Thanks to Ivory for sponsoring this post.

I’ve said it for years and I’ll keep saying it: you don’t have to spend a ton of money on clothes to look and feel amazing! However, you DO have to spend some extra time giving those clothes some extra TLC if you want them to last. And while not all garments are meant to last forever – they’re bound to wear, fade, and change shape after repeated use, you can get years of extra wear out of each piece by being a bit more careful in the way you clean, handle, and store your favorites. So no matter if I purchased something from a budget-friendly store, a designer shop or got it second-hand, there’s a specific set of rules I always follow when it comes to caring for my clothes.

Here are 5 tips to make your clothes last longer:

1. Use a Gentle Detergent

The most important thing about caring for your clothes so they last is choosing a gentle detergent. My current favorite is Ivory Gentle Aloe Scent Laundry Detergent, which is hypoallergenic so its gentle on the skin and free of harmful ingredients, but most importantly, it’s tough on dirt, food and stains. It’s also affordably priced, unlike most natural detergents, and best of all, it’s made without dyes, phosphates, brighteners, chlorine or enzymes, so it’s safe for the entire family and the planet!

5 Tips to make your Clothes Last Longer | Girl With Curves
2. Skip the Dryer

While it’s quick and easy to throw something into the dryer, it’s likely to shrink, fade or snag. To prevent fading and shrinking both in size and length, turn inside out, always wash in cold water, then hang dry. I typically do this by draping clothing over bedroom doors over the weekend, since I don’t have the space to lie them flat. Taking the extra time to allow garments to air dry makes a huge difference in preventing premature wear and tear, shrinkage and fading.

5 Tips to make your Clothes Last Longer | Girl With Curves
3. Trade your Iron for a Steamer

To prevent wear and tear of delicate fabrics like georgette, crepe, satin, chiffon and polyester blends, always steam instead of ironing. This is especially important for affordable garments from budget-friendly and fast fashion shops, because lower quality fabric makes clothes more susceptible to damage, so treating these items with care is the key to making them last as long as possible. Ironing can damage fabrics, not to mention it can take a really long time to do it right – steaming is super quick and easy!

5 Tips to make your Clothes Last Longer | Girl With Curves
4. Fold as much as Possible

Folding versus hanging not only helps keep shape in tact, it also prevents shoulder stretch caused by hangers. Anything that can easily stretch out, such as sweaters, knits, T-shirts and sweats, should be folded rather than hung, since folding puts less stress on these type of fabrics.

5. Hang with Care

When hanging, make sure the width of the hanger isn’t wider than the garments shoulders, otherwise you’ll be left with overstretched shoulder seams. Also be sure shoulders and collars are well laid on the hanger to avoid creating creases, wrinkles and permanent warping.

5 Tips to make your Clothes Last Longer | Girl With Curves

If you’re interested in trying Ivory Gentle Aloe laundry detergent, you can find it at Walmart, here