Washing Dress Pants: A Simple Guide

Like a mind, a good pair of dress pants is a terrible thing to waste. Unfortunately, too many proud owners of fine trousers mistreat their pants when they ignore proper washing habits. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you want your dress pants to last a long time and continue looking their best, this simple guide to washing dress pants is all you need.

Before You Start Washing Dress Pants…

Read the tag. It’s possible that your dress pants don’t come with many instructions. Maybe they come with none. But all other things being equal, you should listen to manufacturer instructions for washing dress pants before you move on.

Of course, that’s easier said than done, especially when the tag includes a lot of symbols that don’t make any sense. If that’s the case with your dress pants, then here’s a quick guide to these symbols. And if that seems like a lot, keep in mind that cleaning instructions fall in a few basic categories:

  • Washing machine: Most washing machines allow you to choose the temperature settings of the water. Don’t be concerned about other options like “casual wash” or “long wash.” Here, the temperature matters most.
  • Bleaching: Most of the time, you shouldn’t have to bleach your items—but watch for symbols that call specifically for non-chlorine bleaches.
  • Dryer: Low heat? High heat? Permanent press? Gentle? There are symbols for each of these that you can find on many dress pant tags.
  • Ironing: Regular ironing is required with some pants. With other “non-iron” options, however, it will be actually be discouraged.
  • Drycleaning: Some dress pants call only for dry cleaning to preserve them, which is costly but convenient. When you have dress pants drycleaned, you won’t have to worry about any more symbols.

Some tags will omit these symbols and spell out exactly how to wash your dress pants. But if you do identify a few symbols on the tag, make sure you heed them. They’re there for a reason.

The Best Habits for Washing Dress Pants

But what if there are no instructions on the tag? Then we recommend adhering to a few rules of thumb:

  • When in doubt, dryclean. If you’re not sure if washing your dress pants in the dryer will ruin them, it’s best to have them drycleaned every so often instead. This will cost more than running the washing machine, but having ruined trousers is the most expensive option, and one to avoid.
  • Look up the fabric. Wool pants will tend to last longer between washes, while cotton needs a little more care.
  • Give them a “home dryclean.” If your pants don’t need much cleaning, simply rub the debris off a pair of trousers and let it air dry.

Find A Great Pair of Trousers Today

Finally, you’ll do best to invest in dress pants that are built to last long—even when cleaned often. Shop our collection of fine tailored trousers to find a pair of men’s dress pants that will last without losing their luster.