Times have changed, and with them clothing styles have also changed dramatically. In the fifties, men wore suits not only at their jobs but also at home during times that were not necessarily leisurely like dinner and if guests were coming over. There were more occasions that were considered formal than there are now, as clothing standards have relaxed to fit with modern culture. Quite simply, people today do not put as much emphasis on the formality of clothing, and choose instead to dress in more casual clothing for many more events than they used to. While we can debate all day long if this is a good thing or a bad thing, the aspect that is worth discussing is that younger people who were never exposed to regular life being more formal than today may not understand the necessity of dry cleaning. They might not even understand the process, and what types of clothes cannot be washed in a regular washing machine.
In many capacities, American culture has created an almost “disposable” nature of clothing. The clothes that are manufactured in foreign countries specifically to be fashionable and cheap are referred to as “fast fashion,” and in many ways these clothes can almost be worn and thrown away for almost the same prices as trying to keep them clean. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this, this type of clothing is not appropriate for any formal occasion at all. A formal occasion is going to require a suit or dress that is made of materials that are far better than those that are used to manufacture cheap clothing, and even the cheapest of suits cannot be washed in a washing machine.
Dry cleaning is the process of using a chemical bath that does not contain water to clean the dirt and odors from delicate materials. These chemicals are then extruded from the material using a specialized machine that dries it and prepares it for pressing. The materials of these types of clothing cannot be exposed to soaking water the way that we clean other clothes, and will literally be ruined if they are put through a washing machine. So many younger people who are not used to clothing of this kind because they do not attend a lot of formal occasions do not understand the cleaning process that will help the clothes survive and look good over time. Everyone is going to need at least one set of formal clothes to attend events that require it, and these types of events will become more frequent as they get older. You might get a job that requires you to wear a suit to work. You might start attending parties that are not just gatherings of friends and are more important than a dinner get together. You might frequent clubs or restaurants that require you to dress nicer than if you were just hanging around in your apartment. For all of these reasons, it is good to familiarize yourself with dry cleaning, and learn where the nearest dry cleaner is to your home. You are going to need it someday.