When we think about all the expenses that go into buying men’s suits, we normally consider two things – the initial purchase and alterations. What is often ignored, though, is the cost of caring for one. You can keep your expenses minimal by making sure that your suits are well cared for using the right techniques and materials.
Here are 7 actionable, concrete steps to guide you:
1. Clean Your Suit at Home
While an occasional suit dry cleaning remains to the best option after trotting out your suit for several days at work or a few evenings in town, you can help prolong the lifespan of your garment by cleaning it at home.
Dry cleaning is most recommended when there are hard remove stains and other major emergencies. The rest of the time, man up and learn how to clean a suit at home.
You have to invest in a good suit brush. It looks much like a hairbrush, with a wooden or plastic body and handle. Its bristles are either real animal hair or synthetic material. Natural animal hair is the best because they are soft.
Brushing your suit after every use is the best way to ensure that it stays in a tip-top shape. The fabric of men’s suits often lose their integrity over time as dirt and unseen particles build up. Brush your suit from the shoulders down. Do it gently and slowly, and never perpendicular to the fibers. Use a lint roller if necessary to keep it looking spiffy.
2. Put Down the Iron and Use A Steamer
Many people do this often and yet wonder why their suits did not last long. Avoid using regular dry iron to press your suit because it can damage the fabric and add an unwanted sheen to your garment.
If it needs pressing, use a steam iron and use a press cloth as a barrier for additional protection. Better still, get a garment steamer. While this is a little more expensive, it is the best way to de-wrinkle and deodorize your suit.
3. Hang Your Suits Properly Using Quality Hangers
You may have a substantial amount of hangers at home, but do you have the right size? Getting the right size will secure the shoulders, and allow the suit to drape perfectly while hanging, keeping a good shape.
High-quality suit hangers are not only wide, but they are also thick. Using thin and sharp hangers can cause “nipples” from where the ends protrude.
4. Create Ample Closet Space and Use Garment Bags
Suit jackets now need more storage because of the larger coat hangers we just talked about. It is important to provide ample space for your suit so that they can drape perfectly during storage. If one is packed too closely with other garments, it can wrinkle. Also, air will not be able to circulate, and too much humidity can damage the fibers.
It is also highly recommended to store suits in breathable garment bags to protect from dust and moths.
5. Invest in Cedar Blocks
A moth can lay more than 100 eggs and these critters can easily feast on your suits. Use cedar to help control their growth. Cedar has three main benefits:
- It acts as a natural moth repellent
- It absorbs any residual moisture
- It imparts a pleasant scent to fabrics
Cedar blocks may lose their scent after a while though. You may add a few drops of cedar essential oil to renew them. Be careful not to sprinkle it on your suit as high concentrations may damage the textile fibers.
6. Pack It Well When Travelling
A garment bag is a must if you are a serious traveler with a suit. Be sure to get one that is breathable, light, and easy to carry. If you do not have a garment bag yet, learn how to properly fold and pack a suit in a way that minimized wrinkles.
7. Give Your Suit A Break, Sometimes
Similar to the importance of resting your muscles after a serious workout, it is also important to rotate your suits. Try avoiding wearing the same piece multiple days in a row. After wearing a suit all day, it will pick up dirt and moisture from the environment and your body. While you can easily remove dust by brushing, the moisture has to leave naturally or with the help of a cedar block.
Let the fibers relax after use by hanging for at least 24 hours. If it is made from heavier fabrics, rest it for 48 hours.
Whether you are wearing an off-the-rack or a custom-made suit, you have to care for it properly. If you need help cleaning and maintaining men’s suits, call our Durango or Farmington branches at (970) 903-1642 or (505) 564-3333, respectively.