Tag Archives: “How to” series…

10 Essential Tips: How To Care For A Suit

Suit Care 101 – Ten Essentials:

1.  Dry clean twice a year – once per season.  Never any more.

2.  Spot clean to deal with daily stains.  Take a wet towel and dab at the stain to pull it out of the cloth.  No wiping, no rubbing – only dabbing.  Avoid soaps and chemicals as they can change the color of the cloth – a problem that is usually more unsightly than the original stain itself.

3.  Softly brush the suit before and after each use.  Head to your local cobbler and grab a basic horsehair shoe brush.  Go over every part of the suit – should take no more than two-three minutes.  What you’re doing is brushing away dust and dirt fragments as well as opening up the wool itself to allow it to breath.  With wool being a natural fiber that breath-ability allows the not so pleasant odors to escape and the cloth to physically perk up and look better.


4.  Let it breath – after a days use and the brushing process is complete leave the suit in an open space to let fresh air circulate through it.  The more time we give it the more the odors will disperse.  Conversely if we jam it in the closet the exact opposite will occur.

5.  Proper hangers.  The key is to get yourself hangers with at least 2-2½” of width at the end – this is crucial as it helps supports the shoulder area when it’s not in use.  Do not keep it on a skinny plastic hanger as the shoulder will quickly loose its shape and it is very difficult to get that shape back.  For the pants – it’s best to hang them upside down from the bottoms.  The waistband and upper portion of the pant is heavier hence the creases that formed in the day will naturally fall out of the cloth when left upside down.  An easy solution – get to Ikea as they offer serious value at 99 cents per hanger.


6.  Never steam a suit – not even quickly by hanging it on the bathroom door while you shower.  Never – period.  To create the shape of the suit we use both steam and heat to shrink the cloth in some areas while stretching it in others.  Miss-used steam destroys that work and again it’s hard to get the shape back.

7.  Rest – at a minimum you need to give at least a full days rest between uses.  Ultimately you have a few suits in the rotation so you’re able to wear each suit once a week.  If it has to be twice then sticking to these directions is critical in order to maintain and ultimately increase the life span of your suit.

8.  Common sense.  This is dress clothing and you always need to think about that fact.  If you need do a deep knee bend – first slightly pull the fabric up at the knees to reduce strain on the seams above.  When reaching upwards to grab something off a shelf – first unbutton the jacket to again reduce strain on the seams.  When sending your suit for cleaning or pressing – put it in the suit bag to transport it rather than roll it in a ball and throwing it in a laundry bag.  Suits are expensive pieces of clothing and need to be treated as such at every stage to increase their lifespan.

9.  Send it for a pressing.  After doing all of the above there will still come a time when the suit begins to look a touch sloppy.  That is when you take it to a trusted dry cleaner and get the suit lightly pressed.  Repeat – lightly pressed not dry cleaned.  When dropping it off you need to stress it’s to be a light pressing – especially on the lapels.  A light pressing will give life to the cloth and make you appear a bit more crisp and sharp.  Over pressing will simply beat the life out of the cloth and make it shiny.  Roughly every 8-10 weeks will do.

10.  Be aware.  As you’re brushing take stock of how the garment is wearing.  Are there any pulls in the cloth?  Are any of the seams showing signs of strain?  It’s a lot easier to manage little problems in wear and tear as opposed to dealing with full on rips and blowouts.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions – take care.



How To Nail Dressed Casual In 5 Steps

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Introducing Dressed Casual.

Vancouver is unquestionably casual when it comes to attire – the result being we perpetually feel on the verge of overdressing in a way you would never feel in Europe, New York or Montreal.  Suits are a daily ritual in certain sectors and remain appropriate in specific non-work situations but much more common is a dressed casual approach: especially in industries like advertising, technology, hospitality and real estate.  It’s a fully put together look but one that is firmly casual in its roots.

Oddly though the dressed casual look is way harder to pull off.  With a suit comes certain conventions that guide and keep you focused.  With dressed casual you’re walking a line between two styles – with this comes plenty of freedom and choice but more importantly ample opportunity to make mistakes.

Here are 5 keys to nailing the dressed casual look:

1.  Wear a jacket.

An odd jacket or blazer is the key to the dressed casual look – instantly you’re appearance is elevated a level.  Three keys in this:

The first is it’s an odd jacket – meaning the pants don’t match.  There should be no confusion thus the color, texture and pattern of the two need to be clearly different.  The second is cloth selection – smoother worsted wools are the most formal, flannels and textured wools are less so and then we have tweeds, linens and lastly cotton which is the most casual.  The last key is the jacket’s structure and length – a loose rule being the more unstructured and shorter the jacket the more casual it becomes so find the balance that works for you.

2.  Get the pants right.

Whether you’re wearing wool, cotton or denim it’s crucial to sync the fit of your pant to that of your jacket.  A jacket creates a long and lean silhouette – our pants need to do the same thing.  The most common error; too loose and too long.  We need room in the seat and quads as most of us sit for the bulk of the day.  What should be lost though is the bagginess that most guys wear from the knee down and the pooling that occurs on your shoe.  Trim it up.

3.  Wear a collar.

You would think this is obvious but I see a lot of jackets worn over t-shirts out there.  Without doubt a collar elevates your look to the next level – depending on execution it can lean towards a more formal look or it can be quite casual.  A warning though – a polo shirt doesn’t always count.  There is what I refer to as a dress polo and then there are golf shirts.  If your polo is like the one below then go ahead.

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4.  Mix and match.

This refers to texture of cloth, layers and a little bit of color – notice how that is listed last.  Color is often pushed as the first way to spice up your look – I couldn’t disagree more.  When used well color can definitely add to a look but it’s the blending and layering of different textures that makes things visually appealing.  In the images above and below you see exactly that – a cashmere sweater under a textured wool, flannel paired with a smooth worsted wool, cotton with a dressed up denim.  It’s the subtlety that is so crucial – play around a bit and learn what looks best to your eye.

5.  Shoes make the man.

The saying might be a bit over the top but shoes absolutely complete the finished product.  And with trimming down your pants and removing the pooling at your ankles your shoes are now prominently on display which means they cannot be an afterthought.  Suede chukkas, classic lace-ups, loafers – the ones shown are a just few examples of the options available to you.  Look for a post next week when I’ll go over the range of shoes you need to have on hand.  At a minimum though – keep them polished and well loved.

Take care – and as always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch.