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Maintaining your Suit

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Suits are one the biggest investments in a man’s wardrobe.  This is especially true for those of us who go the extra mile and have them tailored for us.  There is some discussion about dry cleaning and what kind of damage this can do to the material.  I feel that it is best to avoid any possible damage by simply avoiding the dry cleaners as much as possible (in most cases it is the ironing rather than the cleaning that can damage your suit). Your suits are something that, when worn, rarely come in contact with your bare skin and should not need much cleaning.  All you should need to keep your suits looking nice and weathering time, apart from individual stains, is steam and a brush.

Investing in a small home steamer or iron that can also provide steady jets of steam is a great addition to any mans closet.  This is an item that can be used on many items of clothing that only need slight wrinkle relief.  Many times a jet of steam is more than enough to remove the creases that accumulate from a days wear and it also will help eliminate any faint odors that also may have settled in.  If steam alone is not enough and you feel that you need iron parts of you suit then lay it out carefully and put a damp piece of cloth, preferably an old white undershirt cut to be lain out flat and in one layer, between your suit and the iron.  This will allow flat pressure from the iron and a moist heat to penetrate the cloth without it touching the exceedingly hot face which can cause the suit to get shinny spots.  Your suit can also be steamed in the bathroom while you take a hot shower.

In addition to steaming you also need to brush your suits with a garment brush.  This will aide in removing any dirt that may have adhered to the fabric during the day.  Special care should be given to areas that may accumulate more, such as the cuffs of the trousers and sleeves.  Kent BrushThose who have become regular readers of my posts may have seen a trend in the products I recommend.  These products often have royal warrants endorsing their quality.  The same is true with the brush maker that I recommend for your clothes brush. Kent is a very old brush company that makes high quality brushes for almost every use, which I will get to in another post.  Their brushes may be more that you would expect to pay for a clothes brush but as so many things in your closet it should be though of as an investment that will last  you a lifetime.  This said a brush of lower quality will still do the job, but it may not do it as well.  Also avoid lint rollers on your suits.   These can leave adhesive residue that can damage the fibers.

Finally when you hang your suit it should only be done with a broad coat hanger that fills out the shoulders.  I recommend that this hanger be made of ceder to both absorb moisture and repel insects that may eat the material.  For trousers a clamp type hanger is ideal because it clamps onto the hem of the trousers allowing them to hang naturally, pulling wrinkles out, under their own weight. hanger Top of the line hanger be found though the Hanger Project. These hangers fill their function well but not without a price. It is not necessary to go out and get hangers such as these though.  The most important thing is that they fill out your shoulders and hold properly.

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