Want to make your suit jacket last a lifetime? If so, you'll need to maintain it. Suit jackets aren't immune to damage. Like all garments, they can degrade when frequently worn day after day. You may notice that your suit jacket has a torn seam, or perhaps it's become faded. While discovering damage such as this is frustrating, you can often prevent it through regular maintenance. Below are seven tips on how to maintain a suit jacket so that it lasts longer and without sustaining damage.
#1) Invest in a Lint Roller
Assuming you don't already have one, you should invest in a lint roller. Whether your suit jacket is made of cotton, linen, wool or any other fabric, it will inevitably attract lint. As lint accumulates on the surface of your suit jacket, it can deteriorate or even stain the fabric. A lint roller offers a quick and effective solution.
A lint roller is a handheld rolling device that contains one-sided tape. When running it over your suit jacket, it will pick up any superficial debris, including lint. Before putting on your suit jacket, take a minute to run a lint roller over the surface. Doing so will create a cleaner suit jacket while simultaneously protecting it from premature damage.
#2) Store With a Cedar Block
When storing your suit jacket, use a cedar block. What is a cedar block exactly? As the name suggests, it's a block of cedar wood. You can place a cedar block inside of the closet where you store your suit jacket.
Cedar blocks offer natural protection against many forms of damage. They'll absorb moisture, for instance, to protect your suit jacket from mold and mildew. And because they are made of real cedar wood, they can repel pests. Cedar wood contains natural oils that act as insect repellants. Some pests, such as moths, can damage your suit jacket. By storing it with a cedar block, your suit jacket will be protected from pests as well as mold and mildew.
#3) Don't Overstuff the Pockets
While there's nothing wrong with using the pockets on your suit jacket, you shouldn't overstuff them. Most suit jackets, of course, have two pockets. They have one pocket on the front-right side and another pocket on the front-left side. If you overstuff either one or both of these pockets, it may cause your suit jacket to deform.
Keep in mind that some suit jackets have their pockets sewn shut. If you buy a new suit jacket, you may discover that you can't open the pockets -- at least not without cutting them first. Rather, the pockets are sewn shut.
Manufacturers often design suit jackets with the pockets sewn shut to protect them from deformation. To open and use them, you'll need to use a seam ripper to cut the thread holding them closed. Just remember not to overstuff the pockets after you've opened them. Filling the pockets with too much stuff -- particularly large and heavy items -- may change the shape of your suit jacket so that it no longer fits properly.
#4) Hang It Up
Try to get into the habit of hanging up your suit jacket when you aren't wearing it. Tossing it on the sofa or the back of a chair is never a good idea. While this won't necessarily damage it, it can make your suit jacket more susceptible to deformation.
Your suit jacket will retain its original shape more easily if you hang it up. You can use a clothes hanger, for example, to store your suit jacket for long periods. With a heavy-duty clothes hanger, your suit jacket won't deform. It will retain its original shape while lasting longer and offering greater value.
#5) Steam, Don't Iron
Your suit jacket is bound to develop wrinkles. While some suit fabrics are more prone to wrinkles than others, they can all develop wrinkles. There are ways that you can remove wrinkles: steaming and ironing. Of those two options, you should choose the former for your suit jacket.
Ironing technically involves the use of steam as well. Steaming, though, specifically refers to the use of a garment steamer. Garment steamers don't have direct contact with the garments on which they are used. As a result, you can use a garment steamer to de-wrinkle your suit jacket without damaging it. Just run the garment steamer a few inches over the surface of your suit jacket, at which point it should remove any wrinkles.
#6) Follow the Care Tag Instructions
Don't forget to check the care tag on your suit jacket for more information on how to maintain it. Like most garments, suit jackets are typically designed with a care tag. You can refer to this tag for specific instructions on how to wash, dry and otherwise maintain your suit jacket.
You can typically find the care tag somewhere inside of your suit jacket. It's not found on the outside of suit jackets. Care tags are designed to be discreet, so they are usually found inside of suit jackets. After opening up your suit jacket, look for a tag or label with instructions on how to maintain it. Known as the care tag, it can provide insight on how to safely and effectively maintain your suit jacket.
#7) Get It Dry Cleaned
Dry cleaning is an essential form of maintenance for suit jackets. Most suit jackets aren't machine washable. Washing your suit jacket may not necessarily damage it, but it can degrade your suit jacket nonetheless. The more you wash it in the washing machine, the faster your suit jacket will degrade. Dry cleaning, conversely, is a safer and gentler way to clean your suit jacket.
Dry cleaning still uses liquid to remove stains and clean garments. However, it doesn't use water; it uses special cleaning chemicals. More importantly, dry cleaning doesn't use a tumbling washing machine. Your suit jacket will remain straight and upright while it's being dry cleaned.