Wardrobe Care Tip: Maintaining Your Suits

Law of Style #20 from the book The Laws of Style: Sartorial Excellence for the Professional Gentleman by Douglas A. Hand

Your suits are an investment. Care for them accordingly. Properly maintained, your suit can outlive you. You can put good suits in your last will and testament — I have.

Law #20
“The Professional Gentleman shall maintain his suits
in good working condition and treat them with care.”

Don’t wear the same suit two days in a row. This is not just a style tip. Your suit needs at least a day of rest to breathe, just like your shoes. Hang up your suit as soon as you’re done wearing it.

Dry clean your suits as little as possible. The chemicals involved in dry cleaning can wear out the fabric. So if you have minor stains you can remove yourself with a good steaming or brushing, do so. If your suit is just a tad wrinkly, and not soiled, simply have it pressed rather than dry cleaned. Your suit will return just as crisp, but without having been subjected to the chemicals. If you must dry clean, point out specific stains so your cleaner can mark them. Once your suit comes back, get it out of the plastic bag (which does not let it breathe), off that wire hanger, and onto a proper wooden one, but you can leave in the tissue paper if you like and the cool plastic thing that brings the jacket together without buttoning it.

Storage is important. These are garments, not tax returns or corporate minutes. So don’t store them the same way. Your suits require plenty of space. Keep them in a place where they can breathe, spaced out evenly and allowed to hang up right on the suit hanger, unhindered by objects below that might impact the drape.

Cedar wood hangers absorb moisture and work as a repellents for moths. Moths can be a real danger to your suits. They lay around 100 eggs, and once they hatch, their larvae will destroy a suit. Mothballs can be used as a deterrent, but they reek, and they really only work in a sealed enclosure, like a suit bag. Since your suits need to breathe, this is not a good option. I am told the dried lavender leaves sealed in pouches and kept in pockets repel moths as well as smell lovely. Regularly cleaning of your closet and vacuuming  the space regularly will do the trick better than anything. I certainly don’t mean to sound like your mum here, but please try to make sure to have a proper closet cleaning done at least once a year.


Law of Style #20 from the book The Laws of Style: Sartorial Excellence for the Professional Gentleman by Douglas A. Hand