A suit is an essential component of every man’s wardrobe. Even if you don’t wear it on a daily or even weekly basis, there will be occasions that require you to wear one — and there’s no substitution for a high-quality, custom-fitted suit. But like all garments, even suits will deteriorate and degrade with age. So, how do you know when it’s time to retire your suit and replace it with a new one? Here are a few signs to look for.
#1) It’s Too Small
If you suit is too big, you can usually have it resized by taking it to a professional tailor. The tailor can essentially remove the excess fabric, bringing the sides in to create a better fit. But if you’ve outgrown your suit, you may want to throw in the towel and retire your suit. Some tailors can add extra fabric or make other modifications to make an undersized suit fit better. However, it’s not going to fit as good as a new, properly fitted suit. For these reasons, you should consider retiring your suit if it’s too small.
#2) It’s Torn and Damaged
Of course, another sign that it’s time to retire your suit is when your suit is torn or otherwise severely damaged. Assuming your suit is made of high-quality fabric (e.g. twill or tweed), it shouldn’t damage easily. On the contrary, it takes severe stress to damage a high-quality suit. Nonetheless, damage can occur, and when it does, you’ll have one of three options from which to choose: you can either keep the suit, repair the suit, or replace it. Keeping the suit isn’t recommended, simply because no one wants to wear a visibly damaged suit. Repairing it can be questionable, as there’s no guarantee that it will look like new again. Replacing the suit, on the other hand, is usually your best option, especially if it’s severely damaged.
#3) It’s Outdated
Still wearing a suit with a 1970s-inspired design? Well, there’s no better time than the present to retire it. Some men have a tendency to hold on to their suits for years — or even decades. There’s nothing wrong with trying to stretch out your money’s worth in a suit, but you have to remember that fashion styles come and go with time. A suit design that was once popular 10 years ago may no longer be popular today. Fashion trends are constantly changing, with old styles being phased out in favor of new, more modern styles. If your suit features an outdated design that’s no longer “hot,” it’s probably a good idea to retire it.
#4) It’s Stretch Out
A fourth sign that it’s time to retire your suit is when the fabric is stretched out. Professional tailors can work their magic on suits, making them look and fit better. However, they typically cannot fix a suit that’s been stretched out. Maybe you accidentally stretched it out when wearing it, or perhaps the dry cleaners did it. Regardless of how it happened or who’s responsible for doing it, stretched-out suits are a serious eye-sore. They look awkward and funny when worn, which is why you should avoid wearing them when possible. Instead, choose a suit that’s fitted specifically for your body type. The bottom line is that you usually need to retire your suit if it’s been stretched out.
#5) It’s No Longer Comfortable
Is your suit no longer comfortable to wear? This is a tell-tale sign that’s time to retire it. Depending on the specific fabric from which it was made, maybe your suit was originally soft and supple. Over time, however, it’s become stiff and rough, making it downright uncomfortable to wear. You shouldn’t be forced to wear any clothing that’s uncomfortable, including a suit. So, consider retiring your suit and replacing it with a new, soft suit instead. It’s a smart investment that’s guaranteed to improve your appearance and level of comfort.
#6) You’ve Lost a Piece
If you’ve lost a piece to your three-piece suit, perhaps you should retire it. By definition, a three-piece suit consists of a single-breasted jacket with matching trousers and a vest (also known as a waistcoat). Normally, all three of these pieces are made from the same fabric; thus, offering a cohesive appearance in which everything flows together. If you lose a piece — either the jacket, trousers or waistcoat — you can try searching for a replacement, but you probably won’t find the exact same style. As a result, your three-piece suit will no look awkward and out of place. This is why it’s usually a better idea to simply retire your suit. Once your suit has been retired, you can begin searching for a new three-piece suit with all matching components.
#7) It’s a Low-Quality Suit
Of course, you should probably retire your suit if it’s made of low-quality materials and/or craftsmanship. You can often get away with wearing a cheap shirt, especially for casual occasions. The same cannot be said about wearing a low-quality suit, however. Because suits are intended to be worn for formal events and occasions, you’ll need to choose a high-quality suit. You can expect to pay more for a suit made of high-quality materials and craftsmanship, but this in one instance in which the saying “You get what you pay for” holds true. By spending just a little more money on your suit, you’ll be able to wear it for a longer period of time.
#8) It Doesn’t Compliment Your Body
Finally, you should retire your suit if it doesn’t compliment your body. What does this mean exactly? Well, different people have different body shapes and sizes. As a result, some suits will look better than others.
These are just a few signs that it’s time to retire your suit. Of course, once you’ve purchased a new suit, you’ll want to take the necessary precautions to preserve it.