Getting a bespoke suit is your first step to becoming a gentleman. Sure, your Pitti Uomo dreams are still a distance away, but you’re getting there. First, you need to learn how to care for that suit. We speak to Wen Yeunh, co-founder of local specialist menswear retailer WJ & Co to find out how to take care of that investment — and guess what? It doesn’t involve sending your bespoke suit to the dry cleaner’s.
Born out of a frustration that there aren’t many available options for classic menswear items in Malaysia, Wen Yeunh decided to fix that gap by establishing WJ & Co with his business partner, Jay Son Tan. The multi-label menswear store in Bangsar Shopping Centre brings in a curated selection of quality, artisanal products from all over the world. Who better to ask about taking care of the suit that you paid so much for?
Properly caring for your bespoke suit will ensure its longevity. After all, it’s a classic item of clothing that can last you for years and possibly become a vintage item for your future generation of children and grandchildren.
Do the bare minimum — hang up your suit
As lazy as you get after an eventful evening of donning your bespoke suit, at least hang up your suit — don’t toss it on the couch. Hanging up your suit allows the suit to relax and release some of the creases built up from the wear during the day. “For stubborn creases, a light steam will work in a pinch. Or you could just leave the suit in the bathroom with a hot shower going,” says Wen Yeunh.
Get proper hangers
Wen Yeunh advises men to get a proper hanger for their suits. These hangers should be able to do two main things: accommodate the shoulder angle and fill out the shoulders, and allow the neck of the jacket to wrap around the hanger naturally, so curvature at the back of the hanger helps. He recommends specialist hanger brand Nakata Hanger from Japan, which covers both these elements.
Just brush your suit
“Just a brush every now and then to remove dirt buildup helps tremendously,” says Wen Yeunh. As for what type of suit brush you should get, he suggests picking a natural fibre brush, such as horse hair.
Don’t send it to the dry cleaner’s
“We don’t recommend dry cleaning as dry cleaners tend to use harsh chemicals that strip away natural oils found in wool, cotton, and other fabrics,” he continues. That, in turn, will dry out the fabric and shorten your suit’s lifespan. However, if the germaphobe in you is twitching, Wen Yeunh says dry cleaning every six months or so is fine if you absolutely need to. However, if you’re just bothered by the creases, he recommends a good tailor’s press to do to the trick. Of course, it doesn’t need to be put out there that you should never, ever toss your bespoke suit into the washing machine.
Get a garment bag for travelling
If you need to bring your suit on your travels, be sure to invest in a garment bag. It’ll protect your suit from wrinkles and ensure that no other unsightly stain gets on it. You can either get the standard garment bag or invest in one of those nifty bags that fold up into its own trolley bag. Because your bespoke suit only deserves the best.
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