Caring For Your Suit
In an earlier post, we discussed how to best talk to your dry cleaner. As that post noted, dry cleaning should be used very sparingly. What matters much more is how you care for your suit at home. Following the simple maxims below will extend the lifetime of your suit—and save you many trips to the cleaners.
Give it a brush. Use a soft bristle garment brush to gently remove dirt, dust and food particles after every wear. Start at the shoulders and slowly and softly brush downward, taking care to ensure that the brush is parallel—not perpendicular—to the jacket. Not only does this method keep the jacket clean, but brushing away food particles will also make it less likely to draw moths.
Hang properly. In order to preserve the drape of a suit jacket, you’ll want to hang it from a substantial wooden hanger or a plastic hanger with rounded edges. In the closet, leave an inch between each jacket to prevent its lapels from being crushed and wrinkled.
Rotate Your Suits. Your suit is like an athlete: it may be high performing, but it still needs to rest between sets. Avoid wearing a suit two days in a row: a break of 24 hours or longer gives the garment the time it needs to eliminate any bodily moistures or odors it may have acquired during wear.
Air it out. After it’s been worn, don’t just return your suit to the closet. Let it hang in the open for a full day so that any perspiration the garment has picked up can be properly aired out. Following this rule is particularly important in the summer time—or all-year round, if you live in a warm climate. To better eliminate odors, let it hang outside in the fresh air. Just make sure that it won’t be exposed to prolonged, direct sunlight or rain.
Full steam ahead. Pressing a wool suit with a hot iron can damage its fibers and leave it looking shiny. Instead, take advantage of the most effective piece of de-wrinkling technology in your home: the shower. Simply hang up your jacket from the shower curtain rod (while keeping it out of the splash zone). The steam generated from your shower can cause even the most robust of wrinkles to fall flat.