How much did you spend on your last suit? Is the most expensive item in your wardrobe a suit? Indeed, if you have a few of them then combined, do they represent your highest expenditure on work attire? Are your suits so fine they make Frank Sinatra look like a hobo? If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’ then we recommend spending a little time looking after them. To help you do so, we thought we would put together this post detailing the 5 key ways to care for you suit.
1.Buy the right suit
It may seem obvious, but you need to make sure you’ve bought a suit that fits well. In addition to considerations regarding your own comfort, your suit needs to be put through as little stress as possible. If it’s tight the fabric will stretch over time meaning that it will be thin and susceptible to ripping. Equally, the seams will be pulled apart and will eventually split (not a great look and expensive to fix). Give yourself a little extra room and your suit will thank you for it.
2.Buy a few suits
Evidently, you live to your means, but if your means allow, buy a few suits and rotate through them during the week. We’d recommend aiming for three plus suits, but if that’s not an option then get a few extra pairs of trousers and avoid wearing the jacket when it’s not necessary. The more suits you have the less frequently you’ll wear them and the longer they will last.
3.Hang your suit properly
Look after it while you’re not wearing it. First of all get a decent, wide hanger (the hangers width will support the jackets shoulders, as well as facilitating air flow around the suit). Secondly, use the hanger. Don’t leave the jacket on the back of a chair or a coat hook and definitely don’t leave your trousers in a heap on the floor when you’re done with them. Take the time to carefully place them on the hanger (even when you’re worse for wear; maybe not if you have company). Finally, when you hang your suit try to give it a little room so that it isn’t crushed and to allow moisture to evaporate. If you won’t be wearing your suit for a few weeks, consider purchasing a cloth suit bag to store it in (cloth as, again, this allows for air circulation).
Doing the above will help maintain the suit’s shape and while we’re on the subject of shape, try not to use the pockets too much. Overly filled pockets will bulge in the short term and distort the suit in the long term.
4.Avoid Dry Cleaning
Dry Cleaning your suit will remove dust and grime that undermines the fabric. The pressing of the suit during the process will also help the suit maintain its shape. However, the products used in the process are frankly horrific in what they do to suiting fabric. Accordingly, we recommend that you try to limit how often you get the suit dry cleaned. Once every 3-6 months (plus emergency cleans) should do the trick and don’t clean the jacket if you only really wear the trousers.
An alternative is to steam press the suit. This allows for wrinkle and creases to be removed, while renewing the pleats in the trousers. It also cleans the suit to a degree (though not nearly as well as a dry clean). If you’d rather not spend the cash or time, leave your suit in the bathroom (though this won’t be as effective) while you take a hot shower. Alternatively, you can use a steam iron to carefully (very carefully) press your trousers back into shape.
5.Buy a suit brush
Finally, you can help to keep your suits clean by quickly giving them a quick brush every so often. Do so gently and brush downwards using a lint brush. This will lift out dust, hairs and other undesired particles. Such brushes range in cost, but you can pick on up on Amazon for as little a £2-3.
Let us know what you think
We hope the above tips help. Let us know if you have any others and we’ll add them in or post them to our social profiles. Also, our next topic in this series will be on caring for your work shoes – if you have any thoughts on how to look after leather, welted shoes, please drop us a line.
Thanks for reading.
All the best