How To Make Your Clothes Last Longer


We know how much your clothing means to you.  Our customers have spent top dollar on their garments and often ask us how they can make them last. At some point, even the best made pieces will begin to pill or deteriorate but with a few little tricks you can extend a garments’ life.  We put together some tips to be sure your clothing lasts as long as possible.  

1). All items, even those worn only a handful of times should be professionally cleaned before seasonal storage.  Bacteria can grow on garments that have not been cleaned and can attract hungry larvae.

2). Clean a stained item as soon as possible.  Permanent fabric bonding can occur after a few days which sets the stain.  Once a stain is set, there is no guarantee that it can be professionally removed.

3). Beware of “invisible stains.”  When clothes have been exposed to perspiration, perfume, alcohol, soda or sugar from food or drinks, they should be cleaned right away.  Invisible stains will dry clear but if hung back up and allowed to set they will eventually re-appear as bleached and darkened splotches, many times after cleaning.

4). Cigarette smoke lingers in fabrics and can cause yellow discoloring if not cleaned.

5). Never try to remove a spot from a tie or pocket square.  Because they are cut on the bias, even a small amount of rubbing will cause them to twist and stretch out of shape.

6). Apply cologne and perfume and let it completely dry before getting dressed to prevent your garments from being “bleached” by the alcohol they contain.

7). Wearing a scarf under a leather jacket, or any jacket for that matter, prevents soils and oils from creating a shiny, slick sheen around the neck.

8). Folding sweaters and rolling linens helps them last longer.  Knits  will stretch and fray on the hanger especially at the shoulders.  Hanging or folding linens will create permanent creases and wrinkles.

9). Clothes will look newer for longer when stored away from natural light, in a cool, dry place.  Extreme temperatures will attract insects and hurt fibers.  Avoid mothballs and try cedar and lavender instead.  

We know your clothes are important to you because they’re important to us too.  These are some of our best tips to keep your clothing in great shape for years to come.  Unfortunately, garments won’t last forever but with proper care, you can give them their maximum life expectancy.

Dressing For The Occassion

With Spring and party season right around the corner we wanted to give some advice on how to dress for any occasion.  Wording on invitations can be confusing, so we broke it down for you!

Black Tie

This is the dressiest of dressy.  It calls for a tea or floor-length gown.  Typically it’s only called for at very formal weddings, charity galas, or award ceremonies.  Choose dramatic jewelry to go with your gown but be wary of low necklines and high slits in gowns.  Choose a bedazzled clutch to finish off your ensemble.  Look for gowns in satin, taffeta or heavily beaded to really make a statement. 

For men, this means a tuxedo with a black bow tie. 


This is a semi-formal event typically associated with a wedding, engagement party or fundraiser.  Look to rich fabrics such as lace, chiffon and silk for these events.  Cocktail attire is what the “Little Black Dress” is all about but you can choose other colors too.  Make sure your hemline isn’t too short use the fingertip rule (your dress hem goes past your finger tips) or it’ll look like your on your way to the club.  Definitely go for gorgeous footwear with metallic or jeweled finishes. 

For men, think dark suit that’s well fitted.  Stick to a light shirt, dark tie and shined dress shoes. 


This is typical of holiday parties and birthday get togethers.  Think bold, color and sparkle to show you’re ready to party.  Go for ‘bling ‘ with a vibrant dress.  If it’s freezing outside, dark tights can look adorable with the right dress.  Go for blinged out shoes to finish off the outfit (think red and/or sparkly). 

For men,  this is a playful party so go for a classic suit jacket with a fun tie.  You can also opt for a pullover sweater with a dress shirt and tie underneath if you don’t want to go with the blazer.

Dressy Resort

This is normal for a beach or destination wedding.  Opt for a long maxi-dress or a flowy sundress.

Definitely go with a fun beachy color in turquoise, pink, yellow, or orange.  For shoes, ditch the heels and look for a pair of fun wedges or bedazzled flip flops.  Bright jewelry will look gorgeous too or even a flower tucked in your hair.  

For men, choose a light colored linen suit or silk shirt.  Go for loafers for your footwear.

Business Attire

This is typical of office parties, networking events, company dinners, etc.  Look for a simple suit or classic dress. This isn’t a time to be trendy so go for understated jewelry and a neutral purse.  You can spiff up your outfit with a pop of color but don’t go overboard.  Keep your hemline and neckline very conservative.

For men, a gray or navy suit or sportcoat works best (black suits are too formal). 

Casual Chic

This a dress up/dress down hybrid and is normally a daytime function like a bridal or baby shower.  Pair a dress down piece (a pair of dark jeans) with a dressed up blouse.  You can even go with a casual blazer.  If it’s a dinn er party, go with a bold print and fun accessories to dress up your look. 

For men, opt for a date night look.  No suits or ties rather choose a fitted oxford shirt with chinos or dark denim.

As you are

This is normal attire for BBQ’s, kids birthday parties or neighborhood get-togethers.  This doesn’t mean come in your sweat pants.  Put on a little make-up and choose capris with a informal shirt.  Steer away from gym clothes like t-shirts and yoga pants.  This is when you can do a jersey dress or a cute v-neck top. 

For men, just wear something clean, in good condition, and unwrinkled and you’ll be set!  Again, stay away from gym clothes.

***When you’re not sure, take a look at your invitation.  Determine how formal the invite is based on the font, paperstock and wording.  If you’re still not sure ask friend who’s going what they’re wearing or think about the location and imagine how people would be dressed.  Note the time.  A later start time for an event indicates it’s more dressy than an afternoon one.  Lastly, think about the theme.  An event in a church calls for more modest attire than a backyard wedding.


Does Frequent Dry Cleaning Shorten the Life of Garments

One common myth is that “Frequent Dry Cleaning Shortens the Life of a Garment.”  Simply put, this isn’t true. Frequent cleaning actually prolongs the life of a garment.  Here’s why:

Not only do stains set with age making them more difficult to remove, but ground-in dirt, soil and dust actually acts like sandpaper on your clothes.  Those little particles act as an abrasive and wear down the fibers on your clothing.  Additionally, insects are attracted to stains and soil in clothing increasing your risk of insect damage because larva will actually feed on those fibers (Yuck!). 

We’re not just saying this because we’re in the dry cleaning biz.  Research was conducted by the Department of Clothing & Textiles at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  The research showed that the dry cleaning process has absolutely no effect on the properties of wool in mens suiting fabrics. 

Sometimes we hear the “chemicals” used in dry cleaning are too aggressive and break down clothing.  The majority of cleaners in the United States use perc which is an aggressive cleaner but still does not deteriorate clothing fibers.  At Balfurd, we use K4 which is an even gentler cleaning processes than perc.  It’s actually made out of corn!

Some customers say they don’t clean their garments, they only get them pressed at the advice of a clothing store where they purchased the item.  This is especially detrimental to your clothing because heat permanently sets stains and grinds dirt even further into clothing causing more abrasion.  If a clothing manufacturer doesn’t recommend cleaning their garments than they are not making their garments correctly.  A well-made garment has no problem withstanding normal cleaning procedures.

You have absolutely nothing to fear when dry cleaning your clothing. Dry cleaning will help to extend the life of your clothing so you can get the most use out of your wardrobe.  Have a question about dry cleaning?  We are State College’s dry cleaning experts!  Contact us and we’d be happy to help!