Gender Battles at the Dry Cleaners

Higher prices for women's shirts go under the microscope.

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I've often wondered why my shirts cost double -- or more -- to dry clean than my husband's. Even women's trousers seem to come with a higher price tag. Finally, someone is investigating this discrepancy. Janet Floyd, president of Floyd Advisory, reports that on average, women in New York pay 73 percent more than men for laundered shirts.

The reason, according to dry cleaners, has to do with the shape of women's shirts and the machines available. It seems strange that we've had no technological innovations that would make it easy to press women's shirts, given the preponderance of women donning suits every day. But Sadie at Jezebel makes a good point about the current economy: Given the fact that dry cleaners are strapped right now, they probably don't want to spend money investing in new machines, even if they existed.