Wednesday , October 18 2017

A Savile Row guide to maintaining and purchasing a suit.

Stowers are a renowned family owned Savile Row Bespoke tailors. Ray Stowers has worked on Savile Row for over thirty-three years and established Stowers with his son Chris in 2008. They have a first class reputation for service and quality. Their clientele include Royalty, Prime Ministers as well as the Rich and Famous; regularly travelling the globe to meet with them.  Here, Ray has taken time out of his busy schedule, which includes various trips across the Atlantic to meet with his clients, to discuss some of the finer points regarding the purchase and the on-going maintenance of a tailored, made-to-fit suit.

 

The Suits:

Ideally you should have 5 suits in your wardrobe, one for each day of the week. This allows time for the suit’s natural fibres to recover, ready for the next wearing and help maintain the natural shape of the garment. Most of the wear is on the trousers, so if possible always try and buy two pairs and keep tabs on which pair you have worn. Alternate the trousers with each wear; this will prolong the life of the suit by 2/3 times. Depending on the nature of your work, a blazer with 2/3 pairs of trousers is a good option. As the trousers wear you can replace them, then eventually the jacket.

 

Purchasing a Suit:

Not everyone can afford a hand made Savile Row suit. Obviously buy what you can afford, but always try and buy from a business that can offer you a service and aftercare. I encourage my clients to return their clothing for a service, we will alter, repair and re-press the clothing. You usually won’t get this from a store or designer shop, so look for a small independent tailor that will do more than just sell you something! Also, they will give you a more objective opinion when purchasing a suit, they will want you to return and become a regular client.

 

Storage:

When you come home, don’t leave your suit on the back of a chair or in a heap on the floor. After each wear hang the suit on a hanger and place it back in the wardrobe. Always use a good quality hanger with wider ends that will hold and support the shape of the shoulders.  When placing the suit in the wardrobe, don’t squeeze the hanging garments together, give them space to breath – this allows the suit to take its natural shape and any moisture to exit.

 

Cleaning:

Don’t dry clean your suit unless it’s absolutely necessary. Dry cleaning strips the wool of its natural oils and will cause damage over time to the natural fibres. Try and remove any stains by rubbing softly with water. If this fails, chemical stain removers are available. Although in this case, my recommendation would be to give the garment to an expert who can advise on the stain. Also some dry cleaners will offer a sponge and press service as an alternative to dry cleaning.

 

Pressing:

If your suit, especially the trousers, are particularly creased then they may need to be pressed. Firstly, hang them away as I mentioned earlier and if the fabric is of good quality then most of the creasing should fall out. However if it’s creased then use a steam iron to steam out the creases – place the iron close to the fabric without touching it. If it’s heavily creased then try hanging the garment in the bathroom and turn on the shower filling the room with steam. Only leave it for 5 to 10 minutes and don’t let the cloth become saturated. The creases will drop out and will lift the fibres.

Also, if the suits smells of smoke or it’s a hot day then try hanging the suit outdoors and let some air pass through the fabric and leave for as long as necessary. If the suit requires pressing then do not place the iron directly onto the fabric asthis may cause it to shine. Always use a piece of cotton fabric between the iron and the garment. Also avoid filling pockets with junk and coins this will damage the pockets and fabric.

 

Wear your suit with pride and make sure you have polished those shoes!

Pay a visit to the Stowers webite where you can book a consultation with Ray: www.stowers.london

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