Dry cleaning and suits

30 June 2016

Dry cleaning and suits

You've invested handsomely in a made-to-measure suit and you want to wear that superlative two-piece almost to death. A good suit will hold up to regular use—that’s what they're meant to do. And if t’s good quality it’ll see you through several years and even jobs. If you’re the kind of guy who takes care of possessions then it's likely you're particular with your suit. If you’re a bit more cavalier like most of us, maybe it’s time to pay a little extra attention and leave it to the professionals.

Dry cleaning is the only safe method to clean your suits, but you shouldn’t go overboard. It gives your suit a lift and a freshen-up, and helps out should you have trouble removing a stain the old-fashioned way: with a damp cloth or your own saliva. Most competent dry cleaners will know how to take care of a made-to-measure suit. If in doubt ask around: someone you know at the office or amongst friends will have a trusted recommendation. A great dry cleaner will go easy on the chemicals and will often do a lot of the cleaning by hand. You might pay a little extra for this premium attention, but you shouldn't entrust your tailored suit to just anybody.

Restrict cleaning to twice a year to keep the suit looking fresh. Your suit should come back feeling pristine, but never crunchy, and the fabric should still feel soft to the touch. It might seem infrequent (and disgusting), but wool has its own antibacterial properties that keep the suit sterile. We recommend you alternate your suits and wear a different one every day to allow it to air between uses.

If you need to de-wrinkle your suit there are a few small tricks you have up your sleeve. Steam is the simplest way to remove creases; the easiest is to invest in a moderately priced hand steamer. Simply pass the steamer over the fabric and watch the creases disappear. Another  method is to hang your suit in the bathroom while taking a shower. The ambient steam will also have the same effect and cause the creases to drop from it. Be sure not to leave it unattended as too much steam can soak the suit through. Not a mistake you want to learn with your brand-new suit!