10 smart tips for maintaining your suits to maximise its wear
by Clare Sheng
People often ask me, why do my suits get worn out after only a couple of months, are they just not made like they are used to? I believe the answer often just comes down to simply maintenance. Your suit is very hard working. After a long day at work, it has probably absorbed dust, sweat, heat, food and even skin. Therefore your suit deserves a bit of TLC. Here are some tips and tricks we have collected over the years, to help you maximise the life of your suit.
1. Airing it out
At the end of each day, hang your suit on a butler stand or an appropriately shaped coat hanger. Keep your suit hung out in a well ventilated part of the house overnight, such as the hall way or near a window, but out of sunlight. Gives the suit time to dry out, and the natural fibres will get a chance to go back into shape, looking good as new. Rotate your suits so you are not wearing the same suit two days in a row, and no more than twice a week.
2. Dry clean
Remember, your wool suits should only be dry cleaned by a professional. It’s incredible that we often see clients bring in their ragged, shrunken trousers after they have thrown it in the wash, asking if we can fixing it. Dry Cleaning usually requires harsh chemicals, which can dry out the natural fibres over time. It is advisable to have a suit dry cleaned every 3-6 months, depending on how often you wear it. Any food stains should be acted on immediately, by dabbing with a damp cloth. If you want the suit refreshed to wear to a big meeting or event, simply bring it in to The Fitting Room for a steam press.
3. Get 2 pairs
If you are like most guys, who need to wear a suit every day, chances are you wear your trousers days on in a row. This mean the trousers always get worn out much faster than the jacket. Then you are left with a suit jacket and good luck trying to find matching pants again in the shops. The most simple solution, is to buy TWO pairs of pants when you are purchasing the suit. Most suit retailers should be able to offer this service, especially if you ask nicely.
4. Put in a saddle
A saddle is a triangular piece of fabric that sits in the crotch section of the trousers, usually made from cotton, silk or polyester. The saddle helps to reduce rubbing between the legs and the fabric, it can also help to absorb moisture, heat and increase slippage. It is a common problem for trousers to be worn out in the crotch, especially since Brisbane men prefers to buy suits in a thinner fabric to cope with our hot weather. While it is not a fool proof method, installing a silk/poly saddle will help the trousers to wear down more slowly in the crotch area.
5. Get the right tools
Just like you brush your teeth at night, invest in a good soft bristle brush and give your jacket and pants a good brush down every night. This will remove lint, dust, hair, food crumbs and anything else that may have fallen on it during the day. Coupled with a good airing each night, you may not need to dry clean your suit for 6 months at a time.
6. Mend straight away
As soon as there is a popped seam, a small fray or a moth hole, get it mended straight away. While the holes are small, they can usually be mended almost invisibly, and re-enforcement can be put in to prevent it from getting worse. If you leave it too late, the hole will become too big, making the mending very visible, sometimes even not possible. Don’t let a small silverfish ruin your thousand dollar suit. So after each wear, check your suit over for small damages, and bring it to The Fitting Room immediately for repairs.
Mould, mildew, silverfish, moths, these are just some of the culprits that will silently destroy your suits if not properly stored. After airing out your suit, checking it is completely dry, store it in a breathable garment bag, in a non-woven or cotton fabric, NOT plastic. The coat should sit on a proper hanger so the shoulders do not change shape over time. Also, invest in some cedar wood balls for natural critter deterrence. If you already have a silverfish or moth problem, then go for the heavy weights such as naphtha and camphor.
8. Don’t use the pockets
I know it sounds silly, why have pockets if you are not going to use it? Well just remember, constantly taking things in and out of your pocket, as well as storing large, sharp edged objects such as phones and keys, will dramatically decrease the life of your suit. The pockets will get worn out, and the edges around the pockets are frayed. Opt for slim line accessories that fits nicely into your pocket, or invest in a good quality man bag.
9. Get the right size
There is nothing more damaging to the suit than wearing the wrong size. As soon as you lift your arm to wave at someone, bend down to pick up something under your desk, or take a big step out of your car, something is likely to split. While the slim fit suits might be popular right now, but is it worth it to have to buy a new suit all the time? Our suggestion is don’t be a slave to fashion, everyone is different. Choose a suit that fits your comfortably, then have key areas tapered to complement your body, such as taper the legs or taper the sleeves.
10. Be gentle
You have invested hundreds, if not thousands of dollars into your suit, look after it. Take your jacket off, when you need to do some lifting. Take care when get in and out of cars. A good trick is to keep your legs together as much as possible when getting out of cars, and try to sit into a car, rather than step into it and risk ripping your crotch seam. Don’t keep your hands in your pants pocket if possible, and make sure your belt is the right width so it doesn’t damage the belt loops.
We understand you want to look good and feel good in your suits every day. That’s why we offer a range of mending, steaming, maintenance and dry cleaning services to help make your suit last as long as possible. Contact us if you would like more information about suit maintenance. Did you know we also pick up and deliver to major CBD buildings, such as 111 Eagle, and 480 Queen? Contact us to find out more.