Laundry u2014 itu2019s arguably the least sexy part of the shopping-styling-getting dressed cycle we all repeat week in, week out. Whether you find it to be a joy or a chore, itu2019s pretty much necessary, yet it rarely comes up in conversations about fashion. How we clean our clothes is a weirdly elusive topic that probably merits more attention that itu2019s being given. After all, what the hell really needs to be dry cleaned? How do you navigate the mishmash of settings and temperatures that go into each wash and dry load, and whatu2019s the best goo/powder/pod cocktail? Perpetually fretting over whether this cycle is the fateful time your absolute favorite cashmere pullover will be irreversibly shrunk to doll-like dimensions: The fear is real.

Blogger Susie Bubble (a.k.a. Susannah Lau) was in Barcelona last week at Procter & Gambleu2019s annual Future Fabrics conference for some frank talk about her beloved clothes being ruined mid-laundering, u201cwash anxiety,u201d and taking a hiatus from the dry cleaner. u201cI hadnu2019t given clothing care a lot of thought; I certainly had no knowledge in the area,u201d Lau told Refinery29 of her limited laundering intel before she got schooled at P&Gu2019s Fabric Care HQ in Brussels earlier this fall. u201cItu2019s the final step in the life cycle of a piece Valentino Shoes of clothing. If youu2019re a fashion-lover, or even just a fashion enthusiast, why wouldnu2019t you want to learn how to care for your clothes properly? Unfortunately, itu2019s not really something thatu2019s talked about. There seems to be this assumption that [laundry] will magically get done.u201d

When a load does get done, stress can ensue u2014 especially when there are designer items that donu2019t quite seem to merit a dry cleaning drop-off, but are any more complicated than a simple cotton T-shirt. u201cWash anxiety is for every wash for me, not just the first wash. I especially have that anxiety about my lightweight, bouncy-looking Christopher Kane jerseys, which are made from viscose and elastane fiber. I had a disaster with one of those jerseys because I washed it at too high a temperature; it was terrible,u201d Lau said.


In addition to the fear of screwing up those favorite pieces, whether theyu2019re everyday workhorses or special-occasion-only members of your wardrobe, that graveyard of formerly adored clothes completely wrecked in the wash can make you feel kind of guilty or, as Lau says, like a bit of a failure. u201cItu2019s not just my clothes; itu2019s my boyfriendu2019s clothes Cheap Valentino Shoes as well. We share the laundry responsibilities, though heu2019s better at it than I am,u201d Lau says. u201cI always feel like a bit of a domestic failure when things get ruined. You feel dumb; you have all the modern apparatus to equip you to wash well, but when things get messed up, itu2019s like, how did this happen?