Men don’t have a lot of options for formal wear, so a good suit is an incredibly important staple in your wardrobe. Whether you’re dressing for an interview, a wedding, or even just a regular work day, your suit can tell people a lot about you. A suit that’s falling apart definitely doesn’t send a great message, so make sure you give your suits some TLC with these five quick tips.
Don’t Overdo the Cleaning
Like jeans, suits don’t really need to be cleaned all that often. They’re made from a heavier material that can withstand a bit of perspiration. If you’re in the habit of taking your suit to the dry cleaners on a weekly basis, do yourself a favor and reduce that to about once a month. Instead, spot clean your suit with a warm, wet towel to get rid of any smaller stains. The more you dry clean a suit, the more the fibers wear away and get damaged, which will reduce the life of your suit.
Use a Steamer
If you iron your suit, you could be unintentionally burning the fibers of the material and giving it an unattractive sheen. You’re better off purchasing a steamer, which simply steams the wrinkles out of your clothing without damaging them. If that seems like too much work, dry cleaners can steam your suits for a small fee. An even easier option is to simply leave your suit hanging in your bathroom: every time someone showers, the steam will go to work on your suit.
Use the Right Hanger
Hanging your suit up properly is surprisingly important to keep it in good shape. Obviously, you probably aren’t just throwing your suit on the floor when you get home from work, but you might want to rethink the hangers you’re using. Suits, like coats, need a thicker and broader hanger to help them keep their shape—especially if you’re storing a summer suit for the long winter season. If the hanger is too thin or pointy, your suit could end up with unsightly indents or droopy shoulders. When you’re hanging your suit in a closet, be sure to hang it far away from clothing that could rub off on it or shed—if possible, leave it in the dry cleaner’s plastic wrap until you need it again.
Have Lots of Options
The parts of your suit that take the brunt of wear and tear are your trousers and dress shirts, so stocking up on extras of those will help your suits last longer. Wait for the seasonal sales to fill out your suit selection, but make sure you’re looking for quality over quantity. People can easily spot a cheap suit, and you’ll probably spend more money over the years repairing and replacing low-budget suits than if you invest in quality suits and items from the beginning.
If you’ve never been measured for a suit, then you definitely need to make sure you’re wearing the right size for your body. If your suit doesn’t fit you properly, then you’re putting unnecessary strain on the seams every time you wear it, even if the sleeves are a just a tad too short. You don’t have to go all out and get a tailored suit—most department stores will measure you for free!