Having Dry-Cleaning Amnesia
That silk blouse or pair of wool trousers may be a great bargain—right now. But clothes made of delicate, shrinkable and otherwise finicky fabrics require frequent trips to the dry cleaners, effectively raising their price by—depending on where in the country you live and what the item is—$3 to $10 every few wears. (And the cost of dry-cleaning has gotten even higher this year as those disposable metal hangers get more expensive.) Instead, look for materials that have the same luxurious feel but can be tossed in the washing machine. And when you can't avoid dry-clean-only fabrics, spot-clean and even steam them at home to help them stay fresh longer.