By law, every article of clothing comes with care instructions. These instructions serve as a guide for caring for your clothing in the easiest — if not always necessarily the best — way. Dry cleaning is most often the recommended care for suits, but there are other ways to care for your business attire, as well, without breaking the bank with that hefty dry cleaning bill. Enlarge Follow these rules to ensure that your favorite pieces last and stay vibrant. IMAGE PROVIDED BY GETTY IMAGES Sometimes a care label will read “dry clean only.” In these instances, it’s because manufacturers have tested various wash methods for caring for that garment, and dry cleaning was the only method that kept the garment intact. Always follow dry-clean only”labels and drop those items at your local cleaner. However, what about those pieces that seem washable, but are traditionally dry-cleaned? There are some important points to bear in mind when dealing with garment care in general. Follow these rules to ensure that your favorite pieces last and stay vibrant:
1. Dry clean Anything that is 100 percent silk, structured suits (including those with woven, not knit-based linings), 100 percent wool garments, 100 percent linen and structured jackets and coats, including leather or fur, should be spot-cleaned and refreshed with fabric refresher or lightly steamed. Suits should primarily be dry-cleaned, and we recommend dry cleaning only when absolutely necessary and not more often than once every three months. If needed, blot with a damp cloth.
2. Pressed If you were caught in the rain, wore your suit on a humid day or your suit is wrinkled, have the suit pressed instead of dry cleaned. This will restore its appearance and will fluff up the nap of the wool fabric of your suit, rather than matting it down.
3. Hand-wash Hand wash anything that is lightweight polyester or a silk blend. For silk and linen blends, wash in cold water and drip-dry. Do not wring, because this will cause excessive wrinkling and can skew the yarns and seams. Use a gentle detergent made to extend the life of fabrics. This is a great way to care for dress shirts.