Rachel Zoe lives her life surrounded by gorgeous pieces of clothing. So it was only fitting that the stylist and designer's latest collaboration is all about keeping favorite outfits looking fresh. We stopped by the Trump SoHo hotel in New York City yesterday to chat all things clothing care with Zoe, and she explained why her partnership with Downy to promote the brand's fabric conditioner was a match made in fabric heaven. "I am obsessed with clothes, and I've collected them as long as I can remember," Zoe told InStyle of collaborating with the brand. "I style clothes, I design them, I wear them—and obviously taking care of them is a huge part of that. It's very important to me and everyone I know."
Dressing to impress means that her outfits always need to be in perfect shape—and people take notice, asking Zoe to spill her secrets for maintaining such a flawless wardrobe. "I'm constantly asked, 'Do you throw everything in the washing machine or do you dry clean?'" she said. "And I think the answer is both. There are certain things that have to be dry-cleaned, of course, like very precious and embellished pieces that have hardware or beading, and also suede and leather." When it comes to her styling business, Zoe takes extra precautions. "Gowns that I put on clients must be dry cleaned—unless it's a very simple fabric that can be washed," she said.
But when she's not dressing A-listers, Zoe would rather just do her own laundry at home. "As long as they don't have beading and metal, I know of many fabrics that can be put in the washing machine and don’t have to be sent to the dry cleaner," she said. "Things you wear every day that actually really can be washed, like jersey, knits, denims, and certain types of silks are fine to wash as long as you don't put them on high heat in the dryer."
The drying process actually plays a bigger role in cleaning your clothes at home than the washing machine, according to Zoe. "Surprisingly, it's more about the dryer than it is about what can or can't be washed at home," she said. "To be safe, I always say that you have to read the care label, because obviously they are put in there for a reason and have very specific instructions."
Whether you throw your clothes in the dryer or not, Zoe swears by incorporating a fabric softener into her washing regimen to prevent pilling and roughness. "I like to think of it as conditioning your hair, only this is a conditioner for your clothes."