Caring for Your Suit: Maintenance and Longevity Tips
Once you’ve chosen the perfect suit for you, you’ll want to keep it in excellent condition for years to come. A suit can be worn over and over again, creating different looks for different occasions by accessorising. It’s an investment in your style and you can ensure it makes the maximum impact for longer by following our maintenance tips.
Suits that are well cared for will last much longer – and look much better – than suits that are not looked after. We’ll look at the best ways to keep your suit looking sharp and share our top tips to keep you looking and feeling great.
9 Rules for Caring for Your Suit
People often worry about how to look after a suit, and it can be reassuring to know there are only a few rules to follow here, and they’re simple:
1. Use the right coat hangers.
Do you tend to hang your clothes up on any old hanger? It’s worth taking the time to hang your suits on good quality hangers in the right size for you, as this will help to protect the shoulders and maintain the shape of the jacket. Thick hangers in the correct size for your body shape will give your suit the best support and ensure it looks good for longer.
2. Empty your pockets.
As you’re not throwing it into the washing machine when you take it off, you may be tempted not to empty the pockets of your suit on a daily basis. This is a mistake, however, since leaving items in pockets can stretch the fabric and change the shape of a garment. This is also a good reason not to store heavy items like phones and wallets in your pockets at all, as they will affect the way the suit hangs on your body and could alter the shape permanently. Check your trousers and jacket pockets when you take your suit off, only hanging the suit up when you are sure there is nothing left in any pocket.
3. Use a storage bag.
If you’re only wearing your suit on special occasions, you’ll find that it maintains its freshness much better if you keep it hanging in a suit storage bag. You will probably have received your suit in a bag like this, so simply hang this in your wardrobe to give your suit the VIP treatment it needs. Cloth bags are ideal, as they will allow your suit to breathe better than plastic options, and you’ll also find a storage bag useful anytime you need to travel with your suit.
4. Give your suit some space.
Depending on the fabric, a suit on a good-sized hanger, will take up a fair amount of space in your wardrobe. Don’t put your suit too close to other garments, leave room for air to circulate and you’ll avoid a build-up of humidity. If you hang your suit with plenty of space, you’ll maintain the shape and get much more wear from your suit.
5. Store your suit with cedar.
Cedar blocks are highly recommended to absorb any residual moisture in your wardrobes and can act as a moth-repellant, too. Cedar blocks are readily available and can be renewed by refreshing them with cedar oil if necessary. Keep the oil away from that precious suit, though, as the oil may cause damage to textiles.
6. Clean your suit correctly.
To get your suit properly cleaned, you may need to have it dry cleaned once or twice a year, but it is worth checking the washing label carefully as some mass-produced suits are machine washable. If your suit is machine washable, you can wash it yourself at home but be careful to hang it on a correctly sized hanger to dry to avoid damage to the fabric. Dry cleaning is a harsh process that uses chemicals so it is important not to do this too often. Putting your suit through this process frequently will weaken the fibres so only visit the dry cleaner when your suit really needs cleaning.
7. Brush your suit.
Brushing your suit gently each day with a horsehair brush is a great way to prevent problems from developing. A soft-bristled brush sold specifically for this purpose is the best choice for daily brushing and is a cost-effective way to maintain your suit’s condition. Simply brush for 60 seconds each day, brushing over each section of the suit in turn. The brushing process will remove any debris from the fibres of the suit, which will keep the fabric in good condition for longer. A lint roller is also a great tool for a quick spruce-up, so you can add this to your suit care kit, too.
8. Steam your suit.
A quick way to get the creases out of your suit and keep it looking fresh is to use a small hand steamer before special occasions or to revive your suit if it looks a little crumpled. However, if you’re in a hurry or don’t have a steamer, you can simply hang your suit (on the correctly sized hanger) in the bathroom while you are showering, and this will help to smooth out wrinkles as the fibres in the suit relax a little in the steam.
9. Don’t over-wear your suit.
If you wear the same suit every day, to work, for instance, it will soon wear out. Rotating your suits will ensure their longevity and allow the fabric to recover in between wears. After wearing your suit, let it hang for a day or two to air before hanging it in the wardrobe or re-wearing it.
Spot-cleaning your suit
If you have found a small spot or stain on your suit, you may be able to spot-clean it to avoid having to dry-clean the whole suit. To spot clean, you will need to use a clean cloth or towel with mild detergent. It’s best to try this out first in an area you can’t see, such as inside the suit, to make sure that the fibres won’t react with the detergent. Dab the stain gently, trying to work in the opposite direction to the fabric’s weave. Don’t use too much water here, you just want to dampen the area. When you have finished dabbing the stain, hang your suit up correctly and allow the area to air dry.
Mend your suit straight away
Even if you take great care of your suit, it’s likely that you will find a small hole in the seam or a moth hole occasionally. The trick here is to ensure it is repaired straight away so that it does not get any worse. When you take your suit off, check it all over for any areas that need some attention and find an expert to carry out any necessary repairs as soon as possible.
Make sure your suit fits
Wearing the right size suit is a really easy way to look after your suit and extend its life. A suit that doesn’t fit correctly will either wrinkle and become shapeless if it is too big or stretch and rip if it is too small. Either option is a waste of your investment in your suit, so it’s worth taking the time to ensure the fit is right. A professional tailor will take many different measurements for you and you’ll feel the difference when you wear a suit that is fitted to your body shape rather than an off-the-peg suit that is not the right size for you.
It’s also important to choose a suit that you love, rather than something that is in fashion at the moment. Having a similar suit to your friends or colleagues may appeal to you, but if you are a different size or shape, you might be better served by a different style or design. Try on as many different styles as possible and talk to the professionals about fabric choices and what works best for you, and you’ll be able to create a unique look that is flattering and comfortable all day long.
Find your new suit at Suits
Whether you’re looking to buy your first suit or want to add a new suit to your collection, we have a great range of two–, three- and four-piece suits and tuxedoes to choose from at Suits. Come and visit us at our showroom in Ballycurreen, Cork, where we have easy access and free parking for our clients. Our previous clients include many well-known sports and media stars and we are always on hand to ensure everyone feels like a VIP in store.
If you’re looking for a special occasion suit, remember that it takes time to order and deliver your suit to you, especially if you are looking for a bespoke suit. Our professional tailors will be happy to work with you to find the fabrics and styles you like, and we will always ensure that your new suit feels as good to wear as it looks.
Contact Us for your Suit Requirements