dry cleanSo you wear a Giorgio Armani® power suit. Or a Christian Dior® silk gown. Or a Bottega Veneta® leather belt. Or maybe even all of the above (Hey, we don’t judge here at Sudsies). Your wardrobe is now like you. Special. Classy. Intricate. Stylish. Sophisticated. Complete.

But how do you give these luxury garments the care they deserve? How do you make sure they retain all the luster and allure that comes with the power of the label (and the sheen of freshly minted designer duds)?

Generally, the best rule of thumb when caring for your designer or custom-made clothing is to always follow the care instructions on the label. Keep in mind that different types of clothing material need different degrees of care. Some types of clothes simply won’t survive if you wash them with detergent. Others will magically shrink and shift shape if you tumble dry them. Pay close attention to the label. And follow it to the letter.

Remember that silk is protein fiber similar to human hair, and is very delicate. Silk clothing can often be effectively hand-washed as well as dry cleaned, and better quality silk often looks better and lasts longer when hand-cleaned in water.

If hand-washing silk:

  • use cool or lukewarm water with a small amount of mild detergent or soap
  • avoid soaking, as this may fade the dye
  • avoid machine washing (even on gentle cycle) and drying – a surefire way to damage the fabric when most of the water is out, finer silk should be hung up to dry, while coarser varieties like bourette should be dried on a flat surface (away from sunlight)

To avoid any confusion and hard labor, you could always take your luxury clothing item, even those that carry a hand-wash care instruction, to a dry cleaner. But not just any dry cleaner. For the best results, look for a dry cleaner who is professionally trained (there are only two accredited dry cleaning schools in America, but if a cleaner cares, he’ll go), and find one who specializes in hand-spotting, hand-pressing and hand-finishing treatments. Remember that a hands-on, attentive approach is key here. Your dry cleaner should personally and meticulously examine every inch of every piece according to material type, ornamentation, construction of garment and designed detail.

Whatever course of action you follow, be sure to take special care of your designer clothing. If you don’t maintain your designer or custom-made items properly, you’ll likely end up throwing them away, which equals hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars wasted. And there’s nothing stylish about that.