My dry cleaning bill

My brother owns a dry cleaning shop.  Naturally, as his only younger sister, I’m entitled to lots of free dry cleaning.  (And free alterations, because he has one of those shops too.)

Yesterday, he said to me: You have the biggest account in my shop, *and* you are also my least profitable customer. Ever.

I laughed it off at the time (because, well, it’s true), but — omigod! — after some heavy duty maths I haven’t attempted in my head since high school quick calculations, I’ve discovered that if this debt was ever called in I would owe something like (for a 2 week period):

For 7 skirts/pants + 7 tops/blouses + 3 sweaters/blazers + 1 coat/trench + 2 dresses,

5 x $33.50* (4 piece special) + 5 x $3* (estimated surcharges for coats, dresses, silks, delicates etc)

= $182.50

That’s $4,745.00 a year, assuming I can machine wash the clothes I wear on 3 days a week.  That’s practically equal to this:

Christian Louboutin’s Sexy Strass 100 Swarovski crystal peep-toe pumps, £2,042.35 from net-a-porter.com

Or maybe one of these (I’m partial to the white one, myself):

Part of the Boy Chanel collection, available from September 2011

That’s a 4 week holiday overseas (discretionary expenditure, a.k.a. shopping funds not included).  Oh. Em. Gee.

But what exactly does this have to do with shopping, you may ask?  Everything: dry cleaning is expensive but necessary to maintain clothes made out of silks, wools, cashmeres and leathers, etc.  You may laugh now, but you will be crying when that favourite and/or uber expensive blazer/dress/scarf is accidentally (or gamely!) thrown in the wash and comes out feeling like a crinkled paper towel. Unfortunately, it is a pretty big expense, so try to find a cheap (but quality) dry cleaner — the closer to ‘free’ the better, obviously.  Start hunting, people.

I think I’ve also convinced myself that I have an extra $4,745.00 a year to spend.

*Note:  These figures are an estimation of the current prices for the purposes of commentary only.  Actual prices are subject to individual garments and circumstances and may be subject to change.  Please contact your local dry cleaner for further details. 

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9 thoughts on “My dry cleaning bill

  1. Oh Em Gee…YOU are hilarious….
    i can TOTALLY relate to the ‘expensive blazer thrown into the wash and coming out feeling like a crinkled paper towel’

    keep up the good work(blog)

  2. Free dry cleaning is awful when the service is no longer available! Cherish it while you still can and before you need to pay that debt!

    My mum still works the books for a dry cleaning supplier at his now sold-off business (but still retains the dry-cleaning perks). And what do I do? I move away interstate! No point bringing items back down, as I’ll just crease it in the luggage on the return trip! There’s only so much I can take in a suit bag (although it did work out well last year when I kept returning for weddings).

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