Posts in Uncategorized
How to Clean Your Espadrilles
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Espadrilles are a summer footwear delight, but when the fiber soles get dirty, do you know the (espa)drill for cleaning them? Here are a few tips: 

1. DO NOT put them in the washing machine or submerge them in water. 

2. Let any dirt dry, and then wipe with a dry cotton cloth or use a vacuum to remove loose dirt.

3. Next, you can either A). spray a foaming carpet cleaner and blot the fibers with an absorbent cloth and a small toothbrush for any stubborn spots or B) dip a toothbrush in a mixture of 1 Tbsp of mild detergent mixed with 2 cups of water and gently scrub off the dirt.

4. Remove any excess detergent with a clean damp cloth.

20 Things We Love @ BU: February 2018

In the month of love, here are 20 things we love to help get you through the end-of-winter doldrums:

NAT'S PICKS:

1. Summer doesn't have to have a monopoly on "sexy" style. Follow my lead and "treat yo self" to a sweater that is both alluring AND cozy (like this one). It may cause you to stop wishing winter away. 

The Wordsmith from  Letterfolk .
The Wordsmith from Letterfolk .

2. Need to exercise your laugh muscles? The Panda vs. Snowman video still gives me a serious case of the giggles.

3. For that awkward period when the snow is melting but you don't need to wear snowboots but you still need something weatherproof . . . I've been traipsing around in these Frye boots. What I especially love: I can wear them laced up under skinny jeans or unlaced over. 

4. My winter Sunday Funday = cooking up some cold-weather comfort food + curling up with a good book or movie. To add extra emphasis on the "Fun," I like to kick it up a notch kitchen in a cheery apron

5. Speaking of movies, the Oscars are just around the corner. I love treating myself to a solo matinee. Two leading ladies gave me all the chills in their performances this year: Margot Robbie in I, Tonya and Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

6. And speaking of ice skating, cheer on the USA Winter Olympics team in warmth and comfort in this ridiculous yet fantastic onesie. USA! USA! 

7. Netflix, chill, and set your drink on these punny coasters. Which coast are you? (Also great housewarming gifts.) 

8. What do you "meme" winter's not over? Winter is perfect for a game night. If you love Cards Against Humanity but have memorized most of the cards like I have, try the latest adult game bringing game night laughs: "What Do You Meme?"

9. Add some much-needed green to your winter even if you don't have a green thumb. I've been assured "air plants" are really  hard to kill! They are soil free, can be used as wall art, and need minimal watering. (Sounds like the goldfish of houseplants!) See some cool ways to decorate with air plants here.  

10.  I've been looking for a vintage-style letterboard to hang in my kitchen. I found the perfect one from Letterfolk and am eager to pull the trigger, but am still trying to decide between "the Wordsmith" in white or grey. Thoughts?  

SABRINA'S PICKS: 

1. I'm desperately waiting for spring to come. So for now I will just dream about it while I wrap my neck with this Paul Smith beauty

Jamie Beck's work. Follow her on Insta @annstreetstudio
Jamie Beck's work. Follow her on Insta @annstreetstudio

2. Indoor season is in full swing, and I'd much rather have friends over than brave the cold. Bribe your loved ones to visit with this recipe from heaven: Avocado Chocolate Bread. You are welcome. 

3. My kitchen is a winter pick-me-up with my new tea towels

4. My commute got an upgrade: I got a flask . . . a TEA flask. I can now take my loose tea with me on the go.  

5. Being indoors at an art show is one of my favorite winter activities. (Did you know I am an Art Historian?) David Hockney’s show at the Met surprised me greatly. You have time to check it out until 2/25.

6. Speaking of art: Have you heard of Jamie Beck (the photographer; not the writer)? She is a commercial photographer who is slowly gravitating towards fine art. My words can't do justice to her work. Check out her breathtaking art: start with her self-portrait series and click your way to the rest HERE and then HERE.    

7. I'm waiting for spring weather and dreaming about “one layer will do it today." Once it is finally here, you will see me dressing up or down my favorite classic shirt

8. Celebrate the longest relationship in your life. Celebrate you! Trash the old sleeping T-shirt and take you in for a date. Suggested dress code: babydoll and robe. Enjoy!  

9. 'Tis the season for online shopping. I'm upgrading my white T-shirt game and having some fun while I’m at it. 

10. If winter insists on staying longer, I might as well find a way to enjoy the view. A few years ago, I found The Dewitt, a B&B in Oak Hill, NY. My husband and I have been back twice already. It's owned by two friends Dorothée and Diane, who keep the house so beautifully and also make the most yummy breakfast. The whole experience is pure joy and pleasure. It's the perfect weekend getaway! 

Style Guide: Closet Cleanout
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If you haven't done a closet cleanout recently, January is a great time while your mind is in the mode of self-care and goals. We often hear clients confess they have avoided culling their closet because it can be a daunting and emotionally draining experience for many reasons. But from chaos comes clarity, and setting aside the time to take stock of your wardrobe and think about your current style and goals can help eliminate both physical and mental clutter. Here are a few key questions and tips to get you started: 

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Of course, if you are feeling overhwhelmed with this process, we are always here to help walk you through a closet cleanout step-by-step. 

Define Your Style: Wool
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wool

noun, often attributive   ˈwu̇l

: the soft wavy or curly usually thick undercoat of various hairy mammals, especially sheep and goats

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sheep

   1. merino wool: from merino sheep

   2. lambswool: from the first shearing of a lamb; can be any species of sheep

goat

   1. cashmere: from cashmere goats

   2. mohair: from Angora goats

Sweater Comb, Yon-Ka, More: 10 Things We Love @ BU
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We're all about self-care and staying cozy this month with these current favorites: 

Photo:  Garance Doré's Instagram
Photo: Garance Doré's Instagram

NAT'S PICKS:

—Cozy sweaters and the January freeze go together like (snow)peas and carrots; however, sweater pills are beyond annoying. For delicate knits, I use The Laundress sweater comb, and for a more thorough / heavy duty job, I stick to this shaver by Conair. (Bonus: It comes in a variety of fun colors!) 

—Avoid looking like the Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters, and make sure you get a down jacket that has some shape to it, like this belted one by Burberry  or the 3-in-1 coat by Patagonia. BU-approved bomb-cyclone fighters! 

—Garance Doré recently reminded me of a book that I decided to revisit (and gift to a few of my favorite people): Women Who Run with the Wolves, by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés. (See Doré's story on it here.) Read it; internalize it; and become empowered to be you! 

—Don't be afraid to get out and pound the salty pavement this winter, because we have this at-home fix for pesky salt stains on leather shoes. 

—My sensitive and reactive skin needs extra love and moisture in the winter months. My go-to moisturizing mask is Yon-Ka Masque No. 1. I use it twice a week in the winter: Leave it on overnight (I also put it on during long flights) and wake up with skin that feels smoother, softer, and rehydrated! 

Photo:  Sarabeth
Photo: Sarabeth

SABRINA'S PICKS: 

—Comfort and warmth are high on my priority list these days. My FIRST pair of Dr. Martens are not disappointing. 

—I know the flavor might sound weird, but I tried it and I loved it: Marvis Toothpaste, Jasmin Mint. Side effect: you might start brushing your teeth after every.single.meal.

—I am keeping my lips moist with Malin + Goetz lip balm

—Calling all fellow hot chocolate lovers! Have you tried Sarabeth's Kashmir Hot Chocolate?! If you haven't, order a tin stat!  

—I've added another layer of fun, fashion, and durability to my footwear game with this feminine pair of Stance socks. Bonus: They have a cool subscription service, in which you can get socks delivered to your door monthly or quarterly. Which is your favorite?

UncategorizedJessComment
Framebridge, Rag & Bone Boots, More: 10 Things We Love @ BU
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Happy holidays! Here are the things bringing us extra holiday cheer this month: 

NATALIE'S PICKS: 

—Frame someone you love this holiday season! I recently had a great experience with Framebridge and plan to use them to frame special memories for my dearest this holiday season.

STORYTIME: My parents were high school sweethearts, and I've been meaning to frame their senior class picture for YEARS but never got around to it or got incredibly high estimates at custom places. Enter Framebridge. All I had to do was send in the picture in the prepaid packaging they sent; their designers picked some frames to complement the piece (or you can choose your own; I chose the design I loved; and a week later, a part of my parents' love story was beautiful matted, framed, and hanging on my gallery wall. 

Russell + Hazel Binder System
Russell + Hazel Binder System

—These boots were made for "Walkering." My search for the perfect day-to-evening Chelsea boot has finally ended with the Rag & Bone Walker boots.  The leather is soft, the heel height is ideal, the almond toe box is sleek, and, most important, I can walk ALL DAY in them. 

—My nerd-meter goes off the charts whenever I discover a new way to make organizing my life easier. My brilliant friend and professional organizer LV introduced me to the magic that is Russel + Hazel's binder system. It holds my planner, client notes, to-do lists, and receipts all in one nicely designed little binder! 

—My grandmother always instilled the importance of sending thank-you notes anytime you receive a gift or kindness. Not to disappoint grandma, I always have a variety on hand in my desk drawer. The punster in me can't get enough of these. (Papersource has a plethora of beautiful designs, as well.) 

—Dancing is my favorite activity in the whole world; working out is not. One of my clients (thanks, Heather!) recently introduced me to AKT in Motion: dance and toning all in one w/ a side of disco ball. I sweat a lot, and I'm sore the next day in muscles I didn't know existed—but somehow AKT has tricked me into loving every minute of it! Bonus: They have an on-demand program for those that don't live near a studio. 

SABRINA'S PICKS:

—Every year I cook up a big batch of my homemade granola to give as gifts. I love making granola because I can adjust the flavors to what we like at home or to the season. Here is the recipe I (more or less) follow. Have fun and play with the proportions.

—It's time for me to think pink! I grew up with the tradition in Argentina that on New Year's Eve you wear new underwear—new PINK underwear.  I have no idea the origin of this, but new undies are always nice, right? I like the shade of pink in these Hanky Pankies

DIY Magazine Wrapping Paper
DIY Magazine Wrapping Paper

—I started listening to the UnStyled Podcast, hosted by Refinery29's global editor-in-chief, Christene Barberich. She explores the perspective of a strong woman on different topics: fashion, career, relationship. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

—I can now eat, drink, and feel merry the next day with these Coconut Charcoal pills. I take two after an evening of indulgence to help me digest food (and drinks) better. The next morning I feel less bloated— and it helps with hangovers too!

—You know all those holiday catalogs you get starting October? Instead of throwing them in the recycling bin, give the pages another turn and use them as wrapping paper like I do!  

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: HOMEMADE GRANOLA

Make a few batches of this granola, portion it into a small mason jars with a bow and gift tag, and you have a cute, inexpensive, and tasty gift to gift your coworkers, neighbors, and friends! 

Sabrina's Homemade Granola

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Ingredients:

2 cups oats (I use gluten free oats)

1 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup raw almonds

3 tablespoons unsalted butter ( or 2–2.5 T. olive oil)

2/3 cup honey (or honey/agave split) add more if you like it super sweet

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/4 cup flax

1/2 cup chopped pitted dates

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup dried cranberries

NOTE: Recipe is super versatile, so if you don't have some of the ingredients you are probably ok skipping. Or feel free to add other combinations of things: raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds..

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly toast the oatmeal on sheet pan 8-10 min followed by nuts (almonds and cashews) for 10 to 12 min. If you have roasted nuts simply skip this step.

Place the butter (or oil) and honey in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute. Turn off heat, let cool for a few minutes and add vanilla and salt.

While oatmeal is toasting and liquids are heating begin combining all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl (coconut, dried fruit, flax, wheat germ). Add toasted oats and nuts when they are done. Lastly, pour liquids over and stir.

Pour the mixture into a cake pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours (if you can!) before cutting into squares or breaking into pieces. Serve at room temperature.

Notes:

The baking time is a little tricky. I have done it different every time and haven't been too thorough in documenting results. It is always good but ranges from chewy to crunchy with chewy being about a 30min bake time. I will usually bake a little longer around 40 min then turn off heat and leave it in the oven for a while longer. 

Style Guide: Thanksgiving Travel List
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With hectic airports, trains, and freeways, packing for this busy holiday season should be light and easy. We've helped you simplify this with our BU capsule packing list for various Turkey Day Weekend occasions. 

Add PJs, undergarments, and toiletries, and you are all set!

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Want to see our BU picks for specific pieces? Shop our detailed Thanksgiving packing list here

Define Your Style: Velvet & Corduroy
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Example of corduroy pants
Example of corduroy pants

velvet

noun   vel·vet     ˈvel-vət

a clothing and upholstery fabric (as of silk, rayon, or wool) characterized by a short soft dense warp pile

Simplified: soft, smooth fabric; you know, "smooth like velvet" 

corduroy

noun   cor·du·roy     ˈkȯr-də-ˌrȯi

a durable usually cotton pile fabric with vertical ribs or wales

Simplified: a ridged form of velvet

MZ Wallace Bag, AWAY Carry-on, More: 10 Things We Love @ BU
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We have a lot to be thankful for this year, but here are 10 things we are especially loving during this month of gratitude . . . 

Natalie's Picks: 

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—My MZ Wallace weekend bag has been my travel buddy for the last 4 years without a sign of wear. My favorite parts: it's lightweight (for a weakling like me) and comes with pouches that clip into the bag. 

—Every year I'm in charge of the stuffing, and I stick to my country roots by making this Paula Deen decadence. (Also makes great leftover sammies!)

—I've already found at least a dozen ways to style my new black velvet pants (low cost-per-wear FTW!) Bonus: They feel like pajamas! 

—Experience art in motion and go see Loving Vincent. It's the world's first fully painted motion picture and is truly a work of art! 

—The 5-minute Journal keeps me mindful, present, and positive every day. Plus, its simple format has made journaling (something I've never been good at) easy and palatable. 

Sabrina's Picks: 

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—Hands down, my AWAY Carry-on is my favorite! I traveled through Europe with it and had no problems, even with the small airlines. It has a clean design AND a charger for your phone. I love that!

—Of course you want a little something sweet after Thanksgiving dinner. If you aren't a pumpkin pie fan, here is an easy one to make: Cardamom Cognac Apple Cake. Enjoy! 

—Accessories can change an outfit. You can dress up a black pant pair of pants (like the ones Nat loves!) by pairing them with earling like these. They add something special to the outfit without being over the top. When I am feeling more adventurous I go for this ring. It’s a conversation starter. Always! 

—Sometimes I feel like bringing more than just wine and flowers to a dinner party. For those occasions, I will bring something extra for the hostess: hand cream. My mom (Hi mama!) introduced me to Natura Brasil, which we can now get it in the US! Check them out, their hand creams are silky yet not greasy = perfect combo! 

—I am officially into whiskey and currently obsessed with this drink I had in Denver a few weeks ago:

Piston Honda

2oz Suntory Toki Whiskey

1 oz Bonal Gentiane Aperitif

0.5 oz Maraschino Liqueur

Dash of orange bitters

Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain into a glass with a cube of ice in it. 

Blazers: To Tailor or Not To Tailor?
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No matter how great the style of a blazer, it must fit impeccably. If you've found a jacket you love and you're now pondering whether "to tailor, or not to tailor?" you're in luck, because that is the question:

The #1 rule of blazers is this: If the SHOULDER FITS—wear it! For [almost] everything else, tailor it. 

Tailoring Tips for Your Blazers: 

  • Leave the shoulders alone. As we said, shoulders should fit “off the rack.” Letting out won’t work and taking in is expensive and means reconstructing the garment.
  • Take in the waist. Taking in the waist of a too-big blazer can dramatically improve fit at a reasonable cost. 
  • For letting out the waist, check seam allowance. Most off-the-rack suits don't leave a lot of extra fabric to let out the seams. 
  • There’s no such thing as a “hem” for blazers. Even if your tailor says they can do it, it will often throw off proportions with buttons and pockets. Men should stick with finding the right off-the-rack length: short, regular, or long. 
  • Shorten sleeves from the shoulder. Sleeves should be taken up from the shoulder, not the bottom edge, which will disrupt buttons or other cuff details.
  • Fix your collar roll. Pulling between the shoulders by the neck can ruin a slick look. An experienced tailor can take care of this.
Leather Weather Guide
Photo: FashionGum.com
Photo: FashionGum.com

Leather jackets are a great transition piece for the springtime and also the perfect complement to jazz up your favorite game-day shirt! Because a leather jacket should be an investment piece, you'll want to make sure it's a perfect fit. As a result, I suggest  you try on a handful of options to get a good feel for what looks and feels best on you! To get you started, here are a few tips and recommendations to help you find the right fit and style for your body type: 

HOURGLASS: Cuts that are seamed in at the smallest part of your waist.

Natalie's Picks: VEDA Nova SuedeAkris Punto Leather Stand-Collar

TRIANGLE: Tailored jackets with shoulder details, like epaulets, and/or strong lapels to balance out your hips.

Natalie's Picks: IRO AshvilleRalph Lauren Alton

INVERTED TRIANGLE: Smaller lapels and minimal shoulder details if you don't want to emphasize strong shoulders.

Natalie's Picks: REISS SergeDoma Bruce

RECTANGLE: Boyfriend, boxy, or straighter styles that are less tailored.

Natalie's Picks: VEDA JayneBB Dakota Leydon

OVAL: Longer straight styles with vertical detailing. Minimal details (horizontal pockets, zippers, etc.) at the tummy.

Natalie's Picks: SET TylerMackage Cleo

To shop more of Natalie's picks for your body, click here.

STYLIST TIPS + TRICKS: Don't Let Your Boots Get Tipsy

I love wearing boots, but one of my biggest pet peeves is when the shaft flops over, causing them to lose their shape or, in reality, me to trip over them in the doorway. On top of that, the store-bought boot shapers can be just as awkward and unwieldy to use and store.

Enter this Buttoned Up holiday hack: As you spread holiday cheer with a few "cheers" this season, instead of giving your empty wine bottles the boot, simply rinse them out and place them in your boot shafts. This will reinforce their shape and keep them from getting tipsy! 

GREASE BE GONE

If you're like us, you may get pretty enthusiastic about Thanksgiving dinner. With all of those gravy and butter-filled dishes comes the danger of the dreaded grease stain. Fortunately, these do not have to mean the end of your favorite outfit—and how you remove these stains may surprise you. The tools to removing grease stains are right in your kitchen cupboards.  

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Read on for more on how to keep your favorite holiday threads in tip-top shape through the feasting season:

  • Start with baby powder or cornstarch. This is safe for most garments, including silks and other dry-clean only fabrics. Rub the baby powder or cornstarch onto the stained area (be generous so oil absorbs), let it sit to soak up the grease (at least 15–30 minutes), and scrape it off.
  • Apply Dawn or other petroleum-based liquid dish detergent. For appropriate fabrics, rub the detergent into the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Note that all-natural detergents don’t always work as well.
  • Always test stain removers on an inconspicuous area first. It's always good to make sure the detergent and/or stain removers you're using won't discolor or damage your garment.
  • Use a clean, undyed cloth or paper towel. Watch out for dark dyes on napkins as they can transfer color to your clothes. 
  • Cold water only. When you add water always use cold, hot water can set stains.
  • Don’t wait! Treat and launder the item as soon as possible, and always follow instructions on care label.
  • In a pinch? Try a Shout wipe. Of all the purse-friendly stain removing tools, this is our favorite to have on hand, especially for whites. Watch out though, as it can fade colors (see tip #3). With these tips, "grease" doesn't have to be the word that ruins the festivities. So relax and enjoy the party—with extra gravy! 
Trendspotting: Turtlenecks for Turkey Day

Unlike some of the other 90s fads that are in right now (I'm talking to you, mom jeans and chokers), turtlenecks are a trend I can get behind and one that looks to be sticking around. If you are drawn to this style, don't be afraid to splurge a bit for nicer fabrics or construction. 

Because Thanksgiving is a holiday for comfort and coziness, I've put together two turtleneck looks, one dressy and one casual, to give you some Thanksgiving dinner outfit inspiration. 

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  • Like what you see? Shop these looks and other turtleneck options here. 
  • In need of a good layering turtleneck? Here's a link to my current favorite one. It's thin, feels nice, and retains its shape. 
Back to Basics: Fall Trailblazers

Blazers are one of our go-to fall favorites. As office dress codes are skewing more toward business casual, our favorite designers and brands have taken note to create blazer options that go beyond 9 to 5. 

These pieces can come at a significant cost, so here are some key tips for men and women to make sure you purchase the right pieces that will give you maximum mileage and style. 

Blazers for Businesswomen

A statement-making blazer is becoming as useful as staple suiting. Here are the key blazers a working woman should should have in her closet: 

  • Cropped. This often-overlooked style in a woman's wardrobe is perfect worn over a sheath dress or to complete a blouse and skinny jeans ladies-night-out look.
  • Boyfriend. Great for a casual Friday with dark jeans or slim trousers. On the weekend, pair it with leather pants for a date-night dinner. 
  • Texture. Think courduroy, flannel, tweed, or herringbone.
  • Pattern. Look for a subtle check or small houndstooth to keep it neutral and still make a statement. Mix with solids or other subtle prints for an easy and stylish look

*Like what you see? Follow this link for additional blazer recommendations.

Sportcoats for Men

Add personality and versatility to sportcoats using the following guidelines:

  • Add texture. Courduroy, tweed, herringbone, and flannel.
  • Look for patterns. Subtle plaid, small houndtooth, and windowpane check are all great ways to mix it up.
  • Keep it together. The French call business suits a "complet" for a reason—the jacket and pants are a package deal. Don't wear your suit jacket as a separate.

*Like what you see? Shop these and other great pieces here. 

Hand Wash with Care

Happy Fall Everyone! 

It's that time of year when we say "good-bye beach days" and "hello chilly mornings and pumpkin everything." With the welcome of fall, also comes the fun of seasonal wardrobe swapping, which means pulling out your favorite cozy comforts: SWEATERS!

Along with these new additions to your drawers (or old friends returned from seasons past), comes the question, "How do I care for these without damaging?" Well, we're here to help with some worry-free TLC.

Care labels are your friends, and you'll notice that for the most part they will say either dry clean or hand wash. (Buttoned Up label decoder coming soon!)

If you're not sure how to properly hand wash, do not fret. Here are the basics you need to know:

  • Wash only when necessary. As in, only wash if it comes in contact with germs, dirt, or sweat--or approximately every 4 wearings (wearing a thin layer underneath can extend this to more wears)
  • Always use cool water. We recommend submerging in a basin or large, clean sink full of cool water
  • Use gentle detergents. Like this Wool and Cashmere Shampoo from The Laundress New York
  • Never wring out or put in the dryer. To remove water, gently squeeze, then roll in a towel and lay flat on a rack or a clean, dry towel