A good quality suit is quite an investment, and needs to be cared for accordingly to lengthen it’s lifespan. There are common mistakes when it comes to taking good care of your suit, here we will address some to make your suits last longer and look better.
Do Not Dry-clean!
Ok, you can get it dry-cleaned… only when necessary, which means when it either reeks of odor or has stains that cannot be easily removed by a soft, damp cloth. Some feel the need to dry clean their suit once a week or even every time they wear it. The chemicals used in dry-cleaning will damage the suit fabrics over time and will shorten the life of your suit significantly.
Instead, get your suit steam pressed to freshen it up. You can do this yourself if you have a steamer, or take it to the cleaners to have it done. It will kill most, if not all, bacteria and odor with the heat of the steamer. It will also get your suit looking new again without damaging the fibers of the fabric. Find a cleaner that presses it with great care. I’ve tried several different cleaners to have my suits pressed. Some will just throw it on a suzy (steam machine for suits) and call it good, but then my lapels can be crooked or creased heavily. A quality press takes a little more time. After the suzy, they’ll press certain parts by hand to make sure the lapels are even and rolled properly. Ask the cleaners how they press it before you simply drop it off to to the business closest to you.
Hanging the Suit
Make sure you hang your suit after every use. It is easy to just fold it up and throw it on a chair when you get home, especially when you get home from work late and are too tired. Invest in a good hanger with wide shoulders on it which help keep the shape and structure of the suit. DO NOT hang it on any thin metal hanger, as this will ruin the shape of your shoulders. It is wise to invest in a garment bag as well, which can be as cheap as $5 on Amazon. A garment bag will protect your suit from excess dust, moths, and excess light exposure.
Invest $10-20 in a garment brush (or clothes brush) and brush your suit after each wear (or as often as you can). A garment brush (and a lint brush) will take care of any crumbs, dust, or dandruff in your suit’s fabric, prolonging the suit fabric and helping keep moths away. When brushing, open the collar and brush from the top down. Always brush downward and never perpendicular to the suit fibers. After brushing, a lint roller can be used, but use lint roller sparingly to avoid leaving any adhesive residue.
If you need to travel with a suit, use a traveling garment bag to prevent wrinkling. If you don’t have room to carry a garment bag and need to pack the suit in the bag, use the following technique:
- Push one sleeve shoulder inside out
- Fold the suit vertically on the back seem and tuck the other shoulder (the right side out) into the shoulder that is inside out. Make sure the lapels are lined up together.
- Fold the jacket horizontally once to fit it into your travel bag
-If you need to steam your suit but your hotel does not provide one in your room, hang your suit in the bathroom while you take a hot shower with the door closed, this will freshen it up a bit, and relax many wrinkles.
-Rotate your suits: Your suit needs time to recover after each wear. Invest in one or two more suits, and increase the lifespan of each of them.
-When possible, buy an extra pair of trousers with your suit. The trousers get beat up faster than the jacket, so alternate between each pair with every wear.
-Avoid using the external pockets on your jacket and pockets of your trousers. It adds wear, but also looks funny when there is a lump on the bottom of your jacket.