Wardrobe Preservation (Part 2)

Ok, stepping out of the laundry room, let’s discuss the care of specific articles of clothing.

Suits:

Suits are typically the most expensive clothing in your closet. Special care and attention should be given to them, so they will last for years and look great every time you wear them. There’s not a lot to it; just some practical and common sense approaches that will keep them in top condition.

Dry clean your suit after about every third time you wear it, or as needed if it becomes soiled. Excessive dry cleaning damages fabric, so minimizing the dry cleaning will lengthen the life of the suit.

Always have the entire suit dry cleaned at the same time. Even if one of the pieces doesn’t need it or hasn’t been worn; in order to keep uniform color throughout the suit, all pieces must be cleaned at the same time, every time.

As soon as you bring your suit home from the dry cleaner’s, remove the plastic bag and air it out to rid it of any cleaning solution odors.

Hang the suit on a good quality, wide wooden hanger, which offers sufficient shoulder support. Metal and plastic hangers bend and crack, causing the jacket to collapse and lose its shape. It may not seem important, but the use of a sturdy hanger will preserve the tailor-made shape of the jacket; extending its life and making a difference in how it looks on you. There are several companies who offer various hanger sizes, which makes sense. Jackets are not one size fits all, so why should hangers be? This is a great option, especially for the big guy.

There are several types of pant hangers. Many suit hangers come with cross-bars or clips. Avoid those that crease or leave indentations on the fabric. When hanging pants over a bar, even them out so the weight is equally balanced and distributed, which should prevent them from sliding off the hanger.

Hanging a suit outside the closet to breathe for a day, after you wear it, permits odors and moisture to escape before storing it in the closet.

Use of a suit or clothes brush removes hair, lint and debris that collect on the suit while wearing. It’s recommended to brush a suit after wearing it, every time it’s worn; which is especially beneficial for wool suits. There are various types and qualities of brushes. Whether the fibers are synthetic or natural animal hair, choose one that’s soft, and only use it on clothing!

Store suits in a garment bag to protect them from dust, pet hair, dirt, etc. Make sure suits have room to hang in the closet without being jammed and crammed in between other clothes, which will cause wrinkles and misshape the suit. Hanging suits at the very end of the closet is a smart way to keep them safe and away from everyday closet activity.

Before hanging a suit jacket, remove all contents of the pockets, so they won’t be weighed down and misshaped. Keep the jacket unbuttoned while on the hanger.

Suits, especially pants, often require ironing in between dry cleaning. If you’re not able to iron it yourself, bring it to the dry cleaners and request ironing or pressing only.

When you’re unable to hang a jacket up, turn it inside out and bring the shoulders together, which will help keep its shape and protect the outside from getting soiled.

Sport Jackets and Blazers:

All the same rules apply to these as suit jackets. See above.

Watch for Part 3, coming June 4

Aaron Marino is the founder, owner, and senior style consultant at Atlanta’s alpha m. Image Consulting. He also runs alpha m. Dot Net, which features accessories for men, and I Am Alpha M. , which is a lifestyle and personal development zone for men. He authored the book, “The Guy’s Guide to Image, Style, and Impeccable Grooming” and appeared on VH1′s Glam God and also Man Made Style. He frequently makes public appearances, giving his expert opinions an advice, and his highly sought after videos appear on YouTube.

Image: Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net