The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Your Suit
Whether for your boss, your belle or your beau, dressing well is an important part of making a lasting impression. That said, suiting up shouldn't leave you strapped for cash; as long as you're mindful when choosing and caring for your suit, it should last you for many workdays and celebrations to come.
Here are five tips for taking the best care of your suits so that you look your best from the boardroom to the dancefloor.
Treat delicate fabrics with care
Taking care of any two-piece is easy, as long as you know how to treat and maintain it correctly. With this in mind, don't feel restricted to the status quo when choosing a suit. While lighter fabrics such as linen or seersucker are perfect for the spring and summer seasons, consider warmer fabrics such as wool, tweed or cashmere for the fall and winter months.
Although some sources might caution you against entrusting your suit to regular cleaners, you need to take care of your upscale fabrics somehow. After all, suits are a long-lasting investment, and cleaning them right will help to extend their lifetime.
Any items made of natural fibers, such as silk or wool, can react adversely when exposed to water; they may shrink, distort and lose their color. The most discerning suit owners choose reliable and experienced cleaners when it's time to have it professionally dry cleaned or pressed.
Invest in a classic white dress shirt
The foundation to a great suit is a classic dress shirt, and you can't go wrong with white. Make sure your shirt is ironed or pressed for a crisp look. Modern dress shirts often come in easy care fabrics such as non-iron or wrinkle-free finishes, so there's no excuse not to suit up. To complete the look, up your wrist game with some classic cuff links or a chronograph watch.
Notice unwanted stains on your favorite shirt? For best results, tackle stains in a timely manner to prevent them from settling into the fabric before having it professionally dry cleaned to ensure no residual stains remain.
Accessorize to impress
Rather than own a suit for every occasion, focus on timeless outfits that you can easily care for and accessorize to match a variety of events. A silk tie is the game changer for any professional. More than a finishing touch, a power tie connotes strength and ambition, while pulling your suit together with style and substance.
Ties are also a great chance to be playful and experiment with different knots. If you're dressing up for a formal event, you can't go wrong with a full windsor knot—or a sleek bowtie if it's an especially fancy occasion—but a half windsor can work for almost any situation.
At the end of the day, always be sure to untie the knot, as leaving it can permanently crease the fabric. If you notice deep wrinkles in your tie, steam it only—ironing may ruin it.
Keep it fresh with these simple DIY tricks
Suits are surprisingly more low maintenance than one would imagine. Simply spot clean with water after use - as soon as possible if you've had a spill, to prevent stains from setting in - and hang them in a well-ventilated area away from sunlight before putting them back in the closet.
To keep your suit in top condition, invest in an at-home steamer for touch-ups in-between dry cleaning treatments. In a pinch, take it to the bathroom—your post-shower steam will also help to smooth out any wrinkles. For a more thorough cleanse and long-term storage option, consider our final tip.
Store your suit safely during the off-season
Always take your suit to the dry cleaner's after a few wears and before the season is over. Removing stains or unwanted smells will help prolong the life of your clothing. Once it's clean, store your suit upright in a garment bag in your closet to keep natural fibers looking their best. How you maintain your suit is just as important as how you wear it.
With these complete tips and tricks, you'll be well suited for any occasion—be it work, play or a little bit of both.
Photos: Mélanie Villenueve, Angelina Litvin, Scott Web