Article: Suit Longevity: Essential Care and Maintenance Tips
Suit Longevity: Essential Care and Maintenance Tips
Suits don’t just serve up professionalism but are also garments you can count on repeatedly. High-quality suits are versatile clothing for functions, work, and dates.
With suits, you can experiment with swapping accessories such as shoes, shirts, pocket squares, and ties, showcasing a new style at different events. They’re a staple piece of clothing you can count on repeatedly.
But, whether you’re investing in your first suit, a seasonal or luxurious piece, you need to know how to look after it. How you care for, clean, and maintain it can be crucial to its lifespan. Discover the hidden tricks of the suit trade with us today, preserving your pieces for as long as possible.
6 Basic Suit Care Tips to Prolong Lifespan
Before delving into professional tips and tricks for suitcases, let's begin with the basics. The following tips are what you SHOULD be doing.
1. Use the RIGHT coat hangers
Do you have a lot of coat hangers collected in your closet? Perhaps you're like many people having a variety amassed from several shopping trips. You might have even flung suits onto whatever has been lingering just for storage purposes.
If you do, STOP RIGHT NOW.
Proper suit maintenance starts with using the correct-sized coat hangers. You must do this to help protect the shoulders of your suit and preserve the shape of your jacket when it hangs.
Whenever possible, use thick and wide hangers to maintain the shape. Avoid thin and sharper hangers that are used for t-shirts or polos. These dig into your tailored shoulders, increasing the chance of stretching in the wrong places, and can quickly deform your suit.
IMPORTANT: Always hang the suit properly; let the hanger lie across the shoulder seam. Fold trousers vertically and lay them over the bar, ensuring no creases or wrinkles.
2. Store them correctly
As suit jackets require larger coat hangers, they can easily cause your closet to become clustered. Don't just hang them in amongst your other garments; you'll need to protect the storage space around your suits. You must do this to ensure they drape correctly.
Otherwise, if packed too closely, they'll wrinkle and won't have sufficient air, causing humidity buildup and resulting in fiber damage. Store them in a breathable garment bag to ensure they're stored correctly with enough space. These bags are great protectors from moths, dust, and moisture, still allowing air to circulate.
3. Use cedar blocks
Depending on the fabric composition of your suit, there's one bug you'll want to stay away from — moths. Moths can easily eat away and destroy natural fibers like cashmere, wool, and silk. Trust us, with them laying up to 100 eggs at a time, they're a bug you'll want to avoid at all costs.
One effective moth prevention method is by using cedar blocks. This natural repellent easily helps absorb moisture, adds a refreshing scent, and can be hung onto a hanger.
Note: Cedar blocks can sometimes lose their odor; if this happens, just add a few drops of essential oil to the block.
4. Rotate suits
If you have multiple suits, try to avoid wearing the same suit regularly. You'll want to give adequate time to stop excessive wear and tear, keeping the structure of the fabric intact.
5. Don't overload pockets
Whenever possible, refrain from adding too many items to your suit pockets. Adding too many items can quickly add weight to the pockets, distorting the jacket's shape. Therefore, try not to store many items there or, if possible, none.
6. Use a suit brush
Buy a soft-bristled suit brush (natural animal hair or lint roller) and brush your suit downwards from the shoulders to the outer surface. Doing this occasionally will help remove dust, pet, and pollen particles, preventing them from clinging to your fabric and degrading the fibers.
Top Tip: Brush your suit in a similar way to how you would shave, using a long downward stroke.
How To Properly Clean and Store Suits
Cleaning and storing your suits correctly at home or on the go can quickly extend their lifespan. Here are some simple-to-follow tips you might want to do:
Refrain from frequent washing
If you’re a clean freak, refrain from frequently washing your suits. These delicate garments can easily deteriorate in quality and composition with frequent machine washes or dry cleaning.
Only wash your clothes whenever possible when you genuinely find the need or necessity to do so.
Pro Tip: To know if a machine can wash it, gently dab a small area with water and rub it against a cotton swab. If the dye does not transfer, you can do it at home.
Gently wash your suit
If your suit is suitable for machine washing, turn it inside out and place it in a mesh laundry bag. These bags help shield your suit fibers from dirt and potential wear and tear.
Alongside using a laundry bag, wash your suit on a cold and gentle spin cycle to ensure it’s cleansed thoroughly yet placed under less stress.
Are you conscious about using a washing machine? If so, you might want to select a hands-on approach. To do this:
- Place your suit in a bowl of cold water and add a mild detergent.
- Slowly move it in and out to remove marks or impurities
- Meticulously rinse it using cold water
- Make sure all residue is removed
- Lay your suit to naturally dry
If you stain your suit, you’ll want to clean it as quickly as possible, but avoid washing it thoroughly. To spot clean, do the following:
- Add a suitable detergent recommended by your suit manufacturer to lukewarm water.
- Blot the area with a soft sponge to remove moisture.
- Repeat this process with clean water to help lift the stain
- Leave it to air dry.
Note: Never scrub the fibers — this can easily damage your suit. You’ll always want to gently pat your suit to lift the stain and keep it clear.
Wine stains can be a scary situation if you’ve damaged your suit. But fear not; there is a way around cleaning them! Simply do the following:
- Get a clean cloth or paper towel and blot the stain gently
- Don’t rub the stain
- Then, gently apply a small amount of dish soap to the area
- Work the fabric using a cloth or soft brush
- Rinse it with warm water, removing the traces of soap
- Leave to air dry, but keep away from heat and sunlight
For ink stains, undergo these steps:
- Put a clean cloth or paper towel underneath the ink stain
- Use a damp cotton ball or clean cloth, rub alcohol onto it
- Gently dab the stain from the outer edges in
- Don’t add too much alcohol, as this could cause the ink to spread
- Repeat this process until all the ink has been transferred
- Then rinse the stain with warm water and leave to air dry
If you have an oil stain, undergo the following:
- Blot the stain with a clean cloth or towel
- Sprinkle baking soda, cornstarch, or talcum powder onto the stain
- Let it sit for at least 30 minutes
- Next, gently brush off the powder
- If the stain is there, apply a small amount heavy duty laundry detergent
- Use a soft brush and gently work at it
- Then rinse the stain with warm water and leave to air dry
Dealing with Wrinkles and Minor Repairs
Wrinkles and creases can severely impact your appearance and diminish perceptions of your professionalism. You’ll want to avoid any wrinkles or creases whenever possible, ensuring your suit looks crisp and clean. To help this, try doing the following:
Use socks or tissue paper
A straightforward way to reduce the amount of creases appearing on your sleeves is by stuffing them with clean socks or tissue paper. These are lightweight enough to help maintain the natural shape without compromising the structure.
Patch minor holes
If you notice small holes that arise in the fabric, you can always save the trip to the tailors by using an iron fabric patch inside your suit. Just make sure the patch is not visible from the outside.
Keep spare buttons
Always safely store the spare buttons that come with your suit. If one falls off, finding similar buttons that match your garment could be difficult. Also, if you can, sew back on your button as soon as it falls off.
When to Seek Professional Suit Care
Most of the time, suit cleaning and maintenance can be done from the comfort of your home. However, if you’ve got a tuxedo, vintage suit, or suits made from delicate fabrics like linen, cashmere, cotton, or wool, we recommend you seek a professional.
In addition to this, we recommend professional cleaning if your suit needs the following:
- Frequent stains that are unable to be removed
- Tears to the fabric
- If your suit needs to be resized or reshaped (due to a change to your body)
- Damaged to your suit lining
- If your suit has beading, intricate patterns or embroidery
Overall, storing and cleaning your suits properly at home is essential to preserving their lifespan. Remember not to opt for basic or thin hangers; use thick coat hangers to compliment their structure.
Always store them in breathable garment bags to keep their fibers intact, encourage circulation yet, and prevent the attack of moths. Rotate your suits whenever you can, and avoid washing them frequently to keep them intact.
If you really struggle to clean your suit, you can seek out the help of a professional.Want to save the cleaning and look for a brand new suit? Check out our collection.