Between my husband and me,the dry cleaning bill ran several hundred dollars each month, and we had a house account at the local dry cleaners. I have little to show for that period now, except for the remnants of a previously endless supply of wire coat hangers.
I have never (yes, NEVER) been inside a dry cleaners in Tuscaloosa and I have lived here almost seven years. Many of those business suits I wore daily in the 90's are collecting dust in a corner of my large closet, not the corner I use.
Bakery clothes can be machine washed, and even my chef jackets are permanent press. I do have one indulgence, a nice and warm green corduroy Brooks Brothers vest I like to wear in the bakery on cold mornings. I bought it on sale a couple of years ago in California, and my sister has one just like it. I didn't use to wear it often (not that many cold days in Alabama) so I never paid much attention to the back of the label.
Dry Clean Only.
I've gotten some chocolate and cake batter on it so I have been stressing on how to deal with cleaning. Spend three days and ten bucks at the dry cleaners (I don't even know where one is)? Or take a chance on ruining my favorite non-chefware piece of clothing.
The stains are out and the vest is hanging on one of those remnant wire hangers to dry. It looks fine. Damp but fine.
Maybe it is time to liberate some of those other wire hangers...