The When-to-Wash-It Handbook
Tops and Dresses
How often you should wash them: After 1 to 3 wears.
What to know: Three ways to keep these pieces in ready-to-wear shape: Don’t overdo the deodorant—one dab will do you. Prevent underarm stains with an undershirt or dress shields (Garment Guard shields, $11 for 10, amazon.com). And inspect the item closely prior to ironing, which can set stains.
Exception to the rule: Again, whites and silks need a cleaning after every wear. And if your dress is formal or semi-formal, it’s best to dry-clean after each outing, since you don’t want any stains setting during the weeks or months between wears.