Cleaning women’s clothes can be more complicated than expected. From delicate fabrics, to intricate stitching, color bleeding and potential shrinkage, a lot can go wrong when you throw everything into the washing machine at once. One must be especially careful when washing a blazer or suit.
A women’s blazer is often made of natural fabric like wool that often doesn’t play well with the water and agitation of a washing machine. That’s why most blazers are dry clean only. Add in shoulder pads and chest plates (which provide structure to the blazer) that could become dislodged in a washer and fusing (glue) holding everything together that could break down from warm or hot water, and you have a potential recipe for disaster.
But not to fear. Suitably has pulled together this handy guide to help make sure you keep your blazer or suit looking great for years to come.
Check the Wash Instructions
Is your blazer dry clean only? If so, there’s probably a good reason for it. It could be the fabric, structure, fusing or some other element of the blazer that won’t do well in the washing machine.
If it is dry clean only, you’ll need to decide as to whether you’re wiling to risk damaging the suit. Is it the favorite one that you own? Is it Italian made and a major investment piece? If so, stick with a dry cleaner and avoid the risk of damage.
But let’s say it’s a cheap wool blazer that you’re not crazy about. In this case, you may decide that it is worth taking the risk of washing it and seeing how it holds up over time.
How to (Cautiously) Wash a Dry Clean Only Blazers
If you’ve decided it’s worth taking the plunge and trying to machine wash a dry clean only garment, there are a few best practices to keep in mind.
First, carefully spot clean by dabbing with water or diluted white vinegar. You’ll need to take care to not scrub too hard as the more pressure you place, the more likely a stain is to set in. Additionally, there’s always the risk of damaging natural fibers.
Second, find a delicates bag and wash the blazer on the delicate cycle in cold water only. As mentioned, warm water risks weakening adhesive fusing that is used to keep most blazers together.
Third, hang your blazer to dry. You’re taking a big risk by washing it in the first place. A dryer will almost certainly cause permanent damage the garment.
The Best Alternative: A Machine Washable Blazer
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After all this, you must be thinking that there has to be a better way of keeping your blazers clean. At Suitably, were big advocates of machine washability so it’s easy and affordable to care for your workwear. We designed our 24/7 Blazer specifically to come out of the washing machine looking perfect. In fact, we’ve washed the blazer in the above video over 100 times.
We talk more about our design process here in How Suitably Designed the Perfect Machine Washable Blazer. And if you’re ready to get rid of all of your blazer cleaning headaches, take a look at the 24/7 Blazer yourself.