"Whether you wear it a few times a week at the office or save it for your annual trip to the races, taking good care of your suit should be your number one priority."
At the risk of sounding like a broken record (or should we say corrupt file) your custom made suit is an investment in the future. Whether you wear it a few times a week at the office or save it for your annual trip to the races, taking good care of your suit should be your number one priority. But like Cuban cigars need a humidor, your suit needs some special care too.
It’s an age-old fact that you get what you pay for, so it stands to reason that if you fork out a month’s salary on a tailor-made suit that it’s going to last, right? Well, in an ideal world this would be true but in reality a high price doesn’t always equate to a long life span. Suits that have a high thread count – also known as a super number – are often the most expensive but are also the most delicate. They require a lot of care and as such have a shorter lifespan. And while we love the lightness and comfort of this type of suit, if you want a long lasting suit, a super number in the low hundreds will be a bit more durable.
Would you drink a 32-year-old Malt every day of the week? Of course not, so treat your custom suit as you would your scotch, it’s a twice a week treat. It’s easy to get carried away with your new suit and just wear the hell out of it, but just like most clothing, it’s not really built to be worn on a daily basis. And this is why you should have at least two suits you can wear to the office in your wardrobe at all times. Wearing each suit only two or three times a week will add years to their lifespan.
It’s surprising how many people still mistakenly use that triangular piece of metal known as the wire hanger in their wardrobe. It is your suit’s kryptonite and should be used only as an emergency TV antenna or for fishing things out from behind the wardrobe. If you have any, get rid of them and get down to the simple business of using a cedar wood hanger.
The cedar hanger is perfectly shaped and rounded to cause the least amount of damage to your jacket, and it has the added benefits of keeping away those pesky moths and absorbing moisture. If you’re storing your suit for a long period and use a suit bag, leave it open a little to allow air to get through. This will stop mould from ruining your tailor’s handiwork.
While we’re on the subject of storage, no matter where you are, be it the office, a formal ball, or a wedding, never hang your suit jacket on the back of a chair. It’s all sorts of bad news for the shape of your jacket. But if there’s no other option, then fold it over the back of the chair, or better still don’t take it off at all.
Unlike your jeans, suits do not look better after being cleaned a hundred times. In fact, suits are extremely prone to the effects of a thorough cleaning, so it’s advisable to avoid making the trip to the dry cleaners if at all possible. Now we’re not suggesting that you don’t clean your suit at all, just keep it to a minimum by avoiding opening bottles of red between your knees.
The chemicals used in the dry-cleaning process need to be tough enough to get out any grime and stains your suit may have picked up. Unfortunately, they have a detrimental effect on any clothing when overused. It’s also advisable to never separate your suit for cleaning. Should you do this, there is a strong chance you’ll end up with charcoal pants and a black suit jacket, a sorry end for your tailored suit.
As you can see, taking care of your suit isn’t all that complicated, it’s all about common sense and a little foresight. So just follow these simple tips and that custom made three piece suit could be around long enough to quite literally become one of the family.