Thread x H&M

How to make your favourite tee last longer: Thread x H&M

We've teamed up with our friends at Thread to share style advice over the next few weeks. They have a great team of stylists whose goal is simple: to share tips that boost your style confidence and send you personalised ideas for what to wear.

The search is over. You’ve finally found your favourite t-shirt – well done, you. Now onto the next challenge: how to ensure it lasts beyond one season. Easy enough, right? Ah, if only. With t-shirts – especially the kind you wear and re-wear endlessly – it’s a constant battle against shrinkage, stainage, and the dreaded stretching, especially in the neckline area. But fortunately for you and your second skin, it doesn’t have to be that way. 

At Thread and H&M, we believe in investing in quality wardrobes essentials that will last you for the long-haul. And to do this, it’s worth brushing up on a few expert tips. Luckily, Thread stylist Toby Standing has perfected the art of t-shirt preservation in his own wardrobe, and he’s sharing his secrets. 

1. Establish a t-shirt rotation

A crucial first step is finding a t-shirt you love. We’re partial to this slim-fit Pima cotton style – it tends to fit like a glove, wear in nicely, and come in a spectrum of colours. Once you've found your perfect tee, buy multiple. “This can make them go further overall because you’re not exhausting your one perfect tee,” Toby says. “Instead, you can cycle through a few and extend the shelf life of each one. It’s well worth the upfront investment.”  

2. Wash your tees together 

Tees might seem like the most basic item to clean, but they’re actually quite delicate. Don’t learn this the hard way; instead, follow some essential washing tips. “Avoid washing your t-shirts with rough fabrics like denim or anything featuring metal hardware – you know, zippers and buttons,” Toby cautions. “These are all things that can rip your tees, especially when on vigorous wash cycles.”

3. Turn them inside out before washing

If you’ve always ignored the wash labels on your clothes, this one's for you. “Read the fine print and turn your t-shirt inside out,” Toby says. “This tip wasn’t conceived to make washing more miserable, it really does work. By turning your tees inside out before chucking them into the machine, you’ll help them retain their colour and save the outside of your shirt from getting unsightly bobbles."

4. Perfect your temperatures 

Hot-wash cycles won’t just wreak havoc on your energy bills, they’ll do some damage to your clothes too. “Most detergents can remove stains, even when the temperature is set to only 30ºC,” Toby says. "Colder temperatures will also keep dark tees darker, because less dye runs out.”

If you’re washing a white tee, however, the opposite rationale applies. You’ll want to wash them at the hottest temperature that the label recommends to keep their colour a pure shade of white. Or, as an alternative, you can use whitening detergent. 

5. Avoid hanging your tees 

Your laundry is done. Now what? How soon you get around to putting your washing away is none of our business, but when you do, heed one tip: avoid hanging. “Hanging your tees will completely change their shape over time,” Toby says. “You may also start to notice bumps on the shoulders from stiff metal or wood hangers. And the body of the tee will end up elongated thanks to dear old gravity.” And if you're limited on space, rolling is a great alternative.