I have a feeling that too many people are scared of wearing white, only because of its tendency to get dirty easily. You don’t have to be a neat freak in order to stay clean. As my wardrobe mostly consists of monochrome pieces, I have learned a few efficient ways to keep your white T-shirt looking as bright as ever…
Along with black and grey, you can occasionally catch me wearing white. White evokes a feeling of freshness, cleanliness and new possibilities. I often compare it with a brand new journal in which there are countless of pages to write on. All attention goes to the details: the fit, seams, texture. The clothing can take on the personality of the wearer. I can literally combine anything in my wardrobe each morning without needing time to make a decision. There’s simply no time or space to wear anything other than versatile pieces when you have to move fast. For me, it’s a very liberating process.
Now, wearing (all) white may sound like a huge risk to some, but you just have to be smart about it.
This may seem like a no-brainer to most of you, but you really have to separate your white clothes from your dark clothes before doing laundry. White clothes can appear dingier after they have been in contact with any other colour. Also, try to avoid piling dark clothing on your white clothes, as it may rub off pillage.
When it comes to cotton, you’re able to wash it at high temperatures in order to keep your T-shirts looking bright. Detergents including optical brighteners will make your white clothing appear whiter than it actually is.
In case you like to wear all white, you might have to adjust a few habits. A lot of us (myself including) tend to open doors with our arms or we sit down without looking down first. Check your seat, use your hands for all tasks and try not to lean on any walls or shop counters – it will turn white grimy after a while. I especially encounter this issue in buses, tubes and trains in which we all tend to lean against the walls.
When eating out, I go to the bathroom first thing to turn my white sweater inside out. It looks pretty cool and you don’t have to worry about any stains. Thumbs up for eating spaghetti fearlessly!
Adding bleach, washing soda or colour remover can effectively help to keep white clean. Bleach is a last resort and should be avoided whenever possible. Make sure to use the appropriate amount of bleach as recommended on the packaging or you may damage your clothes.
Yellowed white fabric can be turned into white again easily by rinsing the garment in a little vinegar and water.
Smooth white leather is easy to clean, as any fresh stains can be wiped off immediately with a napkin or so. Other fabrics, such as suede, are much harder to clean. When it comes to cotton and polyester blends, you can easily wash at a high temperature if you wreck your favourite shirt accidentally – I learned it the hard way.
For white shoes, I always pre-treat them with a stain and water-repellent. Never put canvas shoes in the washer and try to spot clean regularly – I love Jason Markk’s shoe care, but mild soap and a brush work perfectly fine. Try to go for smooth, protected surfaces that are easy to clean.
05. TAKE IT EASY
Don’t worry, a stain is not the end of the world. If you’re lucky, you might be able to remove it by washing your garment at a high temperature. Otherwise, a little bit of camouflage can help: white nail polish, fabric paint. If everything ultimately fails, take a pair of scissors and customise your garment your very own way!
What’s in your wardrobe?