Now my love of fashion has been reignited since losing weight, I've been buying more clothes in general, but also because my older ones no longer fit me (perfect excuse). It's almost as a necessity to have a lovely large wardrobe brimming with new stuff really, to accompany the hugely hectic social life that I seem to be leading, especially when I'm being snapped by cameras and not wanting to appear to be wearing the same dress at every event.
This isn't a bad thing, I'm not complaining (although my feeble attempt of a bank balance most definitely is), but what I have noticed in buying all these lovely new clothes is that the care instructions appear to have got a bit finicky and precious... overly cautious, if you will.
Many of my clothes, or clothes that I am looking at online etc now seem to be hand wash only (without appearing to be particularly delicate to me), or unable to be tumble dried or unable to be washed OR dry cleaned like the beautiful, expensive Forever Unique gown shown in the image above, and available here, where the care instructions say:
"Do not wash, Do not dry clean, Do not spray alcohol based products directly on garments such as perfume, Hair spray etc, Spot clean only with mild detergent, Do not bleach, Do not iron on embellishments"
WTF?! It's made from 100% Polyester - something I thought was easily washable?! If I'm paying £550 for for an item of clothing, surely a basic requirement is that it's able to be cleaned so it can be worn again?!
In years gone by, I'm sure most clothes (bar obviously delicate materials, such as wool and silk) were generally just able to be thrown in at no greater than their recommended temperatures. Am I imagining this, or is this the clothing manufacturers and brands being wimps? Have we got so used to complaining, taking things back and suchlike that they're just protecting themselves, or are these clothes, and the materials they're made from really that delicate? I mean since when did denim get so fragile that it could no longer be tumble dried - as I recently saw on a pair of jeans I own?
Now I know washing machines can be quite rough and the insides aren't perfectly smooth, and I know that tumble drying isn't brilliant for the condition of your clothing either, but surely either technology should be able to cope with cleaning/drying clothes without causing (too much) damage, or that there are precautions that could be taken to ensure clothes stay in the best condition they can?!
It actually puts me off purchasing items of clothing if the care instructions appear to state that you have to make a trip to mars, whilst singing a song backwards and dancing on your head just to get the item clean, ha. I want to be able to wear them, enjoy them, and wash them without hassle so I can wear and enjoy them again... not feel like I should 'save for best', just because it's a chore to get them ready to wear again.
For instance, I have a few dip hem dresses (shown in the image above, from a BBQ/party I went to not long ago), made with a chiffon-type material where the care instructions clearly state 'hand wash only' and I did hand wash these dresses... ONCE! It was so tedious, I honestly felt that life was too short for that malarkey, and so I actually didn't wear them again for a while because of it.
I then wondered if the dresses were hand wash more so they didn't catch on the inside of the washing machine and get pulls in them, than for any other reason. So, I decided to do a little experiment where I put the dresses inside an old pillowcase, used a hair band to seal them inside and stuck them in the wash on a low spin, 30 degree wash. Guess what, no harm came to them!!
Now I'm not saying these care instructions don't have their uses, or are not there for a valid reason; however, I do feel like they're being applied by brands and manufacturers that are simply wimping out by basically wrapping the garment in cotton wool so they don't have to deal with returns and refunds or some other nonsense. What do you think?