Following the Dutch answer to Keith Lemon and Dame Edna thrusting a choux bun in my face, which proceeded to drip onto my suit, I now have to take my suit to the dry cleaners to get the deep-set chocolate and cream stains out.
Yet, I am not an advocate of dry cleaners at all. They are expensive and unnecessary in most cases. I take my suits there once a year for a proper dry clean as taking them too often (as most people do) can cause the thread and material to wear quicker than if properly cared for.
Most dry cleaning of sweaters, cashmere and other ‘dry clean only’ garments can be done at home with the proper know-how. A lot of higher-end outfitters seem to only sell ‘dry clean only’ clothes – and this will just be to cover their backs should some laundry luddite ruin a new V-neck merino jersey.
But, back to suits. Here are my tips on how to care for your suits, making them last longer and saving your household those expensive dry cleaning bills.
- Do not wear the same suit every day. Have two or three (or more) suits and alternate. If you wore a suit on Monday, leave it to hang properly on Tuesday before wearing again on Wednesday
- Use proper suit hangers. It’s amazing how many wardrobes I see where perfectly nice suits are hung on shirt hangers (or, worse, wire hangers). Invest in proper wooden (or plastic) suit hangers, like these from John Lewis
- If your wardrobe has the space, hang trousers separately on clamp hangers from the ‘cuffs’ (i.e., the bottom)
- If your jacket has got creased after wearing, hang it up in the bathroom as you shower – making sure you shut the door and close windows so the room steams up. Depending on how long you’re in the shower and how much steams builds up, the creases should quickly ease away
- Failing that, hang the suit with the back against the boiler in your airing cupboard overnight
- However the best method of getting rid of creases from jackets and trousers is using a good steam iron. I have gone on at length before about the amazing Laurastar irons, but a good quality steam iron will enable you to quickly blast out any wrinkles and creases within seconds. Watch this video from Laurastar as to how their irons work wonders
- If your suit gets stained, use a rinsed out cloth to try to remove the stain. Water and friction work best on most things and you should always try this method before resorting to dry-cleaning