Laundry Day

This month the RaftUp topic is laundry and clothing.  Since we're currently in the process of driving around most of the US and had to pack a suitcase to get through 3 months, I've found that the clothes that I like best on the boat also are my go-to selections for car travel and camping.
We lived aboard in Florida for 5 years after we bought Celebration and before we left to go cruising, so we had lots of time to figure out what we actually would wear in the hot, hot, humid weather and what slowly made it's way to the bottom of the shelf.  We stopped buying cotton anything.  While I love cotton clothes, once cotton gets wet, it takes forever to dry and without a dryer to keep it in shape, it tends to look baggy and saggy. It's been really hard for me to quit buying cotton T shirts. I had quite a collection from around the world, different golf courses, resorts, towns, events, etc. ( My favorite one was from the Great Wall. It cost $1, and the first time I wore it, the entire left sleeve came off in my hand when I took the shirt off. I got what I paid for.)

We started to buy the new polyester/microfiber blend fabrics. They're usually found in sports clothing and work out wear.  Here in the US I usually find good bargains at TJ Maxx and JC Pennys, look in the golf and work out sections. Steve almost always wears microfiber cargo type shorts, the kind with the mesh underwear attached, and a wicking T shirt. He has a few Air Force T shirts left over from when he was in Iraq, and while they're pretty blandly colored, they wash and dry well. He likes a shirt with a collar when we go out so he has a lot of wicking golf shirts, bought for $15 or less at places like TJ Maxx or Burlington Coat Factory.

My clothing requirements and shopping habits have changed drastically since we started sailing.  I have a 'buy one, get rid of one' rule for clothing and I do stick to it, although I don't make Steve follow it.  The first thing I look at are the buttons and zippers. We wash laundry on the boat and run everything through a wringer ( a mangle if you're a Brit), so anything with large buckles or toggles or rivets is a no-go. Ditto for a metal zipper. They get crunched in the wringer and eventually fall apart. Next step is to take a handful of the fabric and do the wrinkle scrunch for 3 seconds. I don't have much clothing storage space but I try to keep things nice and flat but inevitably they end up smushed or rolled up into the corners.  I hate to pull out a clean shirt and have it look like it needs ironing. I don't iron.  Third thing I do is the sweat test. Lick a finger and press it on the fabric to see what it'll look like when it gets wet.  I only do this in the dressing room.  Sweat and water spray while riding in the dinghy are a way of life for us, but I don't want to look wet forever once I get to shore.  (On that note, I did make a dinghy skirt out of Sunbrella to keep my shorts dry when the weather's bad.)  The color is also important, dark is hotter, while white is too easy for me to mess up.  So to summarize: I look for shirts made of poly that don't wrinkle or look sweaty, short or no sleeves, no metal or big beads, in a medium color, maybe a small pattern, not too tight but not mu mu big. I have a fairly small wardrobe. 

To answer some of the other suggested RaftUp questions.  Yes we do all our laundry on board. I have allergies so I try to use All liquid detergent.  I have some nicer sandals and a couple of summer dresses for anything dress up and I store them in 2 gallon zip loc bags. I never use fabric softener. It interferes with the wicking process of the newer fabrics and it gives me a rash.

Scenes from my suitcase.

This month's other bloggers:

1 Dana svnorthfork.blogspot.com
2 Steph www.sailblogs.com/member/nornabiron
3 Diane http://maiaaboard.blogspot.com
4 Lynn www.sailcelebration.com
5 Ean http://morejoyeverywhere.blogspot.com
6 Jessica http://mvfelicity.blogspot.com
7 Behan http://sv-totem.blogspot.com
8 Jaye http://lifeafloatarchives.blogspot.com
9 Tammy http://ploddinginparadise.com
10 Stacey http://sv-bellavita.blogspot.com
11 Verena www.pacificsailors.com
12 Toast http://blog.toastfloats.com
15 Dana svnorthfork.blogspot.com


Steph said...

forgot about the iron - I have one on board with a table top ironing board, it hasn't been out of the locker since we left England four years ago!

Steph said...

love the sunbrella skirt idea!