Protecting your wardrobe investments

The 3 things that every fashionista should have:
1) A good hairdresser– You know you can’t trust just anyone to touch your lovely locks.
2) A good tailor– Found a fabulous vintage Chanel skirt in the wrong size? Not to worry…seeking and finding a good tailor is like having a whole new store to shop at. Update current staples and alter new finds for a custom fit.
3) A good dry cleaner– and that leads us to this post. Being that it was fashion week, we all have had more than our fair share of events…and I know that we brought out our favorite looks for Fashion’s Night Out…but what happens after the night of mingling and posing is over? Our clothes get sent to the dry cleaners and hope that they come back as perfect as they were when we bought them.
I stopped by my cleaners to ask them about their techniques and thought I’d share with you all some tips on keeping our fabulous wardrobe looking chic for many more seasons to come.
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Okay that picture can be totally shocking…I mean, $700 for dry cleaning??
Thankfully my dry cleaner offers much more realistic prices…or else I’m pretty sure the hubby would be having a hard attack on a weekly basis. But actually what that pictures shows is that designer/luxury items need special attention (thus the high prices) and it’s important that when we spend big money on an item, we do all we can to keep it in runway shape ;)
We’ve all had those moments of sheer anger mixed with sadness when one of our beloved pieces comes back from the dry cleaner damaged, discolored or worse…shrunk. And that’s because not all dry cleaners are created equal.
At Sudsie’s they specialize in the hand finishing of luxury items…which is super important because nowadays so many garments have beading, extravagant draping, ornamentation and/or sequins…
Here are some of the intricate items that Sudsie’s was working on when I stopped by…everything from silk and ruffles to embellishment and metal hardware.
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Above is the owner of Sudsie’s, Jason Loeb,  holding a newly cleaned Dolce & Gabbana bustier dress…they always hand finish these items and then once done, a dress like this is hung on a body form to help maintain its shape…totally major when it comes to strapless and bustier dresses. Now that’s the kind of thing I like to see because honestly, who are we kidding, we all spend a small fortune on our clothes and making them last would prove we are indeed savviest of shoppers ;)
I feel very lucky to have Sudsie’s as my dry cleaner but what if you don’t live in the Miami area? What do you do then? Well, you should still expect great service, wherever you are. Jason said these are the questions we should all be asking our dry cleaners:

1) Do you clean designer/luxury wear? If they sound confused at the question, take your bag full of designer duds and head elsewhere.

2) Do you hand clean and hand finish garments? Hand finishing is a necessity for many items…especially with ornamentation. A machine can’t clean around that Carolina Herrera chain link neckline.

3) Do you know how to wet clean? This is important because a lot of items that have beading can not be dry cleaned…so if you’ve got a fabulous Naeem Khan dress…make sure your dry cleaner knows how to wet clean it.

You can tell a lot by the style of the dry cleaners. For example, we don’t use wire hangers. It doesn’t make a dry cleaner better or worse, it just gives you an idea of how they view your garment. You would never see wire hangers at an Herve Leger store, so why would you want your dress returned to you on one? We really strive to take the extra step because we understand the world of luxury clothing. I took my staff to Saks and had them walk around, feel the fabrics and really get an essence of the clothing…it helps them better understand the treatment that those items require.”
—Jason Loeb, owner of Sudsie’s

So, my favorite fashionistas…whether we saved for months to finally splurge on that pair of Helmut Lang leather pants or purchased that Rick Owens mohair sweater on a whim…we all want to feel like our money was well spent…so make sure you keep your items looking beautiful for a long time to come. Take the time to find a great dry cleaner, ask the right questions and don’t be afraid to leave a place if you don’t feel comfortable…

As for my Miami fashion lovers, I simply can not say enough fabulous things about Jason Loeb and his team at Sudsie’s. I have been going there for years and whether I send in a dress I bought at Marshall’s or a dress I bought at Bergdorf’s…I know my clothes will be given the royal treatment. And being the Princess that I am…that’s exactly what I have come to expect from Sudsie’s
IMG_3561Keep your clothes looking fashionable by being a smart shopper when it comes to where you dry cleaning…I want to see you guys rocking those fabulous looks for a long time to come.

XOXO,
Martha

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26 Comments

  1. September 14, 2012 / 6:00 am

    I hate that my dry cleaning bill has gone up exponentially since I started accumulating nicer pieces. It’s like ugh, but it’s so necessary. My place is like an eco friendly place…I think they’re pretty good but I doubt they’re as good as your place sounds. Wish they were in Hollywood.

    • September 14, 2012 / 1:41 pm

      Lol!! Those nice pieces are totally worth the extra costs.
      I mean…silk instead polyester…yes, please!!
      XOXO

    • September 14, 2012 / 4:31 pm

      Hi – I’m up in New York at the National Cleaners Association (and we’re proud to say Sudsies is one of our Platinum members). I’m pretty familiar with the operation, and I know Sudsies offers pick up and delivery service in Hollywood (I have a personal friend who lives there and uses them). In fact, looking carefully at the van behind the picture of Martha and Jason above it says they go all over Miami, Broward, and West Palm Beach Counties – at the least. If you’re looking for a cleaner you can love as much as they love your clothes give Luis at Sudsies (888-898-SUDS) a call to set you up– you’ll love him.

      Nora

      • September 14, 2012 / 7:24 pm

        Hey Nora,
        Thanks for pointing that out to us!
        Ria…give them a call…Luis is super nice ;)
        XOXO

        • September 19, 2012 / 7:51 pm

          omg I’m so happy I came back to this post because I totally didn’t get notified or anything. So awesome.
          Ria just blogged My Stylistic ExpressionMy Profile

          • September 19, 2012 / 9:18 pm

            Yay for good drycleaning ;)
            XOXO

    • September 14, 2012 / 7:25 pm

      Hi Kim,
      So happy you found this useful!!
      Happy dry cleaning ;)
      XOXO

  2. chris ed
    September 14, 2012 / 7:32 pm

    I always have a problem finding a good dry cleaner! Thank you for the useful tips! Very cool and unique post!
    xx chris

    • September 15, 2012 / 1:09 am

      So glad you liked it!! I didn’t know about the wet cleaning before I asked for some pointers…it’s such a great thing to know.
      XOXO

    • September 15, 2012 / 1:11 am

      I totally agree!!
      I mean, it’s terrible when we spend money on our items and then they’re ruined in no time…

  3. September 14, 2012 / 11:44 pm

    Wow, if you have any recs in Atlanta, please let me know! I’m on the hunt for a good dry cleaner and shoe repair. Thankfully, I can handle the alterations myself, ha! ;-)

    • September 15, 2012 / 1:12 am

      I don’t :(
      But if you call around and ask them those questions you should be able to narrow it down to some decent ones that will take care of your “babies” ;)
      XOXO

  4. September 15, 2012 / 12:54 am

    I’ve only had a couple of things dry cleaned before, but I definitely noticed the raise in prices in between those two instances. Good thing I don’t have to get things dry cleaned all the time. Thanks for this post and for the information! :)
    Trinnah just blogged Joining The Camo Club!My Profile

    • September 15, 2012 / 1:13 am

      You’re a lucky girl to not have to dry clean all the time…you must share any secrets you have to keeping your clothes looking chic ;)
      XOXO

    • September 15, 2012 / 2:32 am

      Glad you enjoyed the post!!
      XOXO

  5. September 14, 2012 / 11:30 pm

    Love this!! A great behind the scenes look at fashion, it’s actually one of the most important parts is caring for our investments!
    Lisa just blogged Taking out the maxi dressMy Profile

    • September 14, 2012 / 11:38 pm

      I totally agree!!
      We spend so much of nice things…we have to learn to invest a little also on the maintenance of them.
      Imagine our closet years from now full of prestige newly “vintaged” pieces ;)
      XOXO

    • September 17, 2012 / 2:43 pm

      Good!! I am glad you were able to take some pointers…it’s always good to know what to ask.
      XOXO

  6. September 17, 2012 / 11:51 am

    Thank you for sharing such useful tips! Never knew about any of these things, got so much to learn from this post. Will definitely keep all this in mind! :)
    Kisses from India! <3
    Sonakshi Solanki just blogged In My World I GlowMy Profile

    • September 17, 2012 / 2:37 pm

      For you, it must be so difficult to have your clothes cleaned because your designs are so intricate.
      Hopefully you will find someone that loves your clothes as much as you do…because that’s really what matters most. Does your dry cleaner LOVE your clothes the way you do ;) It’s heartbreaking when something gets ruined so hopefully with this post, people will know what to ask for ;)
      Hugs from Miami!!
      XOXO