5 Tips on How to Maintain and Care for Your Suit
Men’s dress suits are perhaps the most expensive additions to your wardrobe. They are however, essential, as they keep you looking sharp and stylish for business meetings and formal occasions. It is important then that you know how to properly care for your suit. Follow these simple tips and your suit can last you a long time.
Dry clean infrequently
The most common mistake that most men make is to take their suits to the dry cleaner’s week after week. Contrary to what its name suggests, dry cleaning involves the use of a liquid solvent called perchloroethylene (or perc) to remove dirt and oils from fabrics. Perc removes the natural oils from the garment fibres, causing them to be brittle so your dress suit becomes worn-out well before its time.
Dry clean your dress suit as rarely as possible. When do you know it’s time to dry clean it? When brushing, airing out and spot cleaning are no longer working to remove the odours, dirt and stains. If you don’t often wear a suit, this may be as infrequent as once a year.
How do you clean your suit in between dry cleanings? Simply brush off any dirt or food particles you may see on your suit after you wear it. Go against the grain of the cloth and use short, quick strokes. For small stains, spot clean with water and a soft towel.
Rotate your suits
If you own two or three suits, rotate wearing them when possible. Wearing the same suit again and again can cause it to show some deterioration after a while.
Opt for a steamer
When pressing your suit, use a steamer instead of a dry iron. Using a steamer can help prolong the life of your suit as dry ironing can burn the garment fibres and add an unwanted sheen to your suit. Set the steam to the lowest heat setting. This should be enough to remove any wrinkles from your suit before you wear it.
Hang your suit properly
Hanging your suit for a full day or two allows the suit to go back to its original drape and smooth out wrinkles. Empty out all pockets to prevent creating creases or odd shapes in your suit. Hanging your suit also allows moisture to exit.
Remember that part of hanging your suit correctly is using the appropriate hangers. For the suit to maintain its form, use high quality wooden or plastics hangers with rounded edges that fills out the shoulders.
Cover it up
When storing your suit, use a cloth cover which allows air to still circulate through the suit. If you are putting away a suit for the end of a season, for example storing a heavy wool suit once summer begins, it may be a good time to have it dry cleaned before stowing it away. This will remove any food particles that may otherwise attract moths or other insects during storage.
Whether you are wearing an off-the-rack or a custom-tailored suit, maintaining and caring for it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. These tips can actually make the work easier for you and help your dress suit last for years to come.