Caring for cold weather gear No matter what that groundhog has to say about it

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No matter what that groundhog has to say about it, February always feels like winter in New England. In fact, it can feel like winter is never going to end. Imagine what would happen if you had to wear your winter outerwear for another 3 months? You might become a little crabby. (We see a lot of that this time of year.)

In fact, some of that winter gear is getting grimy by now, don’t you think? Perhaps it’s time to take a look at your winter outerwear and see what needs to happen to keep it (and you!) happy for the rest of the season. We’ll help you out with the leather and dry cleanable fabrics.

Gloves and hats. We say this plural because, well, we know where you live. You’ve probably got a drawer of these things. Please, please, please keep them clean. Grimy hands are a definite no-no. And those hats get sweaty. Read your labels and wash regularly, all season long.

The woolen coat. Many people prefer to clean their woolen coats at the start of the season, and again at the end (a must for protecting the wool in storage!). But if you’re wearing a coat day in and day out, it needs more. And when dirt and spills are involved, it’s a no brainer. Invest in a $10 clothes brush and use it often. You might also consider a mid-season dry cleaning for your favorite coats. We would.

The puffy coat. Love ’em or hate ’em, puffy coats and their slimmed down brethren are a winter staple. Down coats and jackets may be machine washed with a specialized down cleaner and fluffed back up in the dryer. Newer “technical” fabrics may require special care. Be sure to investigate the manufacturer’s labels.

The leather coat. If you cleaned it at the start of the season, you’re good. Unless it’s been stained or otherwise impaired, just mentally schedule it for its annual cleaning.

The kids’ snow pants. Regular washing necessary. They’re kids. Need we say more? Oh yes, that manufacturer’s care label. Read it.

What are you wearing this winter?

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