How To Take Care Of A Suit

The Esquire guide to maintaining your biggest style investment.

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Though your suit should be robust enough to endure a hard day’s wear (not to mention a bit of evening action), it’s also a garment that needs to be treated with the utmost care. Not only are suiting fabrics prone to stretching and tearing due to the delicacy of the fibres, seams are also liable to split – particularly if your suit is too tight. Here, to help you get it right, Jolyon Bexon of Savile Row tailoring house Gieves and Hawkes explains the suit care basics. “Your suit is the heart of your wardrobe and great care must be taken to ensure you get a long life from each one.” He says. “You will probably never buy anything more costly so bare this in mind with the way that you treat it.”

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1 | Rotate your suits
“As with your shoes and shirts, it is always advisable to have at least five good options, which you can rotate throughout the working week.”


2 | Buy spare trousers
“If you are able to buy additional trousers for each suit then this is also highly recommended. The more you alternate, the longer the life of the suit. Remember that trousers are also the first things to wear our so an extra pair is a wise move.”

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3 | Get the right size (really)
“To start with you must make sure you buy a suit that is the right size. A tight suit will mean that unnecessary tension is put on the cloth and over time this may cause the fabric to wear thin or split. A simple seam split is fixable but highly embarrassing (especially if it makes a noise when it happens!)”


4 | Go back to the original tailor
“Don’t take you suit to be altered at your local dry cleaner; the shop that sold you the suit should be responsible for such services. At Gieves and Hawkes our tailors alter all suits in-house and can meet the customers if there are any special requirements.”


5 | Avoid using internal pockets
“When wearing your suit do not over load the pockets with keys and thick wallets. Linings spit easily and cotton pocket bags wear out. Plus it also makes the garment look clumpy and eventually the suit will lose its shape.”


6 | Avoid using external pockets
“The outer side pockets of a suit should also never be opened. Keep them closed and the silhouette will always appear streamline and sharp, putting your hands or belongings in the outer pockets will make it look like a sack of potatoes, which is not a great look.”


7 | Don’t dry clean (unless absolutely necessary)
“I would also advise that you do not dry-clean your suit unless you really need to. The chemicals will over time damage natural fibres and they will weaken and breakdown. Once every six months should be fine unless there is an emergency stain of some sort. “


8 | Invest in a clothes brush
“A proper clothes brush is another good recommendation, which will help remove any stains or marks.”


9 | Hang with care
“Keep your suit on a good thick wooden hanger (this helps keep the shoulder shape and absorbs moisture) and make sure it’s not squeezed in-between other garments. It needs to hang and the fabric needs to breath and dry after a long day’s worth of wear. “


10 | Again, take care
“Don’t make the schoolboy error of leaving your suit in a crumpled heap on the floor when you get home. Even if it is 3am and you’re not able to walk in a straight line, it is still worth the effort.”


11 | Use a steam iron
“Ultimately what I’m saying is that your suit is a beautiful object, which should be treated as such. Oh, and one last tip, press your suit regularly with a steam iron, this will open up the fibres and help remove stains – not to mention keeping it crease free.”

 

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ESQUIRE'S CLOTHING CARE GUIDE:
How To Take Care Of Your Shirts
How To Take Care Of Your Knitwear
How To Take Care Of Your Shoes
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