Ask Dionne-"Does 'dry clean only' really mean dry clean ONLY?"

Once people find out that I have a background in clothing, textiles and merchandising, I immediately get the questions on how to care for clothes, what to wear and when and of course, questions on how to put certain looks together. Well today, I'm starting a new series on the blog geared at answering all of the questions you've always wanted to ask, but may have felt like it's something you should have already known. That is all out of the window m'darlings because I am opening up the flood gates on any and all fashion inquiries regarding your body shape, your closet and how to maintain a FABULOUS wardrobe.

Our first question comes from "O" in Miami. She asks, "When your clothes says dry clean only, does it really mean it? Is there another method for cleaning your 'dry clean only' clothing?"

ANSWER: Well...yes and no. First off, let me say that there's not enough detergent in the world that will get me to dry clean each piece of my clothing that requires it. That being said, I've ruined many a manicure keeping my hands in warm soapy water washing my delicates. My rule of thumb is that I dry clean evening wear, clothing with embellishments (anything that can fall off in the washer), and a few silk or rayon blouses. All other dry clean only items get a gentle wash in the machine and then hung up on the shower rod in my bathroom to air dry. One day I will have a clothesline in my backyard like I grew up with, but for now...the shower rod will do. In everything, you just want to make sure that you take special care of your 'dry clean only' pieces. Like I said, evening wear, fine silks and satins and all embellished items I take to the dry cleaner. Everything else, a basin in the bath tub.

Here are a few resources I found on various sites that will give you a few tips on taking care of your 'dry clean only' wares:

Glamour Magazine

Real Simple


Krazy Coupon Lady

Six Figures Under

Well darlings, I hope this answered any and all dry cleaning inquiries. If you have any other burning questions about style, fit, color or the like, post your question below and/or send me an email at I'll totally keep it incognito and do my darndest to answer it myself or find the answer for you!

Dionne Dean