Save your money – study finds most apparel items labelled “dry clean only” can be safely washed.

Dry cleaner rack with hanging clothes

Back in 2014, Daily Mail put several dry-clean-only pieces through a series of tests. They found what many fabric experts knew all along. Manufacturers say a piece must be dry-cleaned to avoid liability if something goes wrong. When a brand produces a piece of clothing, it only must list one reliable way of cleaning it. It doesn’t have to list every way. That’s why you often see items labeled “dry clean only” or “hand-wash only.” A company doesn’t want to deal with complaints if a garment doesn’t hold up in your usual washing machine cycle. A dry-clean-only label shifts the responsibility from the manufacturer to the dry cleaner (who gladly take on the task because they know it’s rare that anything goes wrong).

Dry-clean-only labels are often found on silk, cashmere, fine polyester, and fine linen apparel. According to the experts, you can usually break the rule if the piece is made of linen, wool/cashmere, or silk and the piece is unlined. These are natural fibers that can usually be hand-washed instead of dry-cleaned.

You can wash delicate wools with sheep shampoo. Sheep shampoo, available at farm supply stores, is especially pH balanced to clean wool without damaging the fibers.

You should always spot test the piece before attempting a full hand-wash of the garment. Test an inconspicuous area to make sure water will not damage the material or cause it to pucker or shrink.

Materials that should not be hand-washed include viscose/rayon, acetate, polyamide fabrics, leather, and suede (unless of course, the label says it is okay to do so). Suits and items made from multiple fiber types should be dry cleaned too. They are structured with various layers that can shrink at different rates and cause the piece to pucker.

And if you’re still worried about washing the piece but want to save dry-cleaning costs, make the item go a little longer by steaming the garment and spraying it with fabric freshener – especially in the underarm area.

Remember too that there are home dry-cleaning kits available. These let you dry clean the clothing in your dryer, but you’ll still have to iron and remove stains yourself.

Material washing instructions infographic

Famous fashion quotes that will teach, inspire, make you think – maybe even laugh

Woman holding a speech bubble

Fashion is much more than pretty clothes on a model. Legendary designers, celebrities, and fashion lovers use it as an expression of art and culture. Below are a collection of thoughtful, instructive, inspirational, and sometimes funny fashion quotes that demonstrate that fashion can be illustrative of culture, time, and transformations. Continue reading Famous fashion quotes that will teach, inspire, make you think – maybe even laugh

How to style pleats – here are the best ways to wear a pleated skirt

Colorful striped pleated skirt with black overcoat

Pleated skirts are popular and trendy. The cinched waist and elegant longer hemline look great on all body silhouettes. Depending on your mood and schedule, they can be dressed down with flats and a biker jacket or dressed up with traditional heels and a slimline top. It’s the perfect blend of street style and feminine sophistication. We’ve gathered some of favorite outfits to give you some ideas on how to style a pleated skirt. Continue reading How to style pleats – here are the best ways to wear a pleated skirt

How to shrink a leather jacket

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An expensive leather jacket must fit well to look attractive. Leather stretching and shrinkage occurs naturally over time. You’ll find a leather jacket’s fit changes after being worn for some time. To achieve a custom fit, you must shrink the leather jacket to form fit your body. Here are various ways to properly shrink a leather jacket. Continue reading How to shrink a leather jacket

IAP’s 2019 fashion trend predictions – fashion trends to watch for 2019

IAP’s 2019 fashion trend predictions – fashion trends to watch for 2019

Fashion styles for 2019 are predicted to break trends in a big way. Global styles will influence American clothing and the balance between comfort and style will gain importance among buyers. Clothing choices will be swayed by the continuing decline of body negativity, ageism, and styles considered after-effects of white privilege. Fashion’s impact on the earth’s climate will begin to become a factor for many consumers. Here are IAP’s fashion predictions for 2019. Continue reading IAP’s 2019 fashion trend predictions – fashion trends to watch for 2019

Glossary of fabrics, materials, and knit – the complete encyclopedia of fabric types and materials

Viscose Rayon fabric example

Fabrics refer to any flexible material made from natural or artificial fibers (yarn or thread) that is weaved (longer threads, called the warp, are interlaced), knitted (loops of yarn are interlaced), crocheted (loops of yarn are interlaced), knotted (yarns are knotted together), felted (fibers are mat pressed together), or braided (threads are twisted together). Fabrics may be classified by the yarn or thread material or by the method used to create the fabric (or both).

Continue reading Glossary of fabrics, materials, and knit – the complete encyclopedia of fabric types and materials