How to Care For Your Formal Wear
Like owning a pet, purchasing men's formal wear comes with responsibility. If you want to get your money’s worth and look as great each time you wear it as you did first time on, then you need to take care of your suit, tux, dress shirt, etc.
Jackets should be hung on shaped wooden hangers to avoid crease lines and to maintain a good shape to the shoulders. When hanging, cotton garment bags or covers should be used to allow the fabric to breathe, prevent moisture build-up, stop dust marks on the shoulders and to help keep critters out. Keeping cedar chips in the wardrobe will also repel moths and moisture.
Remember to brush off any superficial dirt and gently dab off minor stains with a soft damp cloth before hanging your suit.
Follow the manufacturers care instructions for all your garments. If it says don’t dry clean, then guess what, don’t dry clean! Traditionally dress shirts were laundered using starch on the bib front, collar and cuffs, but good quality modern formal shirts tend to be dry cleanable. Avoid dry cleaning your suits, whether formal or business, too often as this will shorten their lifespan. If you have been in a smoky, smelly environment, you can usually air them before hanging to remove the odours.
Any creases can be removed by a gentle steaming – home steamers can be a good investment. But a great tip for removing creases when travelling (or even at home) it to hang the garment in the bathroom while you take your shower.
If you don’t wear your dress shoes very often, store them in cotton bags. This will allow them to breathe and keep them dust free. A cedar shoe tree is also an inexpensive investment to maintain the shape of your shoes and remove any excess moisture.
Cufflinks and shirt studs should ideally be kept in their original boxes to protect them. Or you could invest in a lined cufflink box. Leaving them loose in a drawer is tempting fate. There's nothing worse than only finding one of a pair or realising that they have been damaged.