Social Question

nettodo's avatar

What do you usually do to just-purchased clothes?

Asked by nettodo (389 points ) 1 month ago

I’m just curious what y’all do with just-purchased clothing. Do you wash it, let it hang out in the hamper, wear it immediately, or what?

I usually stick them in the machine or the hamper, depending on if I’m strongly attached to the item enough to not return it and/or how up to laundry I feel that day.

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79 Answers

ibstubro's avatar

Usually launder them.
Once in a while I get clothes that I like so much I wear them immediately, or at least before washing.
Once in a great while the clothes I try on are so much nicer than the clothes I’m wearing that I’d like to ask to swap before I pay. I have not asked, so far.

talljasperman's avatar

I leave them in the original bag and hang on the hanger until needed.

pleiades's avatar

Well, to be frank. I just wear them out. It’s never really the most comfortable stage. I don’t know what chemicals are on them before being washed and it’s definitely not the coziest feeling but it’s not that bad either.

zenvelo's avatar

I always wash underwear before wearing the first time. But the kind of clothes I buy don’t have sizing applied, and can be worn right away. I usually wait a day or two.

cookieman's avatar

Wash before wearing.

Plucky's avatar

Take the tags off and wash them (or throw them in the hamper to be washed).

JLeslie's avatar

I always wash underwear and bathing suits before wearing them. Most other garments I just wear them without washing. I already tried them on at the store, obviously I am willing to put them on my body. I don’t cut the tags off right away if I am not washing the clothes, I wait until I am going to wear the garment.

anniereborn's avatar

I just wear them straight away

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I remove the tags and put them into the washer. I just recently found out that everyone didn’t wash clothing prior to wearing it. I was actually shocked.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Depending on the garment, tailoring.

If the garment is washable and prone to shrink it is washed before tailoring.

Washable items that might bleed color are giving a salt water soak, then laundered.

Washable items are cleaned by hand and then hung or flat dried to prevent shrinking and stiffening.

Some items are worn right out of the store.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I wear them.

jca's avatar

I wash underwear before wearing it. Other than that, I don’t usually wash new clothes before wearing. I leave the tags on and hang them in the closet.

On the rare occasions someone gives me something used, I will wash it first. I don’t buy used clothes, but sometimes a friend will have something that doesn’t fit her but is a good item, so she’ll give it to me.

Sheets and blankets, I wash before using the first time.

hearkat's avatar

In most cases but fashion emergencies, I wash the item before wearing.

I buy a lot of clothes online, and try them on in the comfort of my home. I try on all clothes and can make a pretty quick decision about whether the item is a keeper or not. If it’s a keeper, I set a price in my mind of how much it’s worth to me and then look at the price tag (I’ve often forgotten how much it was by the time it arrives, and I usually buy multiple items during flash sales and such).

If the actually price exceeds my perceived value, I’ll take a closer look at the fit, move around in it to see how if feels or if it’s restricting, and double-check the quality of materials and care instructions, and then reconsider if it’s worth the price. If not, I put it in the return pile, and back it goes.

JLeslie's avatar

All of you who wash before wearing, do you dry clean before wearing if the garment requires dry cleaning?

hearkat's avatar

@JLeslie – I avoid dry-clean only items as much as I possibly can, and some I will wash even though they say not to, if they’re silks or woolens, etc. It’s the mixed materials that cause problems – natural outers with synthetic liners – because they don’t respond the same way to washing. I prefer to buy unlined items and to wear my own silk liners that I can wash and dry with my underwear. Therefore, most of my dry-clean only items are outerwear, like winter coats, which I don’t have cleaned before wearing. Any other items are likely for a special occasion, so I won’t have them cleaned before hand.

jca's avatar

@hearkat: When you return clothes just purchased online, do you have to pay postage? I never returned anything online via mail, I’ve brought it back to the store or just kept it (depending on whether store was an option, like Kohls or Lands End).

jca's avatar

Rayon shirts that say “dry clean only” can be washed in the machine.

hearkat's avatar

Land’s End items can be returned to Sears, @jca. Lane Bryant and Coldwater Creek (R.I.P.) also allow(ed) you to return to the store. Most companies without storefronts will include a pre-paid return packing slip, but there are a few (like the HerRoom site I often recommend for bra variety) that don’t. I always check the return policy and time frame before ordering.

JLeslie's avatar

@hearkat I’m not asking if people dry clean or wash items even if the tag says dry clean, I am asking about the items you do dry clean, do you dry clean them before wearing the item when it is new? If you answered you always wash new items before wearing them. That’s what the Q is about. I guess I meant like a suit or sweater, it makes sense to me someone would not think of washing a coat.

Pachy's avatar

Just put them on and off I go. I love the feeling of wearing brand new clothes. Have since I was a teenager.

jca's avatar

@hearkat: I know Lands End can be returned to Sears – that’s why I like to buy Lands End. I was curious if clothing is purchased from online where there’s no store, if you have to pay. To me, to box it up and walk it to the post office and pay would be too much effort. I just ordered for the first time, a shirt from Amazon the other day. In fact, it should be arriving today. I was leery because without trying on an item and not knowing what the sizes will be like, it’s a real gamble.

ucme's avatar

Wash, rinse, iron, wear, repeat.

rojo's avatar

As a guy I usually just take off the tags and put it on. I will wash it after it has been worn.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@JLeslie

If I buy a used Dry Clean Only garment I dry clean before wearing or tailoring.

zenvelo's avatar

And blue jeans should never be washed.

JLeslie's avatar

@zenvelo Bullshit. If you have a fancy $200 pair you want to keep dark with a bunch of ungapochika on them then go ahead and dry clean them, but a regular old pair of jeans? Wash and dry.

rojo's avatar

Why would you have a $200.00 dollar pair of jeans?

JLeslie's avatar

Prada, Armani, etc. They can be less, I was just making a point.

rojo's avatar

Self edited,

Rather than hijack this thread I will start another.

dxs's avatar

I don’t wash before wearing.
I also always put my jeans in the wash, but I usually put them in the drier for only a few minutes then let them air dry.
And $50 @rojo? Nah…my max is $20!

El_Cadejo's avatar

If it came from the thrift store…. totally wash first. If they’re new clothes it depends on what it is. Jeans usually get washed and air dried. Shirts and hoodies I just wear. I actually try and hold off washing my new hoodies for as long as possible (smell test :P) . Hoodies tend to go down considerably in the comfort department with each subsequent wash. It’s the lose of those precious fuzzies on the inside.

I don’t think @zenvelo is saying to dry clean jeans, but quite literally never wash them. It’s fuckin disgusting IMO but the Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh is of the same philosophy. Then again I don’t see a man like that encountering many situations where he’s actually sweating in his jeans or getting them dirty.

jca's avatar

@El_Cadejo: Also, most clothes in general have brighteners on them, so when they’re in the store the colors are nice and bright and the whites are nice and bright, too. When you wash them a few times, the brighteners fade and they’re not so new and fresh looking any more.

JLeslie's avatar

The CEO is ridiculous. Of course you need to wash your clothing if you wear it regularly. I have items that don’t get washed often, but most people wear their jeans often, and they also are sitting everywhere and anywhere in them. It’s not like a cocktail dress that you wear from your car to the fancy covered chairs at a party, and then back home again.

jca's avatar

I wash jeans every time I wear them, usually. They’re close to bodily fluids, number one, and number two, every time I sit on anything, I consider it that I’m picking up all the germs and dirt from every person who sat there before me (including the car seat).

JLeslie's avatar

I wash my jeans every third time wearing them more or less.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: I have a personal rule – once jeans have been worn where I’ve sat on something, I don’t sit on my bed with them on.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I wash my jeans after each use unless I just wore them for a short period of time, like throwing them on to run to the store or something. I don’t do this because the jeans are “close to bodily fluids,” and I don’t think not washing them after each use is gross (though not washing them at all does sound pretty nasty). They stretch out throughout the day, and washing/drying them makes them nice and snug again. This girl don’t wear baggy jeans. The booty doesn’t look too good in stretched out pants, on anyone.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I have a rule not to wear outside clothes in my bed, but my husband doesn’t always comply. He wouldn’t get in the bed with his jeans/pants on though. Maybe a t-shirt, that sort of thing. Usually he would lay on top of the covers if he has street clothes on.

zenvelo's avatar

Tommy Hilfiger agrees with the Levi CEO.

dxs's avatar

Eww…seriously? And I was about to come out about how gross I am for wearing shirts and shorts three times before washing them…

JLeslie's avatar

I saw a doctor on The View who also said it is ridiculous not to wash your jeans. I wonder what Ralph Lauren would say since he likes ranch life, and actually gets out in the great outdoors.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@dxs Shirts I’ll wash after 1 use, but jeans and shorts tend to go 1–3 days depending on what I did.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@rojo $200 jeans.

Why not, necessarily.

Just because a jean costs $200 doesn’t automatically make it of quality or taste.

But if a particular jean meets criteria important to me and the price of admission is $200? Then there we go.

I also have jeans I bought used for $10. The choice was made on whether or not the jeans are in good taste and have flawless fit in the rear, waist and inseam (all other parts can be tailored). Yes, I have had boot cut jeans tapered into skinny.

Does the jean integrate well into my wardrobe or a particular outfit? Yes? Then we’re on.

@zenvelo

I hand wash my jeans in mild shampoo and hang dry.

“Your jeans should get you laid.” -Carson Kressley

hearkat's avatar

I often don’t like the smell and stiffness of new clothes. I suspect that they put something on them, like maybe starch or something, to keep them looking good. That why I almost always wash before I wear new clothes.

@jca – That’s why I said I check the return policy on any site before I order; but I’ve found that many retailers won’t charge return postage in order to compete with storefronts.

@JLeslie – Sorry I can’t help you further on the Dry Cleaning question, I dislike the inconvenience and chemical impact of dry cleaning, so I avoid buying items that need it.

As for jeans, my sweetie and I might wear ours a second time if we haven’t done anything messy or sweaty. I always wash them when new – because if the stiffness mentioned above. Working in health care, I can tell pretty quickly if a person or their clothing are unwashed – the nose knows.

downtide's avatar

I generally wear new clothes without washing them first but I will sometimes iron them; especially packaged shirts which will have creases from being folded.

I also wash my jeans, but I hate the way they feel after they’ve been in the washing machine so after that I hang them in the bathroom when I have a shower so they get all steamy and soften up again. Although I have been told by someone who worked in a store selling high-class denim that they shouldn’t be washed. He recommended to dampen them, wrap them in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer overnight. It won’t get rid of stains or anything like that but it will kill germs and any nasty odours. So he says…

dxs's avatar

@downtide I’m going to try that now…putting the just-washed jeans near the shower. I hate the stiff feeling.

jca's avatar

@downtide: I have heard others talk about not washing jeans. To me, it’s just gross not to wash anything that I wear, especially since pants go against bodily fluids and also on seats that may be grimy (public transportation, cars, any chair that’s been sat on by someone wearing dirty clothes).

dxs's avatar

Maybe they want you to wear them three times and not wash them so you can buy new ones.

hearkat's avatar

@jca – do you wear your jeans commando? You keep mentioning body fluids… if I go commando, I will not wear those pants again. I also would never go commando in new pants that hadn’t been washed! and not knowing who else has handled them or tried them on.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@hearkat I was wondering about the bodily fluids thing as well, but…

“if I go commando, I will not wear those pants again.”

What? Do you only wear underwear once, too? If not, what’s the difference?

jca's avatar

@hearkat: I wear underwear. Usually thongs. Even if I wore more “traditional” underwear, I think pants would smell from not being washed, just like dirty underwear smells.

I agree with @livelaughlove21 that even if you were commando, it makes no sense to say you’d throw pants out after wearing them once. Why not just put them in the wash? You’d throw out a $40 pair of jeans after just wearing once, if you wore without underwear?

hearkat's avatar

@livelaughlove21 and @jca – Yes, I only wear underpants once; and if I go without underpants, I will only wear those pants or skirt once. There is no difference. Are you saying that you wear underpants more than once between washes?

Since this discussion is about laundering clothes, I figured the ”… before laundering” part was implied and didn’t need to be spelled out.

Did either of you seriously think I meant that I’d throw the pants or jeans out? I keep most of my clothes for several years. You’re talking to someone who went through bankruptcy less than a decade ago. When I am done with my clothing, I launder it then donate it.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@hearkat Yes, I believe we both thought you meant that you throw them out because you said, “I will not wear those pants again.” I guess it wasn’t as clear as you thought. Sorry for making you spell it out to us idiots. :)

jca's avatar

@hearkat: It wasn’t clear to me you mean “before washing.” Of course I wash underwear with each time I wear them. Even in your last post, when I first read it, I thought you meant you wear underwear once before throwing them out.

Plucky's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t believe I own anything that requires dry-cleaning. If I do, then I’ve never washed them that way. I’ve never even been to a dry-cleaner.

JLeslie's avatar

@Plucky I wish I could say I never stepped into a dry cleaner, the prices are ridiculous. I have very few things I dry clean now.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Plucky Neither have I. I don’t think we’re missing much.

JLeslie's avatar

I feel like that is an idea for a whole new Q: Which of these things have you never done? Use a dry cleaner, go to the dentist, get a manicure, get your haircut in a salon, drive a car, get a message, things so many people regularly do and other people have never done. @livelaughlove21 I’m surprised you have never had to dry clean anything, only because if I remember correctly you work in a law office. I guess you can dress relatively casual there.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie I wear slacks, flats, and a non-tshirt top pretty much every day. Occasionally I’ll wear heels or a skirt/dress, but they definitely don’t require legal assistants to wear pantsuits (thankfully). The male attorneys usually wear suits, but the female attorneys dress like I just described unless they’re going to a deposition or something. We rarely go to court and legal assistants almost never see clients.

I wore this with a cardigan and flats on Monday if that’s any indication of the dress code. I have plenty of dress pants, but I put throw them in the washer. They’re from Kohl’s; I’m not dry cleaning them.

jca's avatar

I love that dress in the pic, @livelaughlove21! That’s definitely not how ladies in law offices around here dress. They’re way more formal, I look like I’m going to the movies compared to the way they dress. Paralegals around here (not sure if that’s exactly what you are) make about 75–100k so they have to dress the part.

JLeslie's avatar

Cute dress. With a cardigan it passes for business attire. Not very formal business attire, but many offices are more casual now. I like being able to dress more casually than in the past in terms of comfort. A girlfriend and I were just talking a couple weeks ago about how we think more casual dress codes are more likely to hurt womennth an men in terms of career and how they are perceived. I think that is fodder for another Q. I wonder what other jellies think about that statement.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@jca I’m no paralegal and I definitely don’t make nearly that much. Paralegals here make more like $45K after years of experience, so I don’t even make that much being a recent college grad. Being a paralegal requires a certificate that I don’t have, and our firm calls us all legal secretaries even though we do mostly legal assistant work and some paralegal work, but almost no “secretary work” (I don’t bring my attorneys their coffee and bagel, that’s for sure). I get paid $36.5K, which is about $10K more per year than legal secretaries usually make around here. It’s also $9K more than probation agents here make, which was my other career choice.

Since we represent school districts, as opposed to people accused of crimes that might actually drop by the office to so walk to their lawyer, for example, most of our contact with clients happens via email and phone. So, what we wear isn’t all that important. No jeans, t-shirts, flip-flops, or overly revealing clothing, but they’re pretty laid back otherwise.

JLeslie's avatar

People perceive secretaries as fetching coffee? Still? As far as I know Administrative Assistants are secretaries, we just have changed the name in the last 20 years. I’ve been an Administrative Assistant and Executive Assistant and I think of the duties I did as secretarial.

jca's avatar

I work in government and the legal secretaries make about 60k (the ones working for DA = government). The dress code for us is the dress code for you, @livelaughlove21. Not for me, because I work for a special little branch. I can wear jeans if I want to. I try not to every day, but I can. However, for the majority, it’s supposed to be no tee shirts, no sleeveless, no flip flops. However, there is dispute over what exactly constitutes a tee shirt. Not for me, but for the majority of departments. I work for an organization that represents disputes between employee and management, and even some supervisors are not clear about exactly what defines a tee shirt. We all know we can get “tops” that technically are tee shirts (the Kohl’s type, Liz Claiborne or whatever). However, ball busting bosses can say “that’s a tee shirt” and then there’s a dispute.

I have never heard recently of secretaries, government or non government, around here fetching coffee and bagel for their boss. What secretaries might do (probably would do) is if there’s a conference, they set up the food because that’s not something the attorney would do. But they don’t “fetch” as in “Mary, can you bring me my coffee now?”

Stinley's avatar

I’m going to gross everyone out with my dirty habits. I’ve never considered washing brand new clothes and I have worn secondhand clothes without washing them first. If they smell nice and clean I don’t see that there is a problem.

downtide's avatar

@jca our office has a similar “no t-shirts” rule and they generally go by “if it doesn’t have a collar or buttons, it’s a t-shirt”. Although some common sense is also used for women’s blouses.

ibstubro's avatar

Secondhand could be a problem, @Stinley. Think lice and crabs. Not only from the donors, but the clientele trying them on.

Just, yuck.

Yes I know of this being a problem.

Stinley's avatar

@ibstubro I don’t care. Really. I don’t worry about it. It so unlikely to happen that I just can waste the mental energy thinking about it.

Those who wash clothes before wearing them – how do you know they fit? I presume that you’ve tried them on. How is that different to wearing them?

i’m going to change my name to @dirty-girl

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Stinley Good point about trying them on vs. wearing them. I think it’s the same thing, too. I’ve never bought secondhand clothing before, I don’t think, but I’ve never thought twice about wearing new clothes before washing them.

I understand washing swimsuits, underwear, etc. (even though I usually don’t; I guess I’m gross too!) that you may not have tried on or kept your own underwear on while you were trying them on, but pants, skirts, dresses, shirts, etc? I really don’t care who tried them on in the store before me.

Cooties don’t scare me.

jca's avatar

I think as far as used clothing goes, it’s especially important to wash it first. You don’t know what kind of household it came from. Not necessarily bugs, but maybe the owners were especially dirty people. (As someone who used to do home visits for Child Protective Services, believe me, I’ve seen dirty).

I don’t usually buy used clothes, but sometimes friends will give me used things that they may feel I would like. Even if I know who they’re from, they get washed first. Takes no time at all and reassures me that the clothes are now clean.

Stinley's avatar

If they smell newly washed, I really don’t see that there is a problem. I wouldn’t buy them if they smelled funny. I do have a very sensitive nose so just use it to make an informed decision.

I wouldn’t buy underwear secondhand ever – my dirty girl standards are not that low.

Stinley's avatar

I do often wash second hand stuff before wearing it, just not every time.

dxs's avatar

Underwear is so overpriced at the thrift stores I’ve been to anyway.

ibstubro's avatar

I will not try on used pants if my socks have to touch the floor to do so, or if there is not a hook to hang my own clothes off the floor.

We had a case here where a tanning salon had a customer with a particularly bad case of crabs. Nearly every other customer became infected by picking the crabs up from the floor. I once had a case of crabs where the only other personal physical contact utterly denied having any infestation. The only other possibility was changing rooms at the thrift. Granted, they were likely lying, but it put on alert.

dxs's avatar

@ibstubro What’s a case of crabs?

talljasperman's avatar

I have new clothes that are siting on the hanger. It might take weeks for me to save up the money to do laundry.

ibstubro's avatar

Infestation of pubic lice, @dxs. ^^^@hearkat link

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