If you’re like a lot of people, the first thing you do when you buy new clothing is look for the tag — not the removable one that indicates price — the one that’s sewn into the clothes themselves. For instance, a shirt usually has a tag at the back of the collar or along a side seam. Once you find the tag, you promptly remove it.
The most common reason we hear for removing these tags is simple: they’re annoying, scratchy, or just get in the way. It’s why some brands have started advertising tagless shirts and pants!
Reason #1: Clothing Care
First and foremost, many tags you find on clothing contain directions on how to care for your clothes. Often, the care instructions will be spelled out plainly — For example, the tag may say “machine wash warm, tumble dry low with like colors.” Removing the tags may lead to improper care.
You may also notice strange symbols on the tag if instructions aren’t spelled out. These symbols are, in fact, a different way to instruct you on how to care for your clothes. If you’re washing at home, you should consider printing out or buying a guide to help you interpret the symbols and properly care for your clothes:
The point here is simple: if you remove the tags, you open up the possibility that you’ll incorrectly care for your clothes, and thus shorten their lifespan.
Reason #2: Resale Value
The second reason for keeping a tag is one many don’t consider: resale. For high-end clothing, in particular, keeping the tag helps you verify the authenticity of your item, and helps ensure the buyer that you’ve properly cared for the piece. You may still be able to sell your clothes at a good price, but keeping the tag intact improves your chances of getting the price you want, and may make the ultimate difference in a sale.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide how you want to take care of your clothes, but we highly recommend keeping the tags attached to items you want to keep for a long time. That will help you, your dry cleaner, or anyone taking care of your clothes when it comes time to get them cleaned.