A new car. A new watch. A new home.
There are a few purchases you make in life that should be looked at as carefully calculated investments.
A suit is no different.
Perhaps the most expensive garment in your wardrobe, a suit is a stylish staple that when carefully considered and cared for can last you well.
But how exactly do you take care of a suit?
From dry cleaning to storage and endless lists of do’s and don’ts, suit care worries can be an unnecessary blemish on your suit owning journey.
To help, we’ve created an essential checklist of suit care tips and tricks so you can wear and enjoy yours with confidence.
1. Rotate your wardrobe
We know the feeling. You’ve just got your beautiful new tailored suit, you’re looking sharp and you want to wear it every chance you get.
While one of our well-made suits will give you years of style and joy, it pays to mix it up. Consider a beautiful pair of English leather boots. A stellar investment, but one that will take considerable upkeep if you wear them 8 hours a day 7 days a week.
Continued wear will stress any item and to get the most life out of your suit, you’ll want to have a steady rotation of garments on hand to give yours a chance to air out and rest.
If your suit is for special occasions, this may not be an issue, but for suits or daily office wear, you’ll want to have options. Consider mixing and matching various items, having another suit in your weekly rotation, or dressing down with a vest to give your blazer a rest. This is a great chance to get creative with your fashion sense and explore the potential in your garments.
Consider two pairs of trousers with your next suit purchase as a great cost saving option to purchasing two full suits.
Need a hand choosing garments and accessories to add to your repertoire? We’re here to help.
2. Store Carefully
Like any clothing item, suits need to be cared for when you aren’t wearing them as much as when you are. How you store yours matters and any mouldy, humid, or musty conditions can wreak havoc on your treasured garments.
After wearing, you need to give your suit time to air out, so it’s free from any moisture caused by body heat. This generally takes up to 24 hours given you store it somewhere cool and dry. This is also a great opportunity to brush your suit free of any dirt and debris using a well-made brush, like our Club Handle Military Brush.
When it’s sufficiently dry and has had time to breathe, transfer to a breathable garment bag. A great suit will come with a suit bag, but if you are buying one for an existing suit, ensure this is non-woven or cotton fabric bag and not a plastic option. You should also utilise a proper hanger to ensure the suit retains its shape over time. Hanging your suit in the bathroom to steam is also a great way to get any creases out after storing.
By using these essential accessories, then hanging your suit on a spacious rack on a wooden hanger where it can breathe, your suit will maintain its shape and quality. You can also utilise things like cedar to naturally repel moths, absorb moisture and add a pleasant scent to your garment while at rest.
3. Dry clean as needed
The question ‘how often you should you dry clean a suit’ is a bit like asking ‘how long is a piece of string’. It’s hard to say.
But these questions are common. As are online searches like ‘dry clean suit at home’ and ‘how often dry clean suit pants’. Clearly there is some confusion around when to take suits to the dry cleaners, so we’re here to help.
Dry cleaning involves the use of chemicals to remove stains or odors from your suit and unfortunately, constant dry cleaning can take a toll on your suit fabric, stripping fibers of natural oils.
As a general rule of thumb, opt for a highly-rated drycleaning service provider and use these services only when absolutely necessary. Take care of lint with a lint roller, have creases pressed, spot clean instead of dry clean (dab with water, don’t rub), take to brushing your suit and air dry it regularly. Avoid the washing machine. If these options are no longer doing the job, have your suit dry cleaned carefully.
4. Size matters
When it comes to your suit, size certainly matters.
An ill-fitting suit can pull, stretch and bulge in all the wrong places and over time, these will deform, damage and even destroy your suit.
In addition to just feeling better as a custom option, a tailored suit will fit your unique body shape and conform to it, ensuring maximum comfort and less wear and tear.
If you’re looking to find the perfect fit, book a fitting with us at RJB Design. We’ve tailor-made mens suits NZ-wide for customers requiring bespoke options for weddings and formal occasions, to suits for office wear.
From off-the-peg affordable options like the stunning Lithium Black Suit by Gibson to our bespoke and made-to-measure options, choosing from over 2500 luxury fabrics. Whether you’re looking for something affordable or for the most expensive fabric for suits, there’s something for everyone.
5. Avoid the pockets
While pockets may seem like a great place to put your phone, wallet, keys, receipts, hands and whatever else you can fit in them, they aren’t.
A general rule is if it stretches your pocket, it’s a no-go. These may be fine for jeans and casual wear, but anything over-sized will pull your trousers or blazer pockets and risk tearing, or pulling them.
6. Move carefully
While the right suit can be supremely versatile, it definitely shouldn’t be regarded as active wear. Your suit will have some movement limitations and these exist when you opt for form and slim fits over maximum function.
Avoid spreading legs, taking off your blazer with force, or anything that has the potential to pull at your suit seams.
Think about what you will be doing in your suit before you buy it. Are you moving a lot? Will you be travelling? Will you be quite hard on your suit, or wearing it only on special occasions? Considering these factors will help tailors like us recommend the right fabric for you and your lifestyle and ensure that it will be fit for purpose.
At the end of the day, a well-made bespoke suit will take your daily routine into consideration, but making a suit last means treating it with care.
7. Maintain it regularly
On this note, on the off chance an accident does happen, take care of it right away. A single loose stitch is a much simpler fix than a torn sleeve, just like a loose heel on a favourite boot is much cheaper to remedy than a non-existent one.
If you spot any wear and tear, internal or external, don’t leave it. Small damage like this can be repaired quickly and if caught early, necessary reinforcements can be made to ensure your suit serves you for years to come.
If you need your suit looked at, or any maintenance work performed give us a call and one of our skilled tailors will help.
So there you go! While many of these will be self-explanatory, having a checklist is a great way to keep on top of your suit care regime. The simple message is it pays to take care of your suit. In doing so, it will remain a proud staple in your wardrobe.
Ready to find the perfect suit for you? Come in and speak to us about your options. From custom suits to casual wear we can take care of you from head to toe and have you looking and feeling your best.
To help you accessorise during these trying times, and limit single-use disposables, we even have new mask options available. In typical RJB style, we’ve curated a premium selection, from this eclectic Limited Liberty Louis-print 100% Egyptian cotton option, to a more understated Navy Stripe with Contrast - Pink Stripe, handcrafted in New Zealand and countless other options.
We look forward to seeing you.
The RJB Design team