David's Tips: Basic Suit Care
A lot of people assume that paying for a quality suit means that they are promised longevity. This assumption makes as much sense as not changing the oil in your new Rolls-Royce. Just because your suits can last, does not mean that they always will. Taking a few seconds to properly maintain your clothing at the end of each wear can mean the difference between a suit lasting one year or one decade. Absorb these tips as gospel, and you will reinforce the durability of your suit.
Hang It Up To Dry -At the end of the night, you should never toss your clothes on a chair or your dresser (or worse, the floor), but you also don’t want to put them back in a bag or in your closet right away. We sweat in all weather, and a certain amount of humidity exists almost year round. Leaving your suit out for a day after you wear it ensures that the fabric completely dries out before being stored. We are talking about an invisible amount of moisture, so do this regardless of visible sweat.
Defy Gravity - Gravity is not a suit’s best friend. Because of a suit’s intricate structure, the differences in weight between the lining and the shell of a suit causes jackets to sometimes warp if they are not properly hung. If you toss your suit jacket, not only will it wrinkle, but it can change shape. Wait a night after airing out your suit, and then hang it suits on a wide hanger. NO WIRE HANGERS!
Abstain From Stains – Dry cleaning is typically your only and best option for cleaning your suits. People will be quick to prescribe club soda, baby powder, white wine for red wine stains, and so on. With decades upon decades of experience working with every fabric imaginable, we can say with confidence, do not touch your stain. Don’t wipe it, don’t scrub it, don’t do anything. Scrubbing or putting a liquid such as club soda on your stain actually sets it deeper into the fibers of the fabric. You are essentially pressing the stain in, or spreading it around the fabric. All that you need to do is take note of exactly what the stain is – is it chicken soup or is it pesto? Why is this important? Different cleaning agents can be used for different stains. Lastly, take the stained garment to the dry cleaners as soon as possible. The more set the stain, the more effort that they need to put into removing it, which can damage the clothing in the process.
Your Suit Doesn’t Need Yoga -Tailored clothing is intended to take the form of the shape of your body. With that said, when tailored clothing is manipulated or pulled, it tends to stretch. We often place stress on our clothes without even knowing it. When we sit, we have the natural habit of pulling out pants up so that the waist does not sit low and snag our bodies – it also gives you an inch or two to eat a bit more. If you wear your pants low and sit, not only can you pop a button, but you can also warp your pants if there is tension on your waist or around your knees. When you sit, you also want to make sure that you take off your jacket if possible, or at least unbutton it before sitting. Your posture changes when you sit and the area around your buttons tends to become a bit tight, causing the whole jacket to stretch.
Rubbing Your Suit the Wrong Way - “Watch your elbows” is not just a rule for your dinner table. If you are wearing wool or any other fibrous material, you want to be careful of where you place your elbows. If you are wearing your jacket and have your arm placed on an armrest habitually, you can rub down the elbows of your suit. It may not be visible to you, but anyone standing behind you can see two circles around your elbows.
All of these tips take all but a few seconds to execute, but have benefits that can last years. Be sure to keep checking our Journal to read our tips for maintaining your suits in different situations and seasons.