A Well-Maintained Wardrobe - How To Increase The Life Expectancy Of Your Tailored Clothing

A wise man once said money well spent is money well-earned and, although a solid assessment of wealth management, we argue it’s a bit of a half-truth. As is the case with any investment, whether it be your car, home, stock portfolio or your wardrobe, maintenance is key to preserving the inherent quality and value of the assets acquired. In other words, money well spent is a wardrobe well-maintained.

In our first few seasons of being in business, we’ve been fortunate to offer some of the best quality menswear on the market, opening our clients’ up to a myriad of great fits, fabrics and construction in their tailored clothing closets. However, above all else, the attention paid to the care of your clothing is paramount to their longevity.  With that in mind, we’ve put together a few pointers to keep your investments in great condition for years to come.

Hang It Up

Although tailored to fit you, most garments spend the majority of their life hanging in your closet between wears. It’s no wonder then that one of the most important, yet often overlooked, aspects to keeping your suits and sport coats in optimal condition is the hanger it rests on. Using the wrong size hanger or, even worse, the wire strut hangers of dry-cleaning notoriety, is akin to putting the wrong size tires on your car - not only are you eventually knocking all of your clothing out of alignment and breaking down its suspension, you are inhibiting it from doing its job, contouring to your body.

A proper hanger takes into account the inherent contours built into garments, the varying range of shoulder widths (after all, not all shoulders and coats are created equal), as well as the spacing afforded between each garment as it hangs in your closet. We’ve partnered with Kirby Allison’s The Hanger Project to outfit our Roosevelt & Co. garments with the perfect hanger for every client; four available widths coupled with their 2.5” shoulder flare provide the strongest support on the market and their varying wood finishes and custom options allow for you to select the perfect support system to complement your style from suits and sport coats to dress trousers and shirts.

Brush It Off

Every trip your clothing takes to the drycleaners leads to a dramatic decrease in its longevity. In fact, on average, a suit or sport coat should only be taken to a drycleaners 1-2 times a year as the chemical buildup and unforgiving strain the process entails is the leading cause of a garment’s breakdown. Unless you and your closet remain in a bubble, the likelihood of the dust and debris of daily life affecting the life expectancy of your wardrobe is substantial. Using a garment brush is a smart, efficient method to keeping your clothing clean and maintained. By brushing your suit jackets, trousers and sweaters before and after use, you can safely remove any embedded lint or dust without having to make the trip to the cleaners after every wear.

We recommend using a brush composed of natural bristles as they will have more give than synthetic brushes and are less likely to scratch or wear down more delicate fabrics. A garment brush will not only last you a lifetime but guarantee you more wear out of the garments you already own. Furthermore, a natural bristled garment brush won’t leave behind any of the adhesive residue more likely to attract lint and dust to your best clothes.

Your Over/Under Strategy

Continuing the mantra of less is more where drycleaning is involved, maintaining a shielded layer for your tailored clothing, whether on or off the hanger, will also add to its overall shelf life, pun intended. Although convenient for travel, garment bags - primarily plastic bags - can do more harm to your clothing than good as they trap moisture, debris, and smells that will lead to the breakdown of better quality garments. Ditch the suffocating plastic and opt for cotton twill shoulder dust covers for your seasonal garments to keep the debris at bay while allowing your clothing to breathe properly during the off season.
Another often overlooked consideration is what is worn, ahem, under your garments to keep moisture and sweat away from the tailored pieces you’re unable to throw in the washing machine at home. Investing in the right undergarments will not only increase the life of your tailored pieces but make for a more comfortable day overall. We have had the Saxx collection in the shop since our opening and their lineup of undergarments have become fan favorites for sure. We are also adding Tasc undershirts to our lineup as their bamboo cotton fabrics perform so well. We recommend considering V-neck undershirts (Tasc even offers a deep V) that are the perfect buffer for your dress shirts, while minimizing the dreaded peek-a-boo effect caused when that dress shirt collar is worn open without a tie.

Consider Your Rotation

A little R&R is good for us all but even more so for our day to day wardrobes. Just as is the case for your shoe wardrobe, your tailored clothing is engineered to be worn, but not worn out. Even the staple navy blazer and blue and white shirt regimen need a break from time to time as all natural fabrics need time to air out and hang to avoid permanent creases. A well-rounded wardrobe isn’t just essential to your outward appearance but to the livelihood of your clothing.

A stockpile of 8-10 dress shirts, 5-7 trousers, and a handful of seasonal sport coats and suits each - all of which fit and you’ll actually wear - will keep your rotation, and all of your garments, in good standing between those necessary cleanings and all of life’s circumstances.

As you continue to build your tailored clothing wardrobe, consider the guidelines we've listed above to protect your investments and inevitably increase the life of your closet overall. No matter how much a garment costs or how well it is made, the care it is shown after it walks out our shop doors is the key to your money being well spent

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