Protect Your Investment
When you invest in your wardrobe, getting great value in a suit is only the first step. Here are some tips for protecting that investment and making sure those suits look great for as long as you want to wear them.
Keep it clean, but be careful how you do it
- Never launder a suit--suits are constructed of many different fabrics put together in very specific ways. Many of the fibers that suits are made of, such as wool and rayon, are weakened by getting wet, and some shrink while others do not, which causes the suit to pucker.
- Dry clean only, but not every time you wear it. Dry cleaning is the only safe way to clean a suit, but it can damage a suit too, over time. Unless you manage to soil the suit while you are wearing it, save the dry cleaning until you've worn the suit 5 to 10 times. Summer suits of cotton or linen may need slightly more frequent cleaning due to perspiration.
- Steam out wrinkles. Never iron a suit--you may end up with a shiny surface. Dry cleaners offer steam-pressing, or you can purchase an inexpensive steam press or even use the steam setting on your iron as necessary. Hanging the suit in the bathroom while you shower is a good way to loosen up wrinkles without a lot of trouble.
Maintain your suit between wearings
- Give your suit a rest. You aren't the only one who needs a break after a long day at work. Suits can absorb up to a pint of water in one day of wearing. Letting a suit rest and dry out for a day or two will prolong its life. No one makes a good impression wearing the same suit day after day, anyway.
- Give it the brush off. Brush your suits after each wearing with a soft-bristled clothing brush to remove smog particulates and dust that cause soil and premature wear.
- Hang it up. It can be tempting to leave your suit in a crumpled mess on the floor after a long day, but hanging it up immediately keeps wrinkles, dirt and wear to a minimum. Make sure you empty all your pockets so they don't get baggy, fasten all buttons and zip up your trousers. Hang your trousers straight by the legs or the waist, and make sure there is plenty of room in your closet so your suit can breathe.
Store it properly
- Store out of season suits and formal wear in a garment bag after cleaning. Otherwise, you may have an unpleasant dusty surprise when you get them out to wear.
Properly caring for and maintaining your wardrobe is a smart way to extend the investment of time and money that you make in your appearance.