Editors note: Guest contributors Kipper Clothiers, a queer owned suiting company that creates suits with a masculine silhouette for all genders, give their customers – and our readers – advice on how to care for a suit.
Here at Kipper, we you want to get the most value out of your suit investment. Here are a few easy tips for care and maintenance to prolong the lifetime of your suit while keeping you looking awesome!
Storing your Suit
Buying the proper hangers will significantly add to the longevity of your garment. Prices can range but for best results use a wooden hanger with wide shoulders to ensure maintenance of the shape. Never use wire hangers and always hang inside a garment bag for protection while storing in the closet. Wooden hangers also wick away any moisture that may be in your garment. If you remove your jacket at work have a second hanger there so you don’t end up throwing it over the back of your chair.
You can either hang your pants on the same hanger as your jacket or separately, depending on the hanger.
Always place the pants on the inside of the jacket to avoid any unwanted creases in your jacket that the second hanger pressing against it may cause.
Many suits come with a canvas or plastic garment bag. For best storage, use a cloth garment bag that will allow better airflow for the suit to breathe. A cloth bag also reduces wrinkles in your suit.
Repeat after us, ‘Do not over dry clean your suit!’ This will shorten the life of your suit dramatically. You only want to dry clean your suit 1-2 times a year max.
In between dry cleaning, you can brush your suit gently with an animal hair suit brush. This will maintain the cleanliness of your suit by removing any dust or dirt particles. Using a lint roller is also effective after brushing to keep your suit looking in top shape.
After a big day of use you can also spot clean your suit if necessary. Hang it outside your closet and use a damp cloth to gently go over any needed areas.
Ironing vs. Steaming
Our rule of thumb is: steam your suit, but never iron. This goes for shirts, suits, pants, and absolutely everything. Ironing causes the fibers in fabric to break down much more quickly than steaming your garments. You don’t need a big steamer: there are plenty of great hand held personal steamers you can find for a reasonable price, and ultimately the expense will pay for itself when your garments last longer.
Not only does steaming remove wrinkles it also helps remove odors. Avoid steaming the chest area. This may cause a slight change in how the jacket may lay due to how steam effects the internal canvas lining.
Traveling with your suit
If you travel with your suit you must have a garment bag. You can reduce the amount of travel wrinkles by following these three steps:
1. Fold jacket in half vertically so the arms are laying flat on each other.
2. Fold the arms at a slight angle down on top of the jacket.
3. Fold your jacket in half horizontally and then place in suitcase preferably on top of the rest of your items so it doesn’t get squished under the weight.
Once you have arrived to your destination, you can unpack your luggage, take your suit out, and hang it immediately. This will help the suit breathe and will release any wrinkles caused by traveling. If you are staying at a hotel you can also ask the front desk if they have any wide shouldered hangers. They can deliver those to your room for best storage.
Finally, for best maintenance of your suit, avoid wearing it multiple days in a row. Your suit needs time to relax and breathe. If you need to wear a suit daily you should have a few that you can rotate throughout the week. This will dramatically increase the lifetime of your suit and will keep you looking sharp!
Article originally published on Kipper Clothiers.
About the authors: Kipper Clothiers is committed to on-time production of high-quality, well-fitting custom suits and shirts for the Bay Area LGBT community. It was founded by Kyle Moshrefi and Erin Berg, who met through a mutual passion for menswear for women and transgender individuals. They bonded over an inability to find ready-wear clothing at even the nicest of retail locations. They are making menswear accessible. Kyle and Erin have seen a growing need for custom suiting that are individually built for everyone’s unique body. They met while working together at a former custom clothing company and when that company started to fail due to poor management, they decided that they wanted to be the innovative leaders in this industry. They feel as though it is their responsibility to provide the community with what is so deserved and needed.