May 1, 2020 | Tips & Style

Spotting The Difference Between Trims and Accessories

If you care enough about your clothes to have them professionally dry cleaned, then it helps to learn more about clothing and fabrics so you can make sure they are cleaned properly.

Today we’ll take a look at the difference between trims and accessories. In case you’re wondering why that difference is so important, consider one thing that you probably already know about dry cleaning.

Different fabrics have different cleaning requirements. 

Hold onto that thought while we take a closer look at the difference between trims and accessories.

What is The Difference Between Trims and Accessories? Here's how to spot the difference.


We’re going to make a not-so-bold prediction. If you’re into fashion, you love to accessorize. Are we right? Accessories can make or break even the most expensive items in your wardrobe. You rarely wear just one piece of clothing. Instead, you wear an outfit, which includes accessories, belts, scarves or other objects. In a nutshell, accessories are items that enhance the aesthetic appeal or function of a garment. They are not part of the garment.


Trims can make up more than half the material of a garment. The trim of a garment includes those materials that are directly attached to clothing that ornament and/or enhance the garment. That means they can have both a decorative and functional purpose – like the buttons on a suit jacket. Other pieces of trim include the piping around a collar, the lining of a suit jacket, elastic around a waistband; anything that isn’t the fabric shell of the garment. 

Why Knowing the Difference Between Trims and Accessories is So Important 

Getting back to the fact that different materials have different cleaning requirements, if a piece of clothing has trim that is a different material to the shell of the garment, then it needs special cleaning attention.

One example is the popularity of fashions that are designed with leather or suede trims, which can include buttons, piping and elbow patches.

While the fabric of a jacket that has suede elbow patches will have certain cleaning requirements, they will be different to the suede patches. So you need to take your suede and leather trimmed garments to a professional dry cleaner that has specialized cleaning skills and processes (like Parkers!) to make sure your clothes are properly cleaned. 

If you want to learn more about how to wear this popular men’s fashion accessory, check out our post “A Gentleman’s Guide to Wearing a Scarf”.


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