I've heard many people have a debate over how many times you should dry clean your suit. Some say very little, some say a lot, which is correct?
This article is all about how to take the correct care of your most cherished sartorial investments. Taking proper care of your suit isn't the most taxing and isn't too expensive, and done right can make your suit last for many, many years.
Firstly lets deal with the issue of dry cleaning.
I've often overheard city gents boast of how often they dry clean their suits. Some people do seem to take great pleasure in how regularly they take their garments to be cleaned but this isnt the best option. When it comes to dry cleaning less is more.
I've got a navy blue dugdale 12oz suit that has yet to be dry cleaned and its 6 months old. Only dry clean your suits when you have to. About twice a year is plenty.
The reason for this is that the chemicals used in dry cleaning can destroy the fibres of the suit and diminish its lifespan. Not a good thing.
If and when you absolutely have to dry clean your suit be sure to do the jacket and trousers at the same time. This way any slight changes in shade are kept uniform across your garment.
If your suit is looking a tad tired but not yet dirty enough to dry clean just ask for a sponge and press. This is where the suit has any marks sponged out and is then pressed back into life with an iron. It can make even the most tired of suits spring back to life.
Regular brushing of your suit is the best way to keep stains and marks at bay. Many people I have told this to have been very surprised so if this is your reaction then its totally normal. Have you ever seen a sheep be dry cleaned? I haven't...at least not yet, Yes, brushing is the way to go. After taking your suit off for the day lightly brush it all over with a decent quality clothes brush and then pop it on a good quality hanger to rest. Something with good shoulder support is the way to go. All Colmore Tailors suits come with a perfectly structured hanger for this exact purpose.
And a decent quality brush hardly costs anything. The one above is the one we personally use and it costs under £3 with free delviery. Bargain. We've even put the link below in case you want to buy one, how nice are we!
The natural enemy of the wool suit is the pesky little moth. These hungry little things love a good munch on your favourite jacket, but keeping them at bay isn't too hard. Simply invest in some cedar rings and pop them over the metal part of your hanger. The aroma drives away the moth and will also make your suits smell fresher. And again they are cheap, in fact we found the below ones for less than £2 delivered. Bargain.
And heres the link to buy them.
Now even sitting down can cause the fibres of your favourite suit to dry out over time. The friction drys out the natural moisture to cause the dreaded shine. To combat this press your trousers roughly every 2-3 wears.
Never ever press an iron directly onto the cloth though as the heat will dry out the fibres. Instead get a damp cotton pressing cloth (a cotton handkerchief willl do) and place this inbetween the iron and the garment. The steam from this will remove any creases and keep moisture in the threads. Also have your iron on steam setting too. When finished hang upside down by the bottoms and let the weight of the waistband keep them crisp.
When it comes to the jacket hang it up and most of the creases will drop out. Any stubborn creases can be removed by shooting steam from the iron through the cloth. If time is an issue you could always hang it up in the bathroom whilst having a shower as the steam from the water will do exactly the same thing. It's great trick for the travelling businessman!
We like ironing here at Colmore Tailors. Not sure why but we find it therapeutic. However if you are one of the 99.9% of men who doesn't like ironing then our last point will make you happy.....
Wool is a natural fibre and as such needs a little time to rest and regain its shape after each wear. This is where rotation comes into play.
Try not to wear your suit 2 consecutive days. In fact try to leave at least 3 days in-between wears and if possible a full week's rest is best. Who wouldn't love a different suit for every day of the week! If you are able to wear your suit once a week this would mean giving it a press once a fortnight, or once every 3 weeks. That's not too hard. And if you don't have the time there are many great ironing services that will pick up and drop off at home or at work.
Wearing your suit day after day without resting or pressing is the quickest way to wear it out and shine it. Treat your suit with the care it deserves.
To sum it up here's a quick bullet list to work by:
# Dry clean sparingly - twice a year is usually plenty.
# Sponge and press is usually enough.
# Invest in a good clothes brush after each wear.
# Hang on a decent hanger.
# Invest in some good quality cedar balls.
# Steam iron and use a damn pressing cloth.
# Rotate your suits - once a week is best ;-)
# Now put your feet up and know you'll always look your best!
We sincerely hope you find the above useful and hope you enjoy your suits for years to come!
Scott & The Colmore Tailors Team
If you have any questions about garment care please do get in touch.
t - 07847 483 867
e - firstname.lastname@example.org
Colmore Tailors is Birminghams first and only out of hours tailoring service. Covering Birmingham, Lichfield and the surrounding areas.