Fashion hangover? Post-party clothes care: From spills to cigarette odours

clear wine glass with red liquid

No matter how small or distant the gathering was, a big night could mean ruin for suits and gowns. Here’s how you can mitigate it

My mum asked me to help get her nativity scene from the attic. Although it was unusually early for her, she wanted the holiday season to end and she could finally set it up.

We are now deep in strange festive season where invitations depend on a negative rapid-antigen test.

Parties can be dangerous places for clothes, despite the threat of being caught by Covid. We ask experts to help you care for your clothes after the party.

clear wine glass with red liquid

Give them some air

Chloe Naughton is the program director of Melbourne Fashion festival. She says that no matter how tempting, “the worst thing you could do is to take off what you’re wearing and lay it on the ground.”

She suggests that you hang it or lay it flat on a drying rack to dry it before you put it away. She suggests steaming each piece first if you have a steamer and exceptional willpower.

Naughton will decide whether to hang or lay the garment when she gets home at night. Fabric and construction are important factors since knits and heavier cottons can be stretched out by hanging. It’s a good rule to hang clothes that you would normally hang and lay clothes that you’d normally fold flat.

If your clothes smell like cigarettes, this is even more important. She advises that you hang your clothes outside of your wardrobe and don’t put them near your clean clothes. You can also spray fabric freshener on it if you are in a hurry.

Stains must be stopped immediately

Naughton suggests that sparkling water be used immediately after wine spills to remove any staining. This helps “break down the wine and prevents it from embedding in the threads”, she says. If it is a delicate fabric like silk, you should leave it alone and take it to the dry cleaners immediately.

She says that if oil drops on your shirt or pants it should be removed immediately. Oil can stain clothes if it soaks in.

Although it may be strange to wear a damp shirt around, it will make your skin feel better.

You can soften oil, red and brown sauce, and wine stains by giving your clothes a cool soak, and then running it through a hot washing machine at 60C. This should be done as soon as the stain is still fresh. If the marks are not gone, you can use a general stain removal agent. He recommends a premium detergent that contains a biological enzyme as well as an emulsifying agents.

Concentrate on the fabric type

Anderton states that garments made of nylon or polyester are highly attracted by fats and oils, including sweat. To break the bond, emulsifying agents should be applied to garments that have been soiled or worn on the dancefloor. They may need to be washed more than once at 60C, but not higher. Polyester is thermoplastic and can be damaged by excessive heat.

Naughton states, “If it’s really hot and I know that I’ll be at party in the sun, then I’ll wear a breathable material like a linen, or a cotton.” This is because these fabrics allow her to breathe, which she says makes for a more comfortable experience.

Visit the pros

Naughton suggests that you take most garments to dry cleaners within 24 hours of a party. Particularly delicate fabrics should be given priority. “Silk should be handled by professionals,” she says. It’s important to .remember .that silk may appear fine the day after a party, but stains from sweat and deodorant can damage the fabric over time and appear later.

You might consider wearing a silk jacket, or chiffon gown on a New Year’s Eve run to find an open dry cleaner if you feel ambitious.

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