Looking dapper does come with a price — and it’s not just the price tag. Wearing suits regularly means you need to have a great dry cleaner on speed dial. But having a good contact doesn’t mean you know how often you need to dry clean your suits. From fabric choices to perspiration levels, many things can impact how much time you have between washes.
How Often Do You Need to Dry Clean Your Suits?
If you want your suits to hold up for decades, you need to find a reputable dry cleaner. These tailored outfits are constructed with layers of different fabrics and padding, which need to be cleaned in a particular way.
Sure, we all know you need to keep your clothes clean. But you don’t get a revelation from the tailoring gods when you buy your first suit about when you need to bring it to the dry cleaners. There are a few factors you should consider before getting your suits dry-cleaned.
Most People Can Dry Clean Suits After 3-4 Wears
The average rule of thumb for dry cleaning suits is after every three to four wears, or about three to six months. If you only break out your suits for special occasions, then you can probably go a year or two before taking yours to the dry cleaners.
But, if you’re a professional who needs to wear suits every day, then that frequency could skyrocket up to going to the dry cleaners every week. This is how lifestyle can undermine a “one size fits all” rule.
Perspiration Can Make a Difference
Listen, suits may look stunning, but they can be stiflingly hot. If you sweat through your t-shirts on an average summer day, you might find yourself soaking through your suit layers. If you’re someone who sweats a lot, then you might not be able to get away with the average three to four-wear wash cycle.
You can maximize how often you'll be able to wear your suits with underarm sweat pads. These absorbent pads will stick to your shirts and give you another layer of protection between you and your suit.
Silk, Leather, & Suede Are Fabrics to Dry Clean Less Often
Suits come in an array of fabrics, and while some are made of sturdier stock, there are delicate materials that shouldn’t be dry cleaned that often.
If you have silk, leather, or suede suits, be extra careful with dry cleaning. Going to an improper dry cleaner or taking them too often can destroy your suit's luster and texture.
If you can, stretch your dry cleaning suits with these fabrics to about once a year. And make sure you invest in a specialty dry cleaner knowledgeable in how these delicate fabrics need to be treated.
Wool Suits Hold Up Well Between Cleanings
Wool suits are made of natural fibers that resist staining quite well. This means you should be able to wear your wool suits multiple times without feeling like they need to be cleaned. But you can rest easy knowing your wool suits will hold up between washes.
Linen Fares Well When Dry Cleaned
You might be tempted to toss your linen suits in the wash with your other linen clothes. However, linen suits should be taken to the dry cleaners about every three to four wears. This will protect the flax’s natural structure.
One downside to linen suits is that they stain more easily than other fabrics. If you get a stain, try to bring it to the dry cleaners as soon as possible so it doesn’t bake into your suit.
3 Ways to Keep Your Suits Clean for Longer
Dry cleaners aren’t cheap. Save yourself some money by following these tips for keeping your suits clean for longer.
- Match the right fabrics to each season. You’ll probably sweat through a thick tweed suit in summer, so do your best to pair the right fabrics for each season.
- Steam your suits before each wear. The steam can kill lingering bacteria and help freshen up your fabric between washes.
- Cover suits when you’re not wearing them. Dust can be a nightmare to get out of some fabric weaves. Keep your suits protected by storing them in garment bags.
Your Suits Need a Wash Routine, Too
If you treat your suit cleanings with the same amount of discipline you do your hair routine, they’ll look fresh for years. Investing in a suit involves more than just hanging it in the closet and hoping it fits the next time you put it on. Regularly dry cleaning them can make all the difference.