A Guide to Butler Luxury’s Suit Care Guide.

A Guide to Butler Luxury’s Suit Care Guide.

When you look good, you feel good.  

Putting on a fresh, personally-cut suit gives you power. The power to change the world. When you step out in that kind of outfit, people take notice.

And yet, many don’t give our suits the care and attention they deserve. These treasures deserve the best care - because they take care of us. Keep your confidence and win the day every time you pull out a suit - by taking some simple maintenance steps after each outing. 

Sounds complicated? You’d be surprised how little effort it takes once you have the right tools. The experts at Butler Luxury have all the guidance you need for proper care of your formal attire. We’ll cover everything you need to know - including cleaning, maintaining, storing, using the right suit hangers for your formal attire. 

So let’s get started. Your suits will thank you for it. 

1. A Beginner’s Guide to Suit Storage

Buying a quality suit is a significant investment. Every individual needs a reliable outfit for those distinctive moments in life. The right look can make the difference between people listening to you or dismissing you. There is power in a powerful suit! There are two main ways to store pieces of formal attire: for regular, everyday use and for long-term storage. Let’s look at how to accomplish both.
A Beginner’s Guide to Suit Storage

Everyday Suit Storage

Build 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 Storage

Improper 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.

Storing Shoes

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.

More Resources on Suit Storage

2. Cleaning and Maintaining Your Suit

Most professionals own a suit, but do most pros know how to own a suit?

Specifically, do they know how to properly care for the suits in their closets?

More often than not, they don’t - and they’re either flying by the seat of their pants or going by bad advice someone else has given them.

Taking care of a suit is an art and a science, and there are certain rules that you should know.

In order to keep your suit looking its best for years to come, and to avoid costly mistakes, we’re going to show you do’s and don’ts when it comes to cleaning a suit and performing general maintenance for one of the most foundational pieces of a man’s wardrobe.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Suit

The True Cost of Owning a Suit

When you purchase a suit, you need to think about how you are going to store it and hang it. You also need to think about how much it is going to cost to maintain that suit over its lifetime.

You need proper suit hangers, to start, and this is integral to preserving the integrity and life of your suit. Those made by Butler Luxury, for example, not only help you preserve your investment but also provide the support your suit needs to maintain its structure.

Rules for Cleaning a Suit

Depending on how often you wear your suit, your cleaning regimen will be different but, in general, some light maintenance should normally prevent most problems with your suit.

Rule 1: Inspect Your Suit After Usage

Along those lines, another big issue is that men don’t inspect their suits after wearing them. This inspection could help you spot stains and wear early. That means you can get it repaired before it becomes a bigger issue.

Rule 2: Brush Regularly

Regular brushing of your suit is a must. This loosens any accumulated dirt and forces you to examine it after wearing it. Remember what we said about spotting problems before they become bigger issues? Here’s a great opportunity to do just that.

Rule 3: Spot Clean - Sparingly

One of the biggest mistakes that men make when cleaning a suit is trying to remove a stain on their own. Due to the fabric used to make most suits, trying to remove a stain using store-bought materials and your own know-how could not only ruin your suit but it could make it beyond repair. After all, a dry cleaner is not a miracle worker and a tailor cannot repair discolored fabric easily.

If you know what you’re doing, then none of this should be a problem, but most people don’t. The issue that you will face time and time again with a do-it-yourself approach is that you’ll cause damage you didn’t intend.

We recommend spot cleaning only when the stain is minor and not ingrained into the fabric. If you notice that the fibers underneath the stain are dyed by the stain, then it might be a little too much for you to handle. Most light stains will come out with some light brushing and cleaning.

Rule 4: Use a Steamer - But Have a Storage Plan Afterwards

Steaming a suit works great for removing wrinkles or blasting out a surface stain. Just don’t expose them to large amounts of liquid or water vapor in any form. Using excessive steam can introduce problems with the fabric’s integrity. Keep the treatment localized and thoroughly air dry the spot afterward with cool air if possible. Hot air could damage the fabric of your suit.

In addition, if you do not store your suit properly after steaming, mildew can appear on your outfit! You want to keep them in a semi-cool environment without a lot of light.

This ties in with another huge issue that individuals have with their suits and that is the hidden or invisible damage done to them every time you wear them. Again, as we said in the beginning, not using proper suit hangers can have a huge impact on the structure of your suit. Putting them on poorly fashioned hangers that aren’t up to the job can result in degradation of the make and construction of the suit as a whole.

Rule 5: Keep the Dry Cleaner As a Last Resort

You should be wary of having your suits dry cleaned frequently. Dry cleaning is, at best, an annual event for your suits and we recommend you try to keep it to a minimum for even your most heavily trafficked items. Dry cleaning strips the fibers of their natural wools and makes them more susceptible to wear and tear.

So, when to take a suit to a dry cleaner? A good rule of thumb is that, when it is beyond your abilities, you should consult with the professionals. There are a myriad of reasons for this but chief among them is that they are less likely to screw up the job. It’s that simple.

Being penny-wise, but pound foolish, is an expensive venture when it comes to men’s suiting.

That’s why we advise letting your dry cleaner take a look if you can’t do it yourself. Just refrain from making this cleaning option a regular habit! Not all solutions involve a full dry cleaning. Some stains and issues can be handled with other methods.

More Resources on Suit Cleaning and Maintenance:

3. Traveling With Formal Attire

Business conferences,

weddings, funerals, awards – there are many reasons to pack and travel with a suit. No matter the purpose of your trip, you always want to arrive looking dapper. So how do you achieve this when your luggage seems determined to wrinkle your suits?

Suit packing can be a nuisance. You're using every packing hack, you know, including:

  • rolling your socks and ties
  • alternately stacking dress shirts
  • folding your pocket squares
  • Making origami out of your trousers

However, when it comes to your suit jacket, you attempt to fold it five different ways before realizing that it will crease no matter what you try.

So you place it on top of the pile before zipping up your suitcase - almost as an afterthought. Of course, when you later unpack, your suit is a wrinkled mess that requires more than a steamy shower to fix.

Worry not! This article will show you a suit packing blueprint that produces wrinkle-free results every time.

Traveling With Formal Attire

The Two Methods for Packing a Suitcase

There are two ways of packing your suit, depending on the size of your suitcase.

Using a Garment Bag:

  1. Grab a quality suit hanger and drape your dress pants over the bar. Put your dress shirt and suit jacket on the same piece and pull the shirt sleeves through the jacket sleeves.
  2. Place your suit inside a garment bag.
  3. Fold it in half.
  4. Lay it on top of the pile inside your suitcase.

The garment bag will do the work in protecting your suit from rubbing against other items in the suitcase, causing unnecessary wrinkling and possible garment damage.

Using a Smaller Suitcase: (such as a weekend-size duffel or a carry-on travel bag)

  1. Lay your suit jacket face-down on your bed or a flat surface.
  2. Fold the left shoulder back
  3. Turn the right shoulder inside out, and tuck the left side into the right.
  4. Fold it in half lengthwise and then horizontally.
  5. Fold your dress pants neatly.
  6. Place the folded jacket in the center of your outstretched pants.
  7. Fold the pants' bottom over the coat and repeat with the top part.

Expert Tip:

(After step four above) Place your folded jacket inside the top part of a protective plastic cover and lay it on top of your outstretched pants. The plastic prevents the garments' fabric from rubbing against itself, which causes wrinkling.

How to Pack Shoes and Accessories

To fully utilize the space inside your bag, treat your shoes like packing cubes (mainly if they safely flatten with the bag).

You could use a suitcase with a designated shoe compartment, but it will reduce the overall space available for other items you want to carry. Whereas, using a separate shoe suitcase increases your luggage, which means extra airline fees.

Use the following suit packing tips when packing shoes for travel:

  1. Pick only a few essential shoes, depending on the destination and other activities you plan to do, such as shoes for a business meeting, jogging, or beach sandals.
  2. Wear your bulkiest pair when traveling.
  3. Make sure you only pack clean shoes.
  4. Use shoe trees to protect your shoes from flattening. Alternatively, you can pack socks and underwear inside the shoes.
  5. Place shoes inside clear plastic bags to prevent dirt from getting on the lining of your suitcase or your clothes. It also allows you to see what shoe is inside the bag if you carry multiple pairs.
  6. Place them inside the suitcase with a heel in each corner and the soles against the walls.
  7. You can also arrange the shoes using the 69-method to save space.
  8. Place flip flops or sandals on top.

Once you pack your shoes and suit, stuff every corner, nook, and cranny with accessories such as socks, belts, pocket squares, ties, jewelry, chargers, adapters, and other smaller items.

By thinking strategically about your packing space and choices, you can utilize every inch of your suitcase and have the shoes and accessories you need on your trip.

More Resources for Traveling With Formal Attire:

4. Choosing the Right Hangers

Using the right suit hangers is one of the easiest, yet most effective ways of protecting your clothing. The best suit hangers not only extend the life of your garment but also give the closet a neater appearance, which makes them a sound investment for your wardrobe.

However, not every hanger will keep your suits in good shape without stretching or damaging the shoulder padding. To find the right hanger, focus on the material, size, shape, and sturdiness of each option.

This article will help you pick the best options for your wardrobe by comparing three common types of hangers - plastic, wire, and wood suit hangers.

Choosing the Right Hangers

Plastic Hangers

Plastic hangers are arguably the most common and frequently used clothes hangers. This is because they’re easy to find and relatively cheap compared to other options. Generally, these hangers come in different colors and sizes, including smaller widths designed for children.

Plastic hangers are also easy to work with when it comes to hanging or removing clothes. However, you will need to button dress shirts and zip-up hoodies to keep wide-neck clothes hanging. Be careful when purchasing plastic hangers as you might desire a more reliable set of hangers in a short time.

Advantages

  • Available in various colors
  • Light to carry
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Moderately priced
  • Holds a considerable amount of weight
  • Plastic is rust free and cannot catch mold or fungus even when wet.

Disadvantages

  • Plastic hangers look and feel cheap
  • Wide-neck clothing may slip off
  • Plastic may break or sag when hanging heavier items
  • Plastic tends to lose firmness and deform over time
  • Production and recycling processes are not environmentally friendly

Best use cases: Plastic hangers are an ideal option for shoppers on a budget who might be looking for different color options. These options are best for consignment shops and thrift stores.

Wire Hangers

Wire hangers are cheap and often lose their shape when used to support heavy clothing. They have the most downsides, so we would not recommend purchasing them. Instead, we advise shoppers to replace them and find hangers that will serve them and their clothing better.

Advantages

  • Most inexpensive type of hanger
  • Bends easily to form the desired shape
  • Easy to place and remove clothing from the hanger

Disadvantages

  • Feels and looks cheap
  • Cannot maintain the shape and drape of your garments
  • Clothes can easily slip off the hanger
  • It bends easily and cannot hold heavier items
  • Wire hangers leave bumps on certain fabrics
  • The hanger’s tips can easily snag or scratch your clothes
  • Prone to rust, which damages clothing and shortens the hanger’s lifespan
  • Not ideal for long-term garment storage

Best use case: Not recommended. However, you can use wire hangers in a pinch for ultra-lightweight clothes.

As you might have realized, both plastic and wire hangers are cheap and readily available. But there’s a significant downside in that using them means foregoing the best interests of your valued clothing.

Wood Suit Hangers

Wooden hangers are stylish and work well for most types of clothing. Apart from their elegant finishing, high-quality wood suit hangers have a longer lifespan. If you’re looking for hangers that will give you optimal clothing support, then wooden hangers are the best deal. Here’s why:

Advantages

  • Natural wood color is stylish and classy
  • Wood hangers are more sturdy and do not bend easily, which keeps clothing intact
  • Grooves prevent garments from slipping off
  • Are more durable, which means better value for your money
  • It is easy to place and remove clothing from the hanger
  • The strong design allows hanging heavier items likes jeans, spring jackets, and winter coats
  • Can be equipped with special features such as notches to preserve your clothing more
  • Wooden hangers are environmentally friendly

Disdvantages

  • Take up more space as compared to other hangers
  • More expensive

Best use cases: Hanging a wide range of clothing that needs to maintain shape, especially formal attire. Also great for adding aesthetic appeal to your closet.

Investing in a set of good quality suit hangers and suit covers ensures your most treasured garments stay protected all through. With the right suit hangers, you can keep the entire wardrobe looking fresh and organized. Additionally, you need to be confident enough about storing your formal attire, so quality closet accessories count.

More Resources for Choosing the Right Suit Hangers:

5. Why Choose Butler Luxury?

Proper suit storage is heavily reliant on the use of the right hangers and suit covers. The correct shape, size, and type of wooden hangers help maintain the natural contour of your suit jacket and prevents damage to your outfit.

Choosing the Right Hangers

Butler Luxury's line of suit covers and suit hangers protect your treasured formal pieces while in storage to keep them in top condition and ready to wear. We design, manufacture, and distribute luxury home items to a global market that consists of clothing designers, tailors, museums, and hotels that insist on the best. We're making that same collection available to you - today!

Visit our men's and women's suit hanger collection, along with our suit covers pages to start shopping. You can also contact us today for queries. We're here to help!