Caring for men’s suits doesn’t have to be a tedious undertaking. In fact, traditional suiting fibers, like wool, mohair, and cashmere, are natural yarns that are excellent at looking after themselves—with a little helping hand, of course. To make it easier, we've put together some pro tips on how to take care of a suit and help keep your favorite pieces looking newer, longer.
Let It Breathe
By its very nature, wool is semi-self-cleaning anyway; the keratin in the fabric helps to break down grime and sweat. It is important to keep your suits out and let them breathe. Keeping air flowing through the fabric will not only keep suits dry and naturally remove any sweat, but exposing it to air will prevent bacterial growth that leads to odor. Leave your suit out to breathe for a few hours, maybe even a day or two, after being worn—this will allow the fibers to dry, rest and regain their shape.
Regular travelers without a steamer, or those who’s short on time in the mornings, can kill two birds with one stone by hanging your suit in the bathroom when you shower. The hot water's gentle steam will help smooth out any light creases, giving you a crisp, fresh suit look.
Keep them rotating
Just like you, your suit needs time to rest and recover. After each use, you need to hang them and let them rest in between. Allow your suit to rest for 24-48 hours before wearing it again – this will reduce your need to visit the dry cleaner.
Use a Suit Brush
A genuine boar hair clothing brush is your best bet when it comes to gently keeping your fabric free of unwanted particulates. The boar bristles are soft enough that they will not damage clothing, but stiff enough to remove lint and dust. Brushing your suit with a high-quality brush can significantly extend the lifespan of your attire and restore the fabric’s natural fibers and luster.
To protect the fine fabric of your suit in the vast majority of cases, a suit should never be ironed – unless the care label specifically advises it’s OK. Instead, invest in a good steamer to smooth out any wrinkles and creases between wears – as a bonus, you’ll find it’ll also deodorise and lightly clean your suit at the same time. Simply steaming to it will go a long way in not only keeping it crease-free, but also removing odor-causing bacteria.
Spot cleaning — Use a clean undyed cloth and spritz of stain remover or mild detergent.
Spot Cleaning over Dry Cleaning
Cleaning your suit after every single wear is unnecessary and will cause the fabric to wear out more quickly. Every minor stain, speck or splotch doesn’t have to mean a trip to the dry cleaner—and for any first-time men’s suit owners out there, it NEVER means a washing machine! Instead, do a spot treatment with a clean, slightly damp undyed cloth and a spritz of stain remover or mild detergent. Never scrub, as this can damage the fibers, but dab softly on the stain and let the stain lift and clear naturally. We always advise testing your cleaner on a hidden spot of the suit to ensure that it will not damage or stain the fabric. If you think the stain might spread or spot cleaning might damage the color or fabric, then leave it to a pro.
When you do have to hit the cleaners, always wash your jacket and pants together to maintain a uniform color and texture over the long run. And, if possible, try to limit dry-cleaning your suit to no more than three times per year.
Choose a garment bag — store it upright in a breathable garment bag. Avoid plastic bags—reeding ground for mold and mildew.
Hang it Right
Never—and we mean never—hang your jackets up on a rickety little plastic hanger. As small a detail as this seems, it can make a huge difference in preserving the shape and quality of your suit. We recommend a broad wooden hanger, ideally cedar.
A thick hanger keep the shoulders’ natural form intact, while cedar’s strength, moisture absorbency and natural insect-repelling properties will keep the dampness and moths at bay for years to come.
Always hang the trousers from the hem on a felt clamp hanger as it will allow wrinkles to smooth out without adding new ones.