Look, we love clothes at Valet. That's obvious. But even we aren't immune to the rigors and aggravations of dry cleaning. It's a drag rounding up all the pieces you need to have cleaned, dropping them off and picking them up. And then there's the chance that your favorite garment could be returned damaged or missing a button. But seeing as we're rounding the tail end of winter, you may be in need of a good cleaning.
Where to Go
If you don't know where to go, we've got some suggestions. Or you can ask a respected store where they get their pieces cleaned. Many smaller cleaners ship the clothes off to a larger facility, but we've found that those who clean on the premises take the most care, yield the best results and offer the quickest returns.
When to Clean
Something a stylish man once said: "Eat carefully and dry clean infrequently." Whether it's a suit, some pants or a piece of outerwear, you likely only need to have it cleaned every four to six months, depending on the wear. Airing out your suit overnight before stashing it back in its bag will avoid trapping any residual moisture and smells.
What to Ask For
Unstained pieces can simply be steam pressed in between wearings to improve the shape without having to dry clean the fabric. Have shirts pressed by hand. It's costs a little more but it looks much better and the shirts stay smoother longer. And if this is the last cleaning of the season, ask for your garments to be folded and boxed to make storing easier.
How to Avoid Problems
Pay attention to the way your cleaner inspects the clothes at the counter. Are they looking for stains and tagging them accordingly? They should be. If you notice indentations, puckered seams or shiny patches on your returned clothes, these are signs that the pieces weren't pressed or dried properly and it's time to find a more careful cleaner.
A dry cleaner is not your mother. Remember to empty pant pockets and remove your shirts' collar stays.