As winter drags on, our patience endures the worst that nature has to offer. Unfortunately, business winter clothing often emerges from the frost appearing less than pristine.
Slush and road salt can cause severe and irreparable damage, cutting short your wardrobe’s lifespan. However, with proper care, suits and shoes can retain a professional appearance for many winters.
If your items become wet:
- T-shirts and underwear must be washed and dried before storage to prevent mildew growth.
- Wool suits will stretch if hung while wet. Lay them on a flat surface to dry.
How to Protect Wool Clothing During Winter
To protect wool suits, sweaters, and coats during winter:
- Brush regularly worn suits after every use. This removes particles embedded deep in the fabric.
- Use a lint roller to achieve a professional look.
- Dry clean when dirty and before storing for a long time.
- When storing rarely worn clothes, seal in a bag with moth repellant. Cedar, either in a hanger or ball form, is a good substitute for chemicals.
To protect wool accessories (hats, gloves, scarves):
- Clean your closet space thoroughly.
- Separate rarely worn items from your frequently used ones. Neglected items can be moth breeding grounds.
- Regularly hand wash or dry clean all items.
Men’s shoes are especially important to protect, as they can be one of the biggest investments in your wardrobe. They will also endure the most of winter’s wrath, becoming completely submerged in slush and salty puddles.
How to Protect Leather Shoes During Winter
To protect leather shoes:
- Apply a waterproofing compound or wax polish to your shoes after every few wears. More frequent, even daily, application is necessary if you are walking long distances or if there is frequent snow and rain.
- When shoes come into contact with salt or other chemicals, clean them with a paper towel as soon as possible.
- Shoes must never be dried near a radiator or other heat source as the leather can crack. Dry the insides by lining with paper towels, and replace about every hour as they absorb water. When completely dry, clean, condition and polish them to finish.
Choosing a waterproofing compound:
- Wax-based polishes can both shine and protect your shoes, but must be applied consistently.
- Waterproofing compounds last longer, but must be used with a regular polish.
- Spray-on compounds are convenient, but need to be applied liberally and may weaken the leather in the long run.
Proper waterproofing for shoes:
- Test the product to make sure it will not alter the color of your footwear.
- Apply the product in an even layer all around the shoe. For the product to be effective, all moisture must be sealed out.
It can seem like a lot of work to care for your winter clothing, but neglect will lead to shabby and ruined garments. Properly maintained clothes and shoes will be easier on your wallet and give you peace of mind. Take pride in your investment in your personal appearance. With diligent care, your favorite apparel will last for many future winters, no matter how snowy.