Looking After Your Suits

Recently I’ve had a lot of customers asking me about the best way to press and look after their suits. So I thought I’d let you know how I do things.

A classic sleeve board, cheap and useful

A classic sleeve board, cheap and useful

In an ideal world you’ve got yourself a good week’s supply of bespoke clothing. I say this not to keep tailors like me in beer money, but to let you know how to get the very best from your bespoke wardrobe. If you’re new to bespoke and have recently got your first suit, this often when caring problems arise.

You see, if your tailor has done a good job, your first bespoke will now be your favourite in the wardrobe, and you’ll want to wear it all the time. Wonderful, but the problem is you’ll end up wanting to wear it too much. As I’ve said before, a proper bespoke suit can easily last ten or fifteen years. But they need a rest, just like the rest of us. So the most important key to success is to rotate your wardrobe. Wear your suit a maximum of a couple of times a week. Then brush it down well with a good quality brush. It may not look dirty, but dust, pollen and other particles will have settled on the cloth. And if you don’t shake them out they’ll go deeper into fibre and you’ll ingrain dirt into the fabric each time it’s worn.

Secondly, always put your suit on a quality hanger. it should be broad and shaped to support the coat’s shoulders. Also make sure the trouser bar is anti-slip- it’s not very nice to find a heap on the wardrobe floor.

Now as long as you’re not unlucky with the tomato ketchup, this is all you’ll need to do, and trips to dry cleaners should be very rare. However, one thing that your suit will miss is a good pressing. To attempt this on a conventional ironing board is useless and frustrating, to say the least. They’re always too small and you can never keep a hold of what you’re pressing.

What you need is a good iron [preferably with the option to vertically spray steam], a good sleeve board [just like real tailors use] and a solid flat table and cloth. The manufactured sleeve boards you buy in the shops are pretty useless, so you’re much better getting your local carpenter to make you one. Just show him the picture above, to give him an idea. You’ll need to cover one side with padding, just like a regular ironing board. It’s not rocket science to make, and you’ll be in business right away. It’ll last a lifetime and you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.

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About Thomas Mahon

Thomas Mahon is one of the most experienced tailors on Savile Row with a list of clients including royalty, celebrities and business icons. Tom has almost thirty years experience of hand tailoring in Savile Row including five years at Savile Row’s most famous and respected tailor, Anderson & Sheppard. His clients experience the traditions and expertise of the finest bespoke tailoring available today using a soft and unstructured style typical of Anderson & Sheppard. His workshop is based at Warwick Hall in Cumbria and also meets clients at his office in London, Tom also makes regular trips to visit his growing international client base in Europe, the USA and further afield. When not creating beautiful bespoke suits, travelling to see clients or sharing his sartorial advice with his internet followers, Tom enjoys teaching sailing and is the boats officer for the Sea Cadet Corps near his Cumbria home. For the full story visit www.englishcut.com
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