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Where would your wardrobe be without dress pants? They get you through your business-casual workday and can even be worn out to the club with a cute top and heels. This is an item that deserves an investment -- dress pants are so versatile, and nice ones will last you years, so don't be afraid to drop a little cash on them. However, you gotta know how to take good care of them so they do last awhile. Learn how to keep your gams looking classy in your dress pants.
Get educated on your labels -- no, not the designer, but the care labels. Know your pants' fabric composition, whether they should be dry cleaned or machine washed, and whether they are safe to put in the dryer. If you do wash and dry your dress pants, do so with similar colors and use the gentle or delicate cycles if necessary. Dry on low heat to avoid shrinkage. Taking good care of your pants now will save a trip to the mall and a hit on your credit limit later.
Treat stains as soon as they happen. A spot treatment stick (think Tide to Go or similar brands) is a girl's best friend. Just throw it in your purse and whip it out the second that drop of coffee hits your new tan dress pants. This is where knowing your care labels comes in handy. Most fabrics can handle stain remover treatments, but some may not. If you don't have a stain stick, use a bit of water on a paper towel to carefully blot the stain -- don't rub! Follow this up with a trip to the washing machine or dry cleaner ASAP.
Invest in special hangers just for your dress pants. You can use the kind with clips and hang them straight, or hang them over a padded hanger to prevent creases. You'll never again have your legs visually divided in half -- or more -- by your pants!
Iron your pants on the heat setting appropriate to the fabric type. Again, check the label and your iron's instruction manual. When in doubt, start with a low heat setting. Fill the iron with water and let it heat up. Start at the waistband and make your way down each pant leg, pressing the iron down firmly without letting it linger on one spot too long. You want crisp pants, not burned pants! Follow the natural lines and creases in the pants while you iron. Do one side of each pant leg, then flip them over and repeat on the other side.
Hang your pants up immediately after ironing to prevent re-wrinkling. Make some room in your closet for them to breathe. Stuffing them into a tiny space will undo all the hard work you just did. To smooth out pants just before wearing them, hang them in your bathroom while you take a steamy shower -- the water vapor will smooth out minor wrinkles.