Fresh and Clean Clothes with Dryel | Thriftanista in the City


Fresh and Clean Clothes with Dryel

This post is sponsored by Dryel. All opinions are my own.

With every thrift haul, there is the exciting ritual of removing staples, construction paper and plastic hang tags from our treasures and then the big decision on how to clean and care for all of our new finds. In addition to sharing my post thrift shopping ritual, costume designer, Dan Lawson will be sharing tips as well!

fresh and clean clothes with dryel

Fresh and Clean Clothes with Dryel

Here's how I sort my thrift haul so that everything is cleaned properly. After tag removal and a second glance at my receipt to review my damage, I do two main sorts:

1. Washable and Dry-clean. Washables are added to the laundry mountain to be sorted with the other laundry. The dry-clean only pieces are inspected for Dryel "ability". Most pieces can be "Dryeled" unless it has delicate sequins or trims that can't take the heat of a dryer.

2. New / Like New and Gently Used. The gently used go to the mountain. Even if my "new to me item" is washable, I sometimes go the Dryel route anyway because it still has those sharp creases and vibrant colors of an unwashed garment. I just freshen them up a bit and get rid of any lingering thrift store smells.

dryel at home dry cleaner

Dan Lawson, costume designer for "The Good Wife" also shared a few cleaning tips when he was interviewed by Dryel ambassadors. Not only is he a wealth of information on the cleaning and care of garments but he has great advice to maximize your wardrobe and style.

Care and Cleaning Tips from Dan Lawson

How do you keep the clothes you work with on set looking their best?

Our actors at TGW wear a lot of clothes as well as wearing the same outfit for days. Quite often they will have to wear a costume until the end of the day on day and then the first thing again in the morning. Everything gets steamed or ironed daily. We always run a lint roller over the clothing. We check for any small repairs that might need to happen. We check the buttons to make sure they are tight and perky - nothing worse than a drooping button on a suit, blouse or coat.

Using the proper hanger is also very important. I usually like to have pants hang long rather than folded over a hanger to avoid creases right at the knee. We will also turn garments inside out to allow them to get air to the inside which helps freshen them up. We depill the knits. We also dry-clean but try to dry-clean as little as possible since the process can be quite wearing to clothing.

We use Dryel a lot in the dryer to remove daily grime from all day wearing or stains. We also use it for freshening up blouses, dress shirts, skirts. It’s a great product too for rejuvenating vintage pieces or already worn pieces we pick up from the second-hand stores.

thrift store j. crew

Are there any alternatives when it comes to garments that are dry-clean only?

As I said above, Dryel is actually an excellent alternative to dry-cleaning. Besides the terrific smell you are left with when you are done, it removes stains and body oils as well as freshens up the garment while letting the garment maintain it’s shape and color. 

Financially, we find that using Dryel decreases our cleaning budget and allows us to keep pieces “in-house” more which is great since our shooting schedule changes regularly and my department looks amazing when there’s a change and we’re asked if we can provide wardrobe for a scene not originally scheduled for the day and we can! 

Keeping the day rolling is key for any set - much like at your home. You have to keep the day moving along and not going to the dry-cleaner all the time really saves time and makes you the master of your own schedule rather than the dry-cleaner’s schedule.

Dan Lawson interview

How do you keep the various fabrics you use from fading, shrinking or stretching?

Certainly proper hanging/storing/folding are key. Keep the knits off the hanger!!! And remember, the less cleaning you do helps keep away “the evil three” - fading, shrinking and stretching! Whether dry-cleaning or washing, your clothes suffer the consequences of regular cleaning. A product like Dryel keeps your clothes from suffering the effects of “the evil three” while saving you time and money.

thrift store clothes cleaning tips

Dan Lawson on Fashion and Style

How can we select the best office attire for our own wardrobes?

You need to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself about what looks good on you. What shapes work best on you? Are you good in a pencil skirt or better with an A-line? Do dresses flatter you more than a suit? Pants or skirt?

You also need to build a strong closet of staples that support your look. These staples will be the workhorses in your closet: the perfect skirt that goes with everything; that blouse that is the perfect compliment to your suit; a good pair of pumps that are comfortable and have a heel that give you a little extra stature and good posture; a well maintained bag that carries your important papers and personal items without looking stuffed or like a backpack.

Remember, these good pieces will probably cost you more in the initial purchase because you want them to last. They need to be cared for properly and stored properly, i.e., don’t put a knit on a hanger.  Things like that.

You need to set aside part of your clothing purchase budget for alterations. I’ve said it a million times. The most expensive garment will just look so-so or worse if it doesn’t fit and an inexpensive garment will look a million times more expensive if it fits you well. Find a good tailor and make him or her your best friend. Once they get to know your body, alterations will be a snap and you’ll look great.

I also would like to say that it is important to not go head to toe trendy with your looks. Certainly, current trendy pieces are great and can become useful pieces in your closet, but you should avoid making a full outfit out of them because it will end up just looking thrown together and, oddly enough, not relevant.

If you could only pack 5 items in your fashion survival kit, what would they be?

Female: the perfect skirt (pencil or “A”); a versatile blouse; a well-heeled pump that is comfortable (not an easy thing to find, but well worth the effort of looking!); a nicely maintained bag - not a backpack; a simple, elegant earring that goes with everything

Male: a well fitting suit; a white dress shirt with a nice crisp collar; a good leather belt; a classic dress shoe that is comfortable; and, like the ladies, a nicely maintained bag - not a backpack

fashion and style with dan lawson
THRIFT vintage sunglasses and earrings - Fabrik blouse - J. Crew pencil skirt RETAIL Joe's Jeans pumps

Dryel Starter Kit Demo + Giveaway

In case you're new to the Dryel revolution, here's a 1 minute demo I put together showing how easy it is to use at home in your dryer. Also, as an ambassador I've been graced with 5 extra starter kits for a few of my Thriftanista friends to try it out!

If you would like a FREE kit, let me know in comments and leave an email address or url where I can contact you. As I only have 5 kits to give away, I will delete this message once they are all claimed or on May 22nd. Good Luck!

What techniques do you use to freshen and clean your thrift store scores?



Heidi Melissa said...

I love this!

Lisa said...

Great post! I do a TON of thrifting so I usually steam clean them in my dryer. I would love to try the Dryel though!

Lisa said...

Great post! I do a TON of thrifting so I usually steam clean them in my dryer. I would love to try the Dryel though!

Unknown said...

I would love the Dryel kit! I am starting to thrift more and more, and I find myself trying to figure out ways to clean my new finds. My email address is

Melissa Storms said...

I would love to have a Dryel kit. I have a lot of items that can't go through the washer. Thanks for the giveaway!

Unknown said...

I would love to try a Dryel kit. I have a bag I keep meaning to take to the cleaners and always forget. My email address is

Apparently_ I _Didn'tKnow said...

When Im thrifting I avoid anything that says dry clean only #BLMGirls

Unknown said...

Cute! Seriously adore your hair! #BLMgirls

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