Suits are the staple of a classy wardrobe. Every gentleman needs suits, but buying them doesn’t determine how long and great they will last. Maintenance is key. Your suit should never be treated as a pair of jeans or your average everyday outfit; folded in drawers, crumpled in corners, hanged by the edge of the door and passed through a washing machine.
Owning a suit is an investment, and like any investment, you have to understand, appreciate and learn how to properly manage and care for it. We show you a few simple steps on how to preserve the shape and structure of your suit over a long period of time.
- Cleaning: To clean your suit, you should brush it with a clean towel or soft clothes to remove any dirt you may see on the suit after you wear it, and afterwards air it out. If there is a specific spot on the suit that has a stain, you can spot clean the dirty area with water and a clean towel. A trip to the cleaners might be needful every now and then but do so only when visible dirt or odor has accumulated. Dry cleaning your suits regularly can actually reduce their lifespan due to the chemical process involved. Save the dry cleaning for stains or other major emergencies, and even then have them spot clean only the affected areas if possible.
- Storing: When you are done wearing your suit at the end of the day, hang it properly using a proper suit hanger. The right hanger helps keep intact the shape of your jacket, thereby extending the length of its life, and helps smooth out any wrinkles sustained during wear. Avoid the use of metal or wire hangers to hang your suit as they will certainly leave hanger bumps at both ends of the shoulders, a contoured wood or plastic round-edged hanger is the best choice as it will preserve the shape and drape of the suit. Hang up your suit in a well-spaced wardrobe and make sure it’s not squeezed in-between other garments in your wardrobe.
- Steaming: steaming your suit is a delicate method of removing wrinkles and odors and won’t alter the fibers. Using a regular iron to press your suits may cause damage to the fabric and add an unwanted sheen due to the high temperature. Also avoid steaming the chest area, which may disrupt the shape of the internal canvas. If you must iron, use a steam iron and then a press cloth as a barrier to protect the fabric.
- Regular Breaks: One of the best things you can do for your suit is let it take regular holidays. Yup, even your suits need some time to recuperate after it’s been worn. Try to avoid wearing the same suit multiple days in a row to avoid deterioration. Rotate through your tailored wardrobe regularly so that each suit has ample time for a little rest. Try not to wear the same suit more than two times per week. Give your suit a rest after each wearing so you can enjoy wearing them for a long time. If your job involves you wearing a suit every day, you should have at least 3 suits in your wardrobe so you can rotate them evenly throughout the week.
- Garment Bags: A garment bag is necessary if you’re a serious traveler with a suit. Look for one that is easy to carry, light and breathable, this will allow air to still circulate through the suit during transit and keep it wrinkle free during transit. If a garment bag is totally out of the question, learn how to properly fold and pack a suit in a way that minimizes wrinkles and offers maximum protection.
Extra Tip: The best way to store a suit for a long time is with a garment bag. Always dry clean before storing.