It never ceases to amaze me, the number of my patrons who stare at me blankly when I inform them that their trousers ought to be stored upside down; hanging from the ankles, of course!
I say of course, but what I oft forget is that the majority of my customers grew up with off-the-peg clothing which typically displays trousers on a hanger whereby trousers are draped/folded at the knee, as opposed a clamp-hanger which suspends trousers from the hems. The genius of this contraption, which resembles a bear-trap, is that the weight of the waistband/pocket construction pulls the trousers straight along the crease and at the same time eradicating any stretching and wrinkling at the knee that your trousers may have acquired through-wear.
So, what other words of sartorial wisdom were not imparted to those of us born since the demise sartorial correctness and the birth of off-the-peg;
Storage: Hanging your Jacket
Your jacket, if tailor made, will have been made to fit you perfectly. Most importantly, your jacket will have been made to fit your shoulders, from which your jacket hangs. In essence, you are the mold for your jacket and it is at it’s happiest being draped over you than at any other time; particularly when it is taken off and hung in your wardrobe – assuming not on the floor..
Ideally, all pieces of your suit will be stored separately: after each wear, they should be hung outside of your wardrobe overnight giving them opportunity to breathe, in much the same way we would rest a pair of fine handmade leather shoes between outings.
Dry Cleaning: The Myth
It is a myth that our suits require regular dry-cleaning. Just because suits can be dry cleaned (woolen ones at least, and, ergo, to avoid the risk of shrinking them but also to prevent the internal construction being damaged they should not be washed in a washing machine) does not mean we should clean them as often as we wash our shirts!
Freshening-up and Sharpening-up: Steaming and Pressing
From time-to-time, however, our suits will require freshening-up, and sharpening-up; if not least to keep hygienically clean. Asking your trusted valet (dry cleaner) to steam and press your suit will not only cost you less but is often all a suit requires to keep it looking sharp.
Your trousers , having been hung and weighted to pull them taught, and your jacket, having been wrapped around an inflatable mannequin which inflates inside the jacket to fill the garment are blasted with hot steam in a steaming cabinet, eradicating the cloth of any wrinkles/creases, and odours. Your trousers will then be bench-pressed to ensure a perfectly straight and sharp crease – it pays to be aware that, depending on your valet, creases can run from hem, through seat, to just below the waistband and may be a little high for some tastes so be sure to mention this as required.
The Clothes Brush: The Brush Off
The humble clothes brush has been almost completely consigned to the annals of time, but it should be the next investment one makes after purchasing a fine suit. Your suit should be brushed, in a downward direction, after each and every outing. The woolen-fibres of your suit’s cloth, known as nap, want to be kept standing to attention. Brushing them regularly will keep the dust and lint free, and reinvigorate the fibres after a days wear; this also helps prevent your suit becoming shiny at the elbows, knees and seat.
So, there you have it. Elementary really. Look after your suit, and your suit will look after you. Bristol’s local tailor provides this public service to the initiated and uninitiated alike – whether they want him to or not – free of charge, with each and every suit purchased.
Those interested in keeping their garments looking tip-top can procure the aforementioned accoutrements from Kent brushes and Caraselle Direct.