A winter coat is an investment. After all, in our northern climate it's a garment you'll be sporting for several months straight, and you'll probably want to keep it around for a few years. We spoke to Canadian coat designer Linda Lundström for tips on keeping your coat as presentable as the day you bought it.
"Overcleaning can knock the life out of a garment," says Lundström. Most people send their coats to the dry cleaners for every little spot, but there is a risk that they won't come back looking the same.
Instead, Lundström stresses the important of spot-cleaning this type of garment. "Coats aren't right next to your skin so they can go longer between cleanings," she explains. "There is no reason to send the whole thing to the dry cleaners when you can effectively spot-clean without putting your coat through unnecessary wear and tear."
When shopping for a winter coat, be sure to read the washing instructions before you purchase it. If possible, look for an alternative to "dry-clean only" coats, such as Lundström's most popular coat, "Laparka." Not only was it designed for warmth, but its removable components facilitate cleaning. The Teflon-coated outside shell is water- and wind-repellent. It is also machine-washable and protects the inside wool duffle from having to be frequently dry-cleaned, prolonging the life and look of the coat.
• It is important that you put your coat away on a really good hanger. You want your coat to keep its shape.
• Make sure when you hang the jacket, the garment is sitting on the hanger properly.
• A good coat store will send your purchase home on a good solid hanger, usually made of heavy plastic.
• Lundström believes flimsy wire hangers like those that are sent home from the dry cleaners should be obliterated because they can ruin any type of clothing.
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