So you’ve purchased your newly minted H+Co suit, made the sartorial investment and it’s hanging proudly in your wardrobe. You’re excited to wear it, but have you given a thought to the aftercare?
If you wear a suit for work, you’re certainly going to put your new baby though its paces. Sitting, striding, running and dancing could be all in a day’s work for you – and your new ensemble will be keeping pace with you like a faithful friend.
The good news is that a fine-quality suit like yours can last a long time if you treat it right – like any good relationship, the more time and effort you put into it, the longer it will last.
Here are our top tips for suit aftercare excellence…
KEEPING IT CLEAN
We recommend dry cleaning only if absolutely necessary, however, If you happen to spill something on your suit, don’t let it soak in further. Make sure you spot clean or take it to the dry cleaners right away.
Don’t be tempted to dry clean your suits too often. Excessive dry cleaning will expose your suit to harsh chemicals that will eventually take its toll on the fabric. The recommended amount varies but we find around twice a year is about right.
Do some research and find an excellent cleaner you can establish your own relationship with. Be sure to check their reputation beforehand and if you can find a gem by word of mouth that’s even better!
When taking your suit to the cleaners, always take the jacket and the trousers together. It can be tempting to just dry clean the trousers, or with a two trouser suit, just clean the pair you wear the most, but if you continue to clean just the trousers, or just one pair you will notice a colour variation over time.
This should really go without saying, but just to be sure, please NEVER wash any element of your suit, by hand or otherwise. This is the ultimate aftercare no-no! IT WILL SHRINK and it will wrinkle – permanently.
If in doubt, always read the care label, or give us a call for aftercare advice.
Avoid ironing any part of your suit – direct contact from an iron will damage the fibres and produce shiny patches. A shiny suit is never a good look – unless it’s a particular fashion statement that happens to be on trend!
Purchasing a steamer will prove a worthwhile investment. As well as liberating your suit from wrinkles, steaming has the additional benefit of rejuvenating the fibres of your suit fabric and deodorising too.
Avoid steaming the chest area of the jacket though, as this can affect the internal canvass and pull your jacket out of shape.
Invest in a trouser press to gently remove wrinkles and maintain sharp creases.
Aftercare Top Tip: hang your whole suit in the bathroom when taking a shower. The steam de-wrinkle and freshen it up it for free.
INVEST IN A FEW SUITS
This is the kind of relationship, where it’s ok to have a few partners.
We might be biased, of course, but we recommend you invest in a few suits so that you can alternate them throughout the week and month. Not only will you clean up in the style stakes, but this will help your suits last significantly longer.
Wearing a suit everyday will show wear more quickly and although we love having you at H+Co, we would like for you to get as much wear out of your suit as possible.
Suit fibres actually need recovery time after each wear, so hanging your suit for a couple of days between wears helps it to return to its original drape and allows moisture to exit.
Just like you, your trusty suit need a little time out of the spotlight before its ready to take on the world once again.
We also generally recommend taking an extra pair of trousers for each suit. Trousers suffer the most wear and tear and will make your jacket redundant long before it has run out of steam.
Aftercare Top Tip: Use a permanent clothing label pen to write a ‘number 1’ and ‘number 2’ in the label of your two pairs of trousers and alternate between the two to spread the wear evenly.
LOOK AFTER YOUR SUIT EVERY DAY
There are lots of simple ways you can look after your suit without spending a lot of money.
Investing in a good quality coat hanger will mean that the most important part of the jacket, the shoulders, keep their shape which is especially important if you have a made to measure suit. Natural wooden hangers are best as they help to absorb any excess moisture.
It’s also a good idea to hang your suit in a breathable space. A packed wardrobe isn’t healthy for any of your clothes so de-clutter your wardrobe and give them their space.
Gently brushing your suit while hanging (with soft and slow vertical strokes) will also help to prolong the life of the fabric and remove dust and dirt, which would otherwise cause damage to the fibres. You can also use a lint roller on occasion. A good brush should only cost around $30 and brushing after each wear will significantly extend the life of your suit.
Always remove any items from your pockets before you hang up your suit, which will begin to distort the shape. In fact, it’s a good idea to avoid placing anything at all bulky in your pockets such as heavy wallets or keys.
Get yourself a stylish man-bag or document wallet to carry your essentials around instead.
If you travel with your suit for work or play, always use a garment bag. As well as protecting your suit on your travels a bag will protect it from anything lurking in the hotel wardrobe.
You may have a swanky corner office flooded with natural light, but try to avoid leaving your jacket hanging in direct sunlight as it will fade over time and lose its richness of colour.
Lift your trousers at the knee when sitting to avoid distortion of delicate fabrics.
If you have any suits that are specifically seasonal, make sure you have them dry cleaned before storing them in a garment bag for the season to avoid attracting moths or mould.
A cloth bag is best for storing to allow your suit to breathe. And make sure you hang your suit without cover for a couple of days before placing into your bag storage.
It’s also a good idea to add anti-moth strips to your wardrobe.
Aftercare Top Tip: it might be tempting in winter but never wear your jacket while driving. It will crumple and ruin your streamlined look.
If you need some expert advice, just call us any time or drop in for a drink and a chat. We’re always happy to see our lovely customers and help with any queries.