A high quality suit is a valuable clothing investment that should last you for years. Though a well-made suit does not fall apart easily, you can greatly extend its lifetime by taking proper care of it. Unlike other clothing items, you cannot just toss a nice suit in the washing machine and then hang it on a metal hanger. Here is everything you need to know about proper suit care.
Get It Properly Tailored
This should be your first step in suit maintenance, and it makes a huge difference. Wearing a jacket that is slightly too tight may cause split seams, and slightly long trousers can get dirty or frayed. Therefore, it is important to take care of even minor fit issues before the damage the integrity of your suit. Getting your suit tailored if your body changes shape will end up saving you money in the long run.
Brush After Each Wear
The natural fibres that suits are made from tend to absorb dust, food particles, dirt, and lint if anything is left on the suit for a lengthy period of time. Brushing the jacket and trousers after each wear removes any contaminants before they settle into the cloth and damage the fibres. With a good stiff suit brush, this process only takes about 30 seconds, and it greatly extends the lifetime of the fabric.
Don’t Over Clean It
If you know enough about mens suits to buy a good one, you probably already know to never wash it in a typical machine. However, frequent trips to the dry cleaners can be just as bad. The chemicals used in dry cleaning can be somewhat harsh, so they eventually cause fibres to break down. Most suit experts recommend that you only dry clean your suit if it is visibly dirty or noticeable smelly. Depending on how often you wear the suit, it may only need to be cleaned a couple times each year.
Get Rid of Wrinkles with a Steamer
The high temperature of an iron can make a suit look faintly shiny, so it is best to use a steamer to gently remove any wrinkles. The delicate warmth and moisture of a steamer also help to lift trapped odours out of the fabric, so it can be a great way to extend wear between trips to the cleaners. Unless necessary, do not steam the chest area because repeated, excessive steaming can distort the internal canvas shape.
Store It the Right Way
One of the fastest ways to ruin a truly excellent suit jacket is to hang it on a wire hanger or leave it in a crumpled pile in a drawer. Improper storage methods can leave divots on the shoulders or destroy the shape of the jacket. A nice, wide wooden hanger will keep your suit draping nicely for years. Pick a natural wood hanger, so any moisture left in the fabric after you wear the suit is absorbed. If you are traveling somewhere with a suit, get a nice garment bag to protect your suit during transit.
Don’t Wear It Every Day
Though this might not always be possible, it is good to give your suit a break between each time you wear it. This advice is not just a suggestion to make you look more fashionable, and rotating between your suits gives the fibres of your suit time to relax and go back to their natural state. Even if the suit is a high quality garment, constant wear can result in stretched areas or improper draping. Whenever you can, wait 24 hours between each time you wear the same suit.