1. Sweaters Wash them: Depends on the material. What to know: More delicate pieces crafted from cashmere, cotton and silk should be handwashed after every wear, while sturdier wool and polyester sweaters can go almost a half-dozen wears before hitting the suds. Suds safety tip: Have sweaters dry-cleaned at the end of the winter before you place them in storage—moths love eating stained clothing.
2. Bras Wash them: Every three to four times you wear them. What to know: Everyday wear can be tough on the elastic, so give your bras a break by switching in a new one every day to make your lingerie last longer. Toss them in a mesh bag and use the delicate cycle to protect your undergarments. Suds safety tip: To make your bras last longer, hand wash them in gentle lingerie-specific detergent and hang to dry.
3. Jeans Wash them: Every four to five times you wear them. What to know: Jeans are pretty sturdy, so they can stand up to a lot of wear and tear before they need a good wash. The darker the denim, the longer you can go, while super-skinny jeans should be washed more frequently. Tip: To quickly shrink your skinnies between washes, throw them in a quick rinse cycle, inside-out, then place them in the dryer to get their shape back. Suds safety tip: Keep jeans looking luxe for longer by washing them inside out, in cold water, and hanging them to dry. Want jeans to last a lifetime? Pick up a pair of raw or selvage denim—some companies suggest that you only seldom (or never!) wash them.
4. Blazers and jackets Wash them: For blazers, every six times you wear them. For jackets, every season. What to know: Blazers generally don’t sit next to the skin, so they only need to be washed after a half-dozen wears or so. Your lighter outerwear pieces, such as a denim or fleece jacket, only needs to be washed once or twice a season. Suds safety tip: Keep an eye on easily-soiled spots like the collar and cuffs and treat any grime with a stain removal pen as they occur.
5. Dresses and tops Wash them: After every wear. What to know: These garments need a lot more care and should be washed after almost every wear, especially in the summer (sweat alert!). If they're bright-coloured or have a decal, wash these pieces inside out to preserve the designs for longer. Hang dresses and tops to dry them back into their natural shape. Suds safety tip: Extend the life of your favourite pieces by going easy on the antiperspirant. Before washing, make sure to do up any snaps, buttons or hooks so they don’t snag on other items.
6. Pants Wash them: Every four to five times you wear them. What to know: If they’re chinos or khakis wash them a little more often—every three times you wear them—to keep these lighter pairs stain-free. Use cold water to avoid fading. Suds safety tip: Dry cleaning is really the best option for keeping your woolen trousers chic, but if you can’t afford it, try an at-home kit instead for a fraction of the cost.
7. Skirts Wash them: Every four or five times you wear them. What to know: Circle skirts and A-line styles have a lot of movement to them, saving them from the type of wear and staining that pants often get. Suds safety tip: Wash pencil skirts (and anything silk or light-coloured) more often as they’re more prone to staining.