1.16.2006

Random Roundup

I've lost an interest in shopping lately, which is great for my wallet. However, that also means I didn't have much inspiration to blog. I should have written these down last week, but what the heck, better late than never:

1) Take advantage of store closing sales at The Limited. To my disappointment, my favorite store location has already closed, and another one I visited last week is doing their final round of closeouts. What a shame--I've long depended on The Limited for their great clearance merchandises, featuring both work- and party-worthy staples. In the past, I've gotten great tops for $5-8 (sometimes $10), cool jewelry for a few bucks, and skirts for under $20. I don't know if they're keeping a few locations open or closing everything, but either way, I won't have access to those stores anymore. I guess I'll still find the merchandise at Ross, but that's about it.

2) Taking good care of your clothes now will save you lots of money in the long run. Right now Le Target can help you accomplish those goals. Even though a lot of things there aren't exactly cheap, I like their limited-time $1 special offers of miscellaneous knicknacks. I guess it's their brick-and-motar version of the Red Hot Shop. When I was there 2 weeks ago, they capitalized on the "get organized" bullet point on many peoples' New Year's Resolutions. There were lots of little jewelry boxes, earring trees, and miscellaneous laundry supplies like coathangers, tie and belt hangers, suit bags, mesh laundry bags, and sweater de-fuzzers (or whatever you call them). All of them were only a dollar each! I hope there's still some left, since I want to get more hangers and door hooks.

For me, "hand wash only" means throw them in a mesh bag and into the washer. The bags keep your clothes from getting entangled with other items (such as jeans) and getting stretched in the process. However, don't get too carried away; use reasonable judgment. If your clothes are really delicate, you're better off to just hand-wash them. The "hand wash only" items I throw into the washer are knits, wovens, and undies. I have no time to hand-wash stuff that I wear regularly, and if they're tough enough to withstand agitation, there's no sense in wasting time on them. Jersey cottons have held up really well when they're washed in this protected way.

Everyone has favorite sweaters that could have been worn for a little while longer but for the fuzzballs that are all over the surface. De-fuzzing can give them new life. I have a sweatercoat and a really old Express wool sweater that were decimated by pilling, and I was about to just replace them with new stuff. I knew that defuzzers existed, but they are usually found in Asian stores that take effort to get to and I'm a lazy person. I was so happy to see the defuzzers for just a $1 at Target and snatched one up immediately. Operation is simple: just pop in a couple of AA batteries, remove the plastic cap covering the grill, turn it on, and lightly go over the surface. You'll see fuzzballs instantly disappear. As you continue to depill the sweater, the blades will slow down and even stop when fibers wrap around them or get stuck in the center. Remove the grill, use the brushes supplied with the defuzzer to clean it out. Dump out the fuzzballs collected in the clear plastic receptacle. At the end, you'll see a marked before-and-after difference; my sweatercoat looks almost new again, and while my Express sweater didn't recover as miraculously, I'm no longer ashamed to wear it outside of my house.

A couple of caveats with the defuzzer. First, some side effects may occur. It is possible for fibers from perfectly good regions to get snagged, thereby creating a hole in your sweater (this happened with all 3 sweaters, with varing degrees of severity as explained below). Consult your instincts wisely. I see defuzzing as a way to save really old sweaters on the brink of being tossed, so I would strongly advise against using the defuzzer for routine maintenance of newer sweaters. To minimizes the possibility of unwanted holes, keep the defuzzer to the surface instead of pushing it down into the sweater. Second, the defuzzer appears to perform poorly on cotton sweaters. The fibers don't seem to be as strong, so when fibers get snagged, it is much more likely to get holes. Additionally, the fuzzballs on cotton sweaters don't get picked up as cleanly as wool or acrylic fibers.

Risks aside, I think the defuzzer is a really good tool. Although it caused a couple of small holes in my sweatercoat and wool-blend sweater, the holes were small and could be fixed easily. Besides, the benefits of looking like new again greatly outweighs the annoyance of little holes. However, I'm disappointed with what the defuzzer did to my cotton sweater. That's my 2 cents, so do what you will with them.

1 comment:

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