You got through dinner without spilling a drop! But at the last moment, a dab of creme brûlée drips from your spoon and lands smack on the lapel of your suit. Tabernac!!
"Time for the dry cleaners", you think.
WRONG!!! Wrong, wrong , wrong!
Dry cleaning sucks the life out of a suit. Don't do it. All you need to do is to spot clean! In fact, only rarely should you send your suit to the cleaners because every time you do, the chemicals and extreme heat break down the fibres, break down the canvas and the threads.
If there's one thing I should do to maintain a suit what is it?
Use a time tested mode of garment cleaning: The Clothing Brush.
The bristles on a clothing brush not only get rid of any accidental mishaps but they plump and massage the fibres. Wool attracts dust, lint and fine hairs which a clothing brush removes. It even brushes mud away (perfect for dog and child owners alike!) Best of all, you have a clothing brush for life so you can stop buying plastic lint rollers which have no intrinsic effect on the fabric and are ultimately headed to land fill.
How often should I use my clothing brush?
Preferably after every wear you brush down (always down, never up!) your shoulders, arms, lapels, knees and elbows. If you only manage to groom your suit once a week or once a month don't sweat it. Just don't dry clean it!!!
Theordore 1922 recommends the Kent Classic Clothing Brush.
We keep both the regular wool as well as the cashmere brush in stock, and at $65 and $85 respectively, they are a heck of a lot cheaper than your annual dry cleaning bill!
What else Can I do to Extend the Life of my Suit?
Rotate! Just like leather shoes, give your clothing at least a day, (preferably 2 days) rest between uses. The humidity in your body transfers to clothing...and damp isn't good for anything, including fine fabrics. If you wear the same suit day after day it will rapidly wear out the wool and the canvas. If you can only afford ONE good suit, buy a second "crappy" suit, wear the crap out of that one and rotate the good one into your week. Moderate use, not over use, will extend the life and look of your suit.
Ok, Anything else?
Use proper hangers!!! How many times do guys bring their suits in for me to take a look at on effing WIRE HANGERS??!?!? It blows my mind. How do you expect a wire to support the shoulder of a suit? Do your shoulders look like wire hangers? Do I need to elaborate this point? Purge your life of all wire hangers...they are good for nothing. Can we leave it at that and promise you'll never use the wire hanger ever again? Thank you.
Ditto Plastic Shirt Hangers!!
(see above...do not test my sanity on this one. Wire hangers are NOT. FOR. SUITS.)
Follow these simple tips and you will find your suits...nay, ALL your clothing, has a healthier, longer life.
Till next time!