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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Wearing Clothes Right Off The Rack

I was going to meet my friend  for lunch at a shopping mall when a pencil skirt on a mannequin behind a display window caught my eye. It was that elusive skirt I had been searching for a long, long time - denim, front-zipped, knee-length, perfect colour ....

I hopped into the shop and tried the skirt. It was a perfect fit! I have a big butt and tummy and pencil skirts don't become me but this one looked like it was made just for me.

Without hesitation, I bought the skirt and walked happily out of the store , wearing my brand new purchase as I made my way to the cafe a few metres away to meet my friend.

As soon as we were seated, I gushed about my new skirt to my friend. She gasped in horror! "Eeeek!  Take it off! NEVER wear a new clothing until it has been washed!", she cautioned me.  My friend, who's a dermatologist, then went on to share with me horror stories about the diseases her patients had picked up from wearing unwashed new clothes.

Dang! Can't wear new clothes? But that's the only time clothes aren't wrinkled!

If , like me, you don't wash new clothes before you wear them, below are 2 reasons what you should.

As Donald Belsito, a professor of dermatology, told Wall Street Journal, new clothing often contains harmful chemicals that can cause rashes and itchiness. Despite the "made-in" label on many store-bought purchases, items are often stitched, dyed, and sent out from various countries, each with different chemical use laws. Clothes containing common ingredients such as azo-aniline dyes, or formaldehyde resin can cause skin irritation — although, sending them through a wash can prevent this.

However, the ickiest clothing culprits come from the stores themselves. According to Belsito,   dressing rooms are breeding grounds for bacteria, lice, and fungus. “I have seen cases of lice that were possibly transmitted from trying on in the store, and there are certain infectious diseases that can be passed on through clothing,” he tells WSJ. There's no way to really track who's tried on the clothes before you did, so rather than take the risk of a possible allergic reaction (or worse), Belsito recommends running the washing machine, twice. After all, waiting a couple extra hours before you slip on your new outfit is a small price to pay for health and hygiene.

Strange, but no one had ever given me the heads-up before. Save for underwear,  I had been wearing clothes right off the rack all my life!

Do you wash new clothes before wearing them?

This week's cookies

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


  1. Such cute cookies :) I do wash clothes just recently purchased from either a regular store or a secondhand store. It was something my mom taught me that I just continued on in my life.

    On the other hand, glad you found the skirt that you liked :)


  2. ugh can i just go back to ignoring i didn't read any of this. I understand if it's from a thrift store or something but retail.. ugh

  3. Ugh... I admit even though I KNOW you should wash them first, I have worn clothes off the rack. Even my kids will try something new on and just pop the tags off and keep on wearing it. Thrift store finds DEFINITELY get washed first though!!

  4. I have never, in my life, heard of these horrible scenarios. That said, I usually wash things first....but every so often I can't wait or it is a delicate item that shouldn't be washed in the machine...and I will wear it anyway. I would err on the side of caution, but I certainly wouldn't be freaking out if I wore something off the rack here and there.

  5. Hi Veronica,
    Thanks for visiting my blog earlier today.

    Sometimes I wash new clothes before wearing them and sometimes I don't. With clothing made with fancy delicate material, I often worry what a wash would do to it. So for stuff like that, I would do the washing after the first wear.

  6. Wow! I have definitely worn clothes off the rack without washing first. The only time I washed clothes before wearing is when my children were babies or if it is from a thrift store. I can't believe all of those horrible things can be found on clothes. I always ignore the wash before wearing sign.

  7. When I buy new clothes I never wash them either, just put them straight on. but now after reading this I think I will give them a quite wash. Thinking about those lice is making me itch! #KCACOLS

  8. I never realised that you shouldn't wear clothes straight from the rack because of the chemicals etc. I will be washing them in future before I wear them! #KCACOLS

  9. I have NEVER washed new clothes before I wear them. Doubt that I will start now. There are just too many things for people to spend their time worrying about anymore. I am sure there might be that rare time when something might go wrong. But it's not the norm!! Thanks for visiting my blog. Isn't Betty a gem??

  10. Bahaha, I'm so glad you brought up the point that wearing right off the rack is the only time clothes aren't wrinkly! I used to never worry about washing clothes before wearing, but a couple years ago my daughter got a really bad allergic reaction from trying a hat on in a store. Had to even go to the emergency department as her whole face became swollen! I try to wash the kids clothes first, my clothes not to much!
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday!

  11. This is definitely an interesting post and good to know for future clothing purchases. Thanks for sharing your wisdom at the Over the Moon Link Party.

  12. Eww, now I regret never washing any of my clothes before I wear them! I agree about the creased thing too. I love it when my clothes are all shiny and new! You learn something new everyday don't you! *runs off to wash all new clothes* #KCACOLS

  13. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop

  14. I am the queen of not wearing new clothes before they went through laundry!
    I hear you about them not being wrinkled, but I always figure "who knows who tried them on in the dressing room before me, maybe they were really sweaty or had greasy fingers from eating chicken wings." ;-)

  15. Years and years ago a spider crawled out of a sweater on a rack in the store. I've always washed clothes first just because of that incident, but this is good to know too.