1. A Beginner’s Guide to Suit Storage
Everyday Suit StorageBuild a routine suit care ritual to stay consistent with storing your suits properly. The process begins every time you come home from work or a formal event. Before you place a suit in your wardrobe, you need to clean it. The key to properly cleaning suits is regular maintenance. Follow the steps below before putting a suit away after use:
- Using a suit brush, gently brush the fabric to remove dirt, dust, hair, food particles, and dead skin. You can follow up with a lint roller if you have one.
- Check for stains and conduct spot treatment. Use a clean cloth or stain remover and a mild detergent to remove any surface stains.
- Steam the suit before hanging it up to air-dry.
- Drape the suit properly on a wooden suit hanger before placing it in a breathable suit cover to protect it from moths, dust, and mildew.
- Hang the outfit in a cool, dry, clean, and dark wardrobe. If you have several outfits, ensure that you space them out evenly inside the closet to prevent creasing.
While this may seem like a burdensome process to go through every time you take off a suit, building the habit will extend the life of your outfit. You'll have the process down to a speedy regimen in no time!
Long-Term Suit StorageImproper long-term suit storage could spell disaster to the ongoing quality of your suit. Even one season of improper storage could result in a damaged ensemble. When we discuss long-term storage of a suit, we're talking about a period of 30 or more days or more where the piece won't be worn. The best way to store your suit long-term is by hanging it on a rack as opposed to folding it. Don't ever fold a suit for long periods! Remember the following steps:
- Brush your suit using a clothes brush to remove dirt and lint, and to rejuvenate the wool. Skipping this step could result in the early signs of aging and wear. This step is more important than the everyday brushing we mentioned because the outfit will remain untouched for quite some time.
- Use appropriate suit hangers with broad, rounded shoulder supports. It's preferable to use beechwood hangers to keep away moths from your suit and help it retain a manly scent. Never use wire hangers as they could result in permanent shoulder puckering. Plastic hangers can cause the same damage and break under constant stress.
- Grab your suit hanger and put the dress pants over the bar. Next, drape the dress shirt and jacket on the hanger then pull the shirt's sleeves through those of the jacket's.
- Leave the suit jacket unbuttoned and remove any items from the pockets to ease the strain and help it maintain its original shape.
- Place the outfit in a breathable suit cover. Stay away from plastic products as they will trap moisture in, causing discoloration and mildew.
- Store the suit in the back of a wardrobe or closet - somewhere where the temperature will remain cool with little light. Never store a suit in an attic or basement, as both have climate variables that tend to encourage suit deterioration.
When taking the suit out of long-term storage for use, remember the following:
- Let the suit air for some time (up to 24 hours) before wearing it.
- Lightly brush the suit again before donning it to remove any foreign particles that may have accumulated.
Storing Ties and Belts
The best way to store ties is on a tie rack. However, if you don't own one, roll the ties and place them in a compartmentalized drawer. Practice the same methods for your belts. Never store either item with a suit inside a garment bag. The only exception to this rule is during short-term travel.
A leather dress shoe, much like a leather jacket, runs the risk of cracking or warping if left exposed to the elements for long periods. Thus, to prevent damage, find a cool, well-ventilated area to store your dress shoes.
Ensure that you clean and condition the shoes before storing them to preserve their like-new appearance. Finally, use shoe trees (preferably cedar) to keep the shoes' shape intact and give them a pleasant ongoing scent.