Thursday, July 23, 2009

To dry clean or not

Dress Marc by Marc Jacobs $70 (It was around 80% off!) bought at Saks in Las Vegas.
Orange suede shoes Gap $8
Magnifying glass Marc Jacobs $11 (full retail)
Earrings $8 SOWA market seller. Cute blonde girl
This is the dress. I figured I wasn't displaying it to the best of my ability.
80% off MbyMJ
So this was one of my first "expensive" dresses. I didn't pay it, but it retails for over $400. Because of that I treat it with kid gloves. I hang it the second it comes off. I even had it dry cleaned last time I wore it. But to be honest dry cleaning is a GIANT waste of money. $9 to clean my dress??? That is insane and I can not see spending that everytime I wear it. Also the impact on the environment is huge and it deteriorates your clothing. I have had dry cleaned things virtually melt away in parts. This is why I have done it so few times. I have had things I hand wash get ruined as well, where I clearly should of listened to the tag. I do partake in fluff and fold on occasion but that is the same as if I did it but she does it while I am at work and I don't have to fight people for washers and wait and wonder "is it ok if I take her stuff out its been 30 minutes" and all that nightmare. so my question today is

Do you dry clean your clothes? Which items do you do? How often?

I grew up in a very blue collar working class family and dry cleaning was something we never did. Ever. First thing I ever did was my wedding dress. I am so torn on this issue. I love my dress and want to keep it nice but I am unsure the BEST way to do it so that I have a long and happy life with it. Yes I have considered febreeze but I do ahem... glisten at times. (sweat is such an ugly word and we don't use the word pit in our house. We say arm crevice.) This particular dress is a roughish silk that feels like a chiffon. I am considering hand washing which is what I do with almost all my dresses. But I have no experience with this particular kind of fabric.


Ally said...

I have no advice for you, kitten, as I think dry cleaning is a gigantic waste as well. It's awful for the environment and even worse for your clothing.

Have you thought about finding a green cleaner in your area?

I take Al's work shirts to be laundered at one of those and they launder and press it for $3 or something. Way worth it b/c I refuse to iron.

Regardless, I <3 your shoes and want to steal them from you. Just an FYI :D

mamichan said...

i hardly ever dry clean my clothes. only when absolutely necessary. my winter coat gets dry cleaned every other year. other clothes only get dry-cleaned if they need stain removal, otherwise i just dryel it or put it in the wash. put it in a mesh bag, cold water, gentle cycle, hang or lay flat to dry. i've never mangled anything that way but sometimes it comes out looking not quite right.

my mom is a big fan of the underam guards that protect clothing. never used them myself.

Eyeliah SS said...

I haven't dry cleaned much, and clothes that need to be I do not buy (whoops) lol.

Lemondrop Marie said...

I can't believe I am writing this, but once upon a time ladies wore dress shields to combat the need to overclean expensive items. I read that they are being sold again recently... I haven't seen any but I haven't turned to Google yet.
I agree that dry cleaning is a rip off, and that it is harmful in so many ways. So- I air out things I wear immediately when I don't want to clean them after one wear, I do hand wash when I am brave, and I only dry clean when I must. Then I of course remove the plastic so the garment doesn't have those chemicals superglued to it until I wear it again. Good discussion topic, we all glisten. It's tres hot here today!

Sal said...

I will admit to indulging in dry cleaning about every three months. Once Febreze and Dryel cease to work, I break down and do it. I can create quite a stank at times. (Forgive the indelicacy!)

hillary said...

No worries on being indelicate here. I just don't like some words and I don't want google to pick up me saying "I s w e a t" and turn up in a search.

I have ruined a couple things dryeling the. One shrunk so small it was like a kids shirt (I think I saved it. If I can find it I will so take a picture) and one STANK.

I think dress shields are a good idea for the two raw silk dresses i am scared to hand wash. (mostly cause I can't afford to replace)
BUT you guys made me remember I have a steamer from AVON I use to get wrinkles out. What about pulsing that in the arm crevice region?!

You are all so helpful!

My marimekko dress gets dry cleaned along with my winter coats but thats it. The marimekko dress is so much going on fabric wise (lots of it) But I can go three wears with that because the sleeves don't touch me directly.

Bianca said...

I own a stand up steamer. :-)

It removes all scents from fabric and has worked just fine on my dry clean only clothes. It also has the added benefit of not having to iron clothes anymore.

There are hand held ones that work just as well.

Good luck!

Bianca said...

LOL! Guess I was typing while you were posting. The steamer will work fine.

hillary said...

holy crap bianca WANT!!!

FashionAddict said...

My family never used to dry clean either, but we never had that nice of clothes back then. For my nice dresses that I currently own, I definately take them to the dry cleaners now. I just take that into account in how much I shop. For inexpensive dresses, I either wash them normally or use Dryell. I would think a steamer would work fine, though, since I believe that's what the drycleaner uses.

Clare said...

That dress looks divine on you. Love it!

In terms of dry cleaning, I never dry clean anything. I know I should, but I just don't. As a rule, I try not to buy clothes that need dry cleaning, but for the pieces that do I dry to spot clean as needed and just NOT SWEAT in them. Not much advice, I know, but it's my M.O.

hillary said...

Want to know exactly what happens??

me : DAVE OMG LOOK MARC JACOBS 80% OFF should I get this one or this one?
mister: get them both they are quality and you can't beat that and you will wear them forever
me" ok (start skipping and dancing around. no really I do)

Get home. wear dress. get home again. take off and tell mr I need to wash dress. (he does laundry)

mister: so whats the tag say?
me: FUCK


anna said...

this is one of my favorite looks on you--- you look great!

i rarely dry clean. I get nick's shirts laundered & pressed every two weeks (cause I just can't get them to look right without spending hella long time), and there are only 3 things in my life that get cleaned:

1. 100% beige silk skirt with owls on it that, for whatever reason, I always end up eating the greasiest sandwich when I wear it (for real! i've worn it twice and dropped grease on it twice)

2. my heavy wool winter coat (found out my michelin man down ones can be washed and dried with tennis balls!)

3. my down comforter.

Everything else gets a gentle wash in the washer with woolite and an air dry!

Marlyn said...

Here's what I would do if steaming doesn't work: rinse it in cool water with a little bit of SOAK or other good quality lingerie wash and lay flat until damp and then hang it till dry.
I love the little magnifying glass; that's my favourite part of today's outfit.

D'Et said...

LOL!! Hillary I have that exact same dialogue every time I buy something without checking the tag.

I don't dry clean, either. I will steam, febreeze, hang outside to air out, take a moist washcloth to it... anything to avoid it.

I really LOVE that magnifying glass necklace, by the way. That's a super cute picture, too.

hillary said...

I am glad to hear others feel the same way. There are some things that require dry cleaning and some we just do ourselves.

Thanks everyone I appreciate the dialog!

HiFashion said...

I rarely dry-clean, except for my coats every fall before the cold weather starts and the odd item here and there that's 'really' precious.

I rarely hand wash either! Usually, for delicate items, I wash them in the dryer using the 'cold' and 'delicates' settings, then hang them to dry rather than using the dryer. This has worked for me so far!

xx Leia

hillary said...

HiFashion. My name is hillary leia!
thanks for coming by!

M said...

I feel dry cleaning doesn't really clean jajaja so unless i really really have to I usually hand wash with liquid soap special for delicate clothes, squeeze water out with a clean towel and flat dry or i use the steam cycle on the washing machine, not an accident i can recall even if the tag says dry clean only

Jennifer Fabulous said...

First, you are an amazing bargain shopper it seems. I love that!

Second, this is a brilliant topic. It kills me when I purchase garments (designer, or even from F21) that require dry cleaning. Some tips I learned from my mom: you can buy dry cleaning kits from stores (Wal-Mart or supermarkets) that are effective. Or, sometimes the garment can survive on a delicate cycle (or hand washed). I like the steamer idea too that one of your readers had. That seems like a good investement.

Jessica Cangiano said...

What a marvelous score, congrats on your lovely dress!

Like yourself dry cleaning was not the norm at my house when I was growing up, in fact I don't recall ever seeing a single dry cleaning bag pass through the threshold. As such - and also because I have insanely sensitive skin - I've by and large avoided dry cleaning like the plague.

I try not to by garments with "dry clean only on the tag", but the few that I have, I've always just hand washed at home with very mild laundry soap in luke warm or cold water and then hung or laid flat to dry. So far - knock wood - this approach has worked and I've been able to steer clear of the dry cleaners 99% of the time.

Wishing you a gorgeous Sunday,
♥ Jessica

pixelhazard said...

Oh wow what great finds and 80% off!?!

I only dry clean my coats, because they are expensive, beautiful and last several seasons if taken care of

pixelhazard said...

Oh wow what great finds and 80% off!?!

I only dry clean my coats, because they are expensive, beautiful and last several seasons if taken care of