steamer is compact and perfect for travel, and high powered enough for every day use!
    • Beware of the tricky zipper. I’ve broken more zippers out of pure carelessness…they should be handled carefully. I’ve actually had my zipper break on the back of some high waisted shorts, and had to wear them open all day, with a jacket tied around my waist to keep it hidden. Don’t be like me. If the zipper feels faulty, just have it replaced at a local tailor…it’s a lot less expensive than you’d think!

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Thanks to method for partnering with me on this post about how to care for vintage clothing!

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  1. Thanks for the tips (and very cute photos)! I’m especially intrigued by your tip to use a steamer, I’m always having difficulty with the iron or if I’m too unsure about using it, I just wear wrinkled clothes. What steamer do you use?

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      I use the ESTEAM Personal Hand Held Steamer by Jiffy Steamer, which I bought on amazon. It doesn’t have settings, so you just fill it up and plug it in. Don’t press it to the clothing – hold it close to the fabric and move up and down/side to side until the wrinkles are gone. In my experience, it’s such a quick fix!