5 Ways to Care for and Maintain your Suit
When you spend good money on a sleek new suit, it’s only natural to want to keep it in the best possible condition. But, with so many different suit materials and styles out there, it can be difficult to know how you should be washing, ironing, and drying yours. In this article, Jack de Montaignac, Chief Commercial Officer at mobile laundry and dry-cleaning service Laundrapp, shares his top tips for caring for and maintaining your suit.
A great suit doesn’t come cheap. And, while you’re bound to take as much care possible to protect your formal outfit from splashes, spills and stains, general wear and tear over its lifetime is inevitable. Whether you wear a suit for work everyday or reserve yours for special occasions, you’ll want to make the most of your investment.
Different suit materials will require varying levels of care, so you should always check the individual care labels, but there are some steps you can take to increase the lifespan of most suits. Here, I will be sharing my top tips to ensure you are caring for and maintaining your suit properly.
Wash on a cold-water cycle
Contrary to popular belief, it’s typically fine to put your suit trousers into the washing machine unless they are made of a delicate or treated material. But, before bundling your suit jacket in straight after them, make sure you check the care label for details as these may lose their shape on harsher cycles.
Once you’re certain that your full suit can be washed at home, test-clean your suit by dabbing a small mix of water, detergent, and fabric softener on an inconspicuous area of both the lining and outer of the suit. After this, wipe a cotton earbud over the treated section and see if any of the dye comes off. If it does, you’ll need to get the suit dry cleaned.
If your suit passes the above test, I would then advise turning your suit inside out and placing it inside a mesh bag to protect it from any damage during the cycle. You should always choose the gentlest setting and slowest spin, ensuring it’s also on a cold-water cycle. Once the cycle is complete, you should always lay your suit out flat so it can retain its correct shape.
Remove creases with a steamer
All suit materials are susceptible to getting a few wrinkles every now and again, but you might want to avoid the iron. Any excess pressure or heat from traditional ironing can alter the canvas inside of your suit, especially on the chest and shoulder area where it is more structured. Plus, the temperature of your iron can also damage certain fibres, giving your sleek suit an unwanted shine.
Instead, I would recommend investing in a steamer. Not only will this knock out any creases, but it can also help to give your suit a fresher smell, too.
Brush after every wear
A suit brush is an essential to increase the lifespan of your suit. These are most commonly used for wool suits, as the fibres can attract more dirt, debris, and hair than other flatter fabric types — but they can be used to maintain a suit of many other fabrics, including tweed, too.
Brushing your suit before and after you finish wearing it shouldn’t take you longer than around a minute each time, and it will make your jacket and trousers look great. I recommend brushing the full suit in a downwards direction to ensure it looks neat and tidy. As the gentle bristles will carefully pull out any particles that have become trapped, taking the time to brush your suit can also reduce the amount of times you have to put it through the wash to get it looking clean again.
Use a wide hanger
Your suit can begin to lose its shape if it’s just tossed aside once you’ve worn it, and one cost-effective way of keeping it in great condition for longer is by buying a wide hanger with rounded edges for each suit. The shoulders on your suit need to sit properly on you to maintain a smart and sleek appearance, so picking a hanger that’s wide enough to span the whole width of your suit jacket shoulders is wise. This is because a larger hanger will be able to evenly distribute the weight, whereas a thinner one will struggle to do this.
For an extra tip, I recommend opting for a wooden hanger as these are better at drawing any moisture out of your jacket, compared to fabric or plastic ones.
Store in a garment bag
Preserving and protecting your suit from any dust, insects, or moisture is imperative to keeping it in the best condition possible. As previously mentioned, hanging it on a wide wooden hanger will help your suit maintain its shape, while storing it away in a cool, dry wardrobe will maintain the colour, as well as the material’s composition.
Once you’ve correctly hung your suit on the wooden hanger, think about protective measures. I would recommend placing it into a breathable garment bag to keep dust and debris away, so it will look and feel great for its next wear — canvas bags are great for this. Try to avoid air-tight plastic clothes covers, as these can trap in moisture, causing discolouration and leaving your suits smelling damp.
Your suit should always make you feel great but, when you fail to care for it correctly, it can quickly look worn and tired. With my top five tips, you can ensure you always feel your best in your formal jacket and trousers.