How to prolong a suit’s life whilst being worn
09 November 2016
Although your suits spend more time in the wardrobe than on your person, it is when they are being worn that the most stress and damage is being done. It is for this reason that I write this blog; to make you aware of the stresses that your suit faces when being worn and, more importantly, how to prevent these where possible.
You should be able to guess what the main tip is going to be here, it is of course the F word: FIT. A suit too tight will pull on its seams and fastened buttons. If the waist is too tight, each wear will pull the button threads looser, leading to a dangling front button – not a good look. Too tight a fit on the back and shoulder, will stretch the centre seam which, worst-case scenario, could tear the cloth itself which (unlike a split seam) is unfortunately irreparable.
The same stands for trousers; a tight seam on your seat and fork can lead to an embarrassing scenario. I’ll let you use your imagination here!
Here lie the real secrets…
Once a suit is made or adjusted so that it fits correctly, the main problems of straining seams are alleviated. However, once we introduce movement to the equation, the points of strain shift…. namely when we are seated. Luckily, solutions to prevent damage exist:
Unbutton your Jacket when seated: When standing, one’s jacket should be fastened. However, if the jacket remains fastened when seated, the button will pull the fastening threadd, leaving you with a dangling button. Due to your change in posture, the jacket’s centre back seam will also be under pressure, again increasing the risk of a torn cloth or split seam. So, whenever you sit – even if only for a moment – undo your button.
Remove your jacket when seated: Even though an unbuttoned jacket is much safer than its buttoned counterpart, it is still susceptible to creasing. Accidentally sitting on your jackets vents will press an unsightly crease into it and while this doesn’t directly damage the suit, it certainly doesn’t make the suit look any better! If sitting for a prolonged period, remove your jacket and hang it elsewhere – the back of your chair provides the best support for a jacket without a proper suit hanger.
Hitch up your trouser when seated: When standing your trouser will fall neatly down your leg with no points under pressure. As soon as you sit your thighs relax and expand and your knees bend. The fit of the thigh here is crucial – make sure there is room for your legs to expand into when you sit! To stop your bent knees from putting unnecessary pressure on the seam at the knee; hitch the front of your trousers up by a couple of inches just before you sit.
At this point you may consider dry-cleaning your suit or just slinging it into your wardrobe. Before putting either of these thoughts into action, read our blog “HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR BESPOKE SUIT” for tips on after wear after care!