This article will provide readers with practical tips and tricks on how to effectively care for and maintain their suits to prolong their lifespan and keep them in excellent condition.
With proper care and attention, anyone can maintain the quality and appearance of their suits, ensuring they look their best and last for years to come.
Figuring out how to take care of a suit means knowing what needs to be done on a daily basis and what needs to be done on a less rigid but regular basis. By learning how to maintain a suit, you can preserve its quality and appearance.
How can fabric type dictate care methods?
Suits are made from different materials, such as:
Knowing the different materials for your suit is important because proper care looks a little different for one fabric compared to another. Linen, for example, is very thin and easily wrinkles, so you don't have to be as fastidious about ironing before you wear your suit, but it's also more likely to show stains, so you have to be on point when it comes to targeting any spills.
Proper care of your suit matters because it maintains the lifespan of your suit and helps keep you looking sharp and confident.
Daily care and maintenance tips
Wearing your suit the right way
Protection from external elements: Protect your suit from external elements. If, for example, you are wearing a silk or wool suit and the weather is turning, be sure to wear a coat over your suit to protect it as best you can.
Spot cleaning and damage control: Always spot-clean any issues you notice when they happen. It may not be perfect, but a spot clean can help prevent something from setting into silk or linen and keep you looking much better throughout the evening.
Deep cleaning insights
Dry cleaning is exactly what it sounds like: cleaning without any water. Dry cleaning is much safer, especially for delicate fabrics. Items get exposed to certain dry cleaning solvents in machinery very similar to a washing machine but without any water. This is great for fabrics like linen or silk.
It's also ideal if you have deep stains you need to remove because the dry cleaners can use solvents specific to the composition of that stain.
You should have your suit dry cleaned whenever there is a noticeable stain or smell, and pick someone who has experience working with suits of your quality.
Steaming vs. ironing
Steaming and ironing can be done at home. Steaming uses water, so it might work well for cotton suits or linen suits. Steaming is much more delicate when it comes to rejuvenating the Deep fibers of any suit, whereas ironing can damage the suit and even risk burning the fibers. So steaming is a much more reliable way to keep your suit wrinkle-free and clean at home.
Odors can be managed by storing your suit with scent packets, steaming the suit to help release trapped odors from the fibers, or getting it dry-cleaned.
Seasonal storage tips
Preparation for storage
Before you store your suit for the season, you should have it cleaned either professionally or by yourself. Then, you should use the right hangers, hangers that are soft but firm with an angled design to support the natural curve of the shoulders. You can find several hangers designed specifically for long-term suit storage.
Safekeeping during off-seasons
When your suit is not in use, you still need to know how to take care of suits for long-term storage. That includes keeping your suit safe in different climates.
If you live in a hot or humid area, you need to prevent mold in your suits: avoid plastic covers as they will trap moisture and cause mold. Store your suit in a breathable cover in a dark and cool closet with little or no light.
Avoid vacuum-sealed bags. They might seem like a great way to prevent dust or vermin, but a suit has a specific structure, unlike blankets or sheets. When you use vacuum-sealed bags, you press against the suit and compromise that structure. What’s worse, you can cause very noticeable creases or bends where you don’t want them.
Reviving your suit after storage
Figuring out how to maintain a suit, not just how to clean it, is important. Whether you wear your suits once a year or once every few years, you need to make sure you have them on your mind, even if not on your body.
Start by airing them out now and again. Refreshing your suit is important after storage. The last thing you should do is take a suit out of storage from its bag and then put it directly on.
Instead, let it air out and freshen it a bit with a fluff, steam, and a lint roll. Check for damage and ensure you have enough time for dry cleaning or spot cleaning before your event.
How to take care of a suit: common pitfalls and how to avoid them
Overwashing and overdry cleaning
Any and all fabric has a specific amount of wear and tear in the threads. If you over-wash or over-dry clean every chance you get, you'll diminish the lifespan.
Instead, spot clean where necessary and have it dry cleaned if you sweat profusely in the suit or get it very dirty, but otherwise, let it air out before you store it, and it should be fine.
Avoiding fabric stretching and distortion
As mentioned with vacuum-sealed bags, suits have a specific structure to them. You want to avoid stretching the fabric or otherwise distorting the suit. This means not leaving it stored up against something sharp or protruding, which might cause stretching or distortion while in long-term storage. It also means not pulling on it unnecessarily or, for example, pulling the bottom of a buttoned vest up to wipe your watch face clean.
Guarding against permanent stains
Knowing how to take care of a suit means knowing how to guard against permanent stains. At any point before or after you wear a suit, be sure to scan for stains. If you have a stain on your suit, a bit of food, or dirt, be sure to spot-clean it immediately.
If, for example, you get food on your suit at an event, step away to spot clean as best you can before the stain is allowed to set. Then, use the appropriate cleaning agent when you get home.
Learning how to take care of a suit takes time. You need to learn how to avoid common suit pitfalls like letting a stain set, how to store your suit during the seasons, and how to take care of it on a daily and annual basis.
Take care to apply the tips and tricks for taking care of their suits so that you can ensure the value of your well-maintained suit in your personal and professional life.