A quality suit is a worthwhile investment for any wardrobe if cared for properly. Follow these techniques to help suits retain their shape and structure season after season.

Why Suit Care Matters

Proper storage and laundering helps suits last by:

  • Preventing damage from improper handling
  • Maintaining shape through wrinkle reduction
  • Retaining color vibrancy by washing gently when needed
  • Keeping fabrics breathable through proper airflow
  • Avoiding infestations like carpet beetles that eat wool
  • Stopping stains through pre-treatment and spot cleaning
  • Breaking down odors from body oils that fabric absorbs

With some diligence, a good suit can last years.

Storing Suits

Use these tips to store suits safely between wears:

Allow Air Circulation

Let space between hanging suits and avoid plastic garment bags.

Use Cedar Blocks

The aroma deters moths and other fabric nibbling insects.

Maintain Consistent Temperatures

Avoid excessive heat or cold that can damage fabric.

Pad Shoulders

Use suit shoulder pads or hangers to retain shape.

Dry Clean Before Storing

Clean suits thoroughly before putting away extended time.

Check for Tears and Stains

Examine carefully and repair damage before storage sets in.

Maintain ideal conditions to prevent damage.

Preventing Wrinkles

Reduce wrinkling through proper garment care:

Use Press Cloth

A piece of muslin helps apply iron pressure without damaging fabric.

Know Fiber Needs

Identify fabric content to select ideal temperature settings.

Steam and Iron on Low

Use lower temperatures to avoid scorching wool and other fabrics.

Reshape While Damp

Gently tug into shape before drying to ensure suit retains structure.

Use a Wide Wood Hanger

Broad felt-covered shoulders help distribute weight and preserve form.

Stuff Arms with Acid-Free Tissue

Fill sleeves with tissue to hold shape if suit is not on a mannequin.

Wrinkle-free storage means more time between cleanings.

Laundering Suits

Wash suits infrequently but with care:

Stain Pre-Treatment

Gently dab stains before washing so they don’t set into the fabric weave.

Professional Dry Cleaning

Most suits require special solvents to lift odors and set-in stains.

Hand Wash Delicates

For lightweight summer fabrics, hand wash is possible but risky.

Know Fabric Content

Check for wool, silk, or synthetic blends to determine best cleaning method.

Wash and Dry Properly At Home

If labeled washable, use cool water and low dryer heat on the delicate cycle in garment bag.

Steam Instead of Washing

Steaming can freshen suits between cleanings if they are only lightly worn.

Too frequent washing wears suits out prematurely.

Storing Different Suit Parts

Each suit component has particular storage needs:

Jackets

  • Stuff shoulder pads lightly to retain shape
  • Pad hanger with washcloth to prevent divots
  • Avoid plastic bags that trap moisture

Pants

  • Hang straight with seam creases aligned
  • Never fold pants – leads to wrinkle imprints
  • Use pant clips on hangers to prevent sagging

Vests

  • Button vest when storing to avoid stretching gaps
  • Use suit hanger designed to hold vest and pants together

Shirts

  • Always dry clean dress shirts with suits to keep colors matched

Store suit separate pieces properly for a coordinated look.

Suit Care Tips and Tricks

Keep suits looking fresh between professional cleanings:

  • Spot clean stains with sudsy mixture of dish soap and water using soft rag
  • Steam or wet towel wrinkled areas then dry with blow dryer to smooth
  • Keep suit hangers in car for easy access traveling
  • Let sleeves rest at an angle – not straight down, which strains lining stitches
  • Reinforce lining by sewing slip stitches to connect lining to coat so it doesn’t sag
  • Brush away dust and lint using a horsehair suit brush

With some diligence, a quality suit lasts for years.

Suit FAQs

How often should you dry clean a suit?

Suits worn often should be cleaned every 4-6 wears. Suits worn once a week may only need cleaning every 2-3 months. Spot clean when possible between full dry cleaning.

Can you put a wool suit in the washing machine?

Never fully immerse or wash wool suits in home laundering machines – dry clean only. Some may specify “washable wool” but require very gentle care.

Should you hang or fold suits?

Always hang suit jackets and pants – folding causes wrinkles to set into the fabric, stretching it out of shape over time.

How can you get shiny spots off a suit?

Rub the shiny area gently with a fine grit sandpaper before cleaning. This lifts damaged nap without harming surrounding fabric. Or use a dull razor very lightly.

What is the best way to store a suit?

Hang in a cool, dark place away from sunlight and pests. Pad hanger shoulders, stuff arms with acid-free tissue, use cedar blocks. Avoid plastic garment bags.

How do you get a stain out of a suit?

Dab stains immediately to avoid setting. Make a mild detergent and cool water solution. Work into stain gently with soft cloth. Rinse and air dry before having professionally cleaned.

Master professional suit care skills. Give your suits the proper attention between wears so they stay looking as polished as day one. With the right storage, pre-treatment, and occasional cleaning, a quality suit impresses for years. Show fine tailoring some appreciation and it will serve you handsomely every time it’s called into duty.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!