Suit care is an essential part of owning a suit. Whether you clean your suit yourself or you have a dry cleaner do it, you’ll still have many things to take into consideration. A suit is an investment and should be treated as such.
An old pair of jogging pants can be thrown on the floor at the end of the day and it will not matter. Conversely, a pair of suit trousers could be thrown on the floor at the end of the day and they could quickly be ruined.
Here is a run-down on all the steps you should take to keep your suit looking new.
Suit Care Tips
Take it off – Take your suit jacket off before you get into your car. Not only will you be more comfortable with your jacket off, but you’ll reduce wrinkles. You’ll also reduce the amount of time you have your suit jacket on each day.
Some people will take a hanger to their vehicle so that they can hang their jacket up while driving. Personally, I do not like to worry about losing visibility, so I take it and lay it on my back bench.
My method isn’t as good for the suit as hanging would be, but it’s a nice compromise. I figure having a wrinkle-free suit won’t mean much to me if I’m injured or killed in an accident due to poor visibility.
Don’t wear it – A suit should never be worn two days in a row. Give your suit at least a 24 hour break before wearing it again. 48 hours is even better. This will give your suit a chance to air out and to reshape itself. For this reason, I suggest anybody who needs to wear a suit every day to start their wardrobe with a minimum of three suits.
Don’t clean it – Dry cleaning always damages a suit and reduces it’s durability. The less you dry-clean a suit, the longer it will last. This is why it’s great to rotate suits as it helps to keep the suit clean and wrinkle free between cleanings.
Get a steamer – Another great way of prolonging the time you can go between visiting the dry cleaner is to buy a steam cleaner. These are a great investment and will save you money in the long run. They’re great for getting rid of wrinkles and odors.
Roll with it – Get a lint roller. If you have pets you probably already own one anyway. A lint roller will quickly take off any dirt or hair that happens to get stuck to your suit.
Brush it off – A suit brush can knock off the dirt that your lint roller can’t manage. If the lint roller isn’t doing your suit justice, pass over it with a suit brush.
Get your hands out of your pockets – The inside pockets of your suit jacket were never meant to hold your giant phone and the stack of 500 business cards your company just gave you. Leaving heavy items inside your pockets will quickly deform your jacket.
Make alterations – Whenever your body size changes, your suit should change as well. That beer belly is doing more than keeping you from buttoning up your suit. It is also stretching out the fabric of your suit.
If your suit doesn’t fit anymore, bring it to a tailor for some alterations. Your suit will end up fitting better, you’ll end up looking better in it, and it will end up lasting longer. Triple win!
Use travel bags – A nice suit can make a great travel companion. Take care of your companion with a nice garment bag. Just make sure you take your suit out of its bag as soon as you can. Suit fabric needs to breathe and it can’t do that when it’s locked in a bag.
Hang it up – Hang up your suit as soon as you take it off. Just make sure you use proper hangers. The best hangers for keeping your suit in shape are wooden ones. Get ones where the ends of the hangers come to the ends of your suit’s shoulders.
Watch out for moths – Keep your suit clean and use cedar hangers or closets to keep moths away. Failing to do so may lead to moth larvae chewing holes in your suit.
While You’re Here
Shirt Care – Wash and iron your shirts yourself or get them cleaned and pressed. Never use starch on your shirts. Starch will quickly degrade your shirts and according to some sources, may even be bad for your health.
Ties and Belts – Ties and belts should always be hung up. This helps them keep their shape and allows them to air out. You can buy inexpensive tie racks that fit in your closet like a hanger.
I own two hanging tie racks. One goes on one side of the closet while the other goes on the opposite side. One starts off full and the other empty. Each time I come home wearing a tie I put it on the opposite side I took it from. Once I’ve used every tie on one side, I start over again.
What can I say, I’m forgetful and this helps me avoid accidentally wearing the same tie over and over again each week.
Shoe Care – Your shoes should never be worn two days in a row. Shoes need to breathe and dry out even more than a suit does. Rotate at least two pairs of shoes and make sure you keep them shined.