Elegant blue and gray suits on hangers

How to Keep Your Suits Looking as Good as New

Every gentleman should invest in a bespoke suit in a neutral hue like black or charcoal grey made from a natural yarn fabric. Even in a tropical country like India where the weather is warm for most of the year, a good suit will come in handy for a wedding reception or a job interview. And even if it isn’t part of the dress code, what better way to channel your inner James Bond than in a sharp suit?!

Here are a few tips on how to store and to keep your suit looking great for years to come…

  1. The first step to taking care of your suit begins even before you leave the clothing store. Ask the retail assistants for a wooden suit hanger and a suit bag. There are specific hangers made for suits and blazers and they can last a lifetime if stored on a wooden suit hanger.
  2. Most workplaces in India do not require a suit to be worn every day, so it’s unlikely your blazer will be used much. As wonderful as your tailored suit trousers are, however, don’t be tempted to use them without the blazer. Yes, you may just think that this is the best way to get your money’s worth but the more you wear the pants, the dirtier they get. So, the more you will have to clean them. Net result? The pants will gradually fade.
  3. Check the care instructions on your expensive garment carefully; even if your suit can be machine washed, err on the side of caution and dry-clean it the first few times. If you own a steam cleaner then use this before you put your suit back in its bag.
  4. Whatever material your suit is made from, unless your suit gets dirty you don’t need to dry-clean it after every outing. It’s always best to hand over the cleaning of the suit to a professional laundry service after 3-4 outings.
  5. Given that we live in such a warm, sultry country, it is imperative to check to see if your perspiration has left a stench on your suit! Even if you’ve worn the suit in an air-conditioned environment, do clean your blazer and trousers if you’ve been dancing.
  6. Make sure you buy a lint/suit brush and gently brush it before and after you wear it.
  7. If your suit is creased but not dirty then have it pressed. Often, it’s best to do this at home and not seek the help of your local istry-wallah. The large, charcoal-fuelled irons of your neighborhood may be too hot for the suit fibers to handle. Also, there is always the risk of a piece of hot charcoal burning your investment pieces.
  8. Always store the suit in the bag provided by the store or the tailors. The plastic bags which come from the professional cleaners are not only environmentally hazardous but also weaken the suit fibers.
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Shibi, like the song in ‘West Side Story’, is oh so pretty, witty and bright! Modest too, but we can discuss that later. A Chennai native (34) who now dwells in the capital, there is nothing she loves more than a good story. Except for a good handbag. A self-professed shopaholic with impeccable taste, the young women’s rights lawyer and mother was ‘discovered’ by an Indian Express editor in Chennai at a famous boutique eight years ago and she has not looked back since. Fashion writing allows her to combine her two greatest loves and Shibi has been published in The Hindu, the Indian Express, Femina, Scroll, Bodahub, Hi-Blitz Magazine and many more. A militant optimist, Shibi abhors armchair activism and suggests that everyone ‘Be the Change’ instead of complaining about Modiji. Or run for POTUS – anybody seems better qualified than Trump. She also loves animals and has orchestrated many a doggy/kitty rescue; her most fervent hope is to see the status and treatment of both animals and women improve in India and the world over. Also, she requests you to RECYCLE and to REUSE. Climate change is real, people. Jai Hind!