Women’s suits: No one really knows how often to dry clean them. For men, the answer that is given time and time again is the same: Rarely. Once a season, maybe. The less the better. But then again, men’s suits fit differently than women’s, and the things men wear beneath a suit (the long-sleeved shirt, the undershirt, the boxers) are very different than things a woman wears beneath hers — our skin is in contact more with the suit. So let’s take a poll: how often do you dryclean? (Photo by uncleboatshoes, courtesy of Flickr.)
Except! Before we get to the poll, we’d like to pass along this advice from a recent Esquire article by Dr. Oz (he of Oprah fame):
De-plastic your dry cleaning. Right now. Go into your closet and remove the clothes from their plastic capes, then hang the clothes outside for an hour. There’s a toxin almost all dry cleaners use called perchloroethylene, or perc, and it’s not something you want in your lungs. So either find a dry cleaner who doesn’t use it — some now use liquid CO2 instead, which is good — or air out your duds every time. But not in your bedroom — then the perc inhabits your other clothes.
Ew. OK, poll time:
Our $.02: Dry-cleaning is expensive, bad for the environment, and bad for the clothes. Also, we never seem to be available when the dry cleaners are open to go pick up the darn stuff. Thus: We dry-clean our suits as soon as they begin to smell. For other items in our closet: We have a “first year” rule for cashmere, and will follow the tag directions for the first year of purchase, but after that we’ll give it a whirl in cold water with Woolite. (And, then air dry, of course.) (And we have yet to be disappointed with Woolite.) For dresses, we dry clean only if visibly dirty — unless we’ve borrowed a formal gown from a friend, in which case we dry clean it before returning.
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