Posted on October 17 2019
It's just about the worst thing for a clothier to see. A customer makes the investment in one of our fine men’s suits, we take the time to get the right fabric, fit, colours and accessories. Then we find out that the suit ends up on a wire hanger stuffed into the closet between his sweaters and sports coats.
It makes us realize that many men don’t really know how to take proper care of their suits. So get a coffee, sit back and find out how to make your suits last longer and look great for as long as they last.
6 Steps to Proper Suit Care
Brush Your Suit - This may be the single most important thing you do for your suit. Brushing after each wear, and before wearing if you haven’t worn it in a while, is one of the best ways to extend the life of your suit and keep it clean. The dirt and dust that accumulates on the suit can deteriorate the fabric over time. You don’t necessarily need the fanciest brush, but it must be a suit brush and animal hair would be the best. Always brush your suits in a downward direction; gently and slowly.
Use Proper Hangers - There should be no wire hangers in your closet. Ever. If the cleaners put your suit on a wire hanger, remove it as soon as you get home and recycle it. Look at it this way, your suit will be on the hanger more than it will be on you. That means it will conform to the shape of the hanger more than it will to your body. Unless your shoulders look like wire hangers, get proper wooden hangers because the wood absorbs damaging moisture from the suit. Hangers should have wide shoulders that reach at least to the seam at the top of the shoulder of your suit jacket. And use clamp hangers for your suit pants, not the horizontal bar on the wood hanger.
Hang Them in Garment Bags - Again, dust and dirt are abrasive to the fibre of your suit. A garment bag will protect the suit when it’s in the closet. But don’t just use the plastic bag that may have come with your suit. That’s just to keep it clean in transit. A cloth garment bag lets your suit breathe between wearings. Let the suit air out for a day before putting into the bag and make sure the bag isn’t packed so tightly in your closet that air can’t get in.
How to Clean Your Suit - This one may be a shocker. Straight up, dry cleaning chemicals are not good for the natural fibers of a fine suit, especially those with higher micron numbers (like wool over Super 150s). You should dry clean your suit as little as possible. Unless you have suffered a stain (and even then you should ask the dry cleaner to spot clean it), try to keep dry cleaning to a few times a year - or less. As soon as you can after wearing the suit, use a slightly damp cloth on any spots, brush it and let it air out for a day.
Use Steam - Never an Iron - One of the reasons a top-quality suit costs more is the quality of the fabric. Still, while it can repel light rain, and insulate you against the elements, fine fibre can be easily damaged by an iron. Don’t skimp on the steamer you choose and learn how to use it properly.
- Rotate Your Suits - High-quality suits can get tired. Wearing them stresses and stretches the fabric. They need time between wearings to bounce back into shape.
If you enjoyed this post, check out our recent article “3 Techniques For How To Fold A Suit”.