How to Clean & Care for Tailored Clothing

Tailored clothing items include classic office staples, relaxed dress pieces, and formal attire. All of these garments should be cared for appropriately to ensure they stand the test of time.

Professional Cleaning

Dry cleaning is the recommended cleaning method for tailored clothing, though it should be done as infrequently as possible—after several wears or once per season, not after each wear. Garments cleaned less frequently will last longer than garments cleaned more frequently.

It is important not to clean your tailored clothing items in a washing machine or dryer. This can irreparably misshape or damage them.

Spot Care at Home

Wool Fabrics

Spot cleaning with wool detergent and a wet cloth is effective for removing small stains. It is best to blot the stained area. Avoid rubbing as this can force the stain deeper into the fabric fibers.

A wool/fabric brush can be used periodically. This will prolong the life of the garment by removing loose particles that could break down the wool.

Cotton & Linen Fabrics

Spot-treat stains promptly, blotting the stained area with detergent and a wet cloth.

Removing Wrinkles

Wool is naturally wrinkleresistant and rebounds well from wrinkles when hung between wears. Cottons and linens are more naturally prone to creasing and do not rebound as easily as wool fabrics do

Steaming is the recommended way to remove wrinkles from your tailored clothing garments. It’s also a great way to freshen and disinfect your clothing. The high heat kills bacteria, while the moisture helps to relax the fabric’s fibers and release dirt.

Ironing is also acceptable, though it should be done on a low heat setting to prevent potential damage. Wool should be ironed on a lower heat setting than should be used for cotton or linen garments.

How Often to Clean

Tailored clothing requires less frequent cleaning than your dress shirts or casual pants. Trousers should be cleaned more frequently than jackets.

Jackets and trousers should be cleaned as needed as they display signs of odor and wear. Cleaning your garments will help to remove sweat and bacteria that may build up over multiple uses. 

The best way to determine when it is time to send your garments to the cleaners is when you notice that airing out and spot cleaning aren’t removing the odor and dirt successfully.

Frequency of Wear

Pilling refers to the small balls of fiber that can form on almost any fabric. It’s mainly caused by rubbing and friction that occurs during wear or wash. The best way to prevent pilling is by wearing your garments less frequently, avoiding backpacks and bags that cause repeated friction in the same area, and not rubbing stains when spot cleaning. Cleaning your clothes properly will also help to prevent excessive pilling.

Despite these precautions, you may still experience some pilling over time. The most effective way to remove pills is by using a fabric comb or electric pill remover that gently shaves the pills off the fabric surface.

Fabric abrasion may also occur over time. Avoiding friction, refraining from frequent wear, and practicing good cleaning methods will help to prolong the fabric’s strength and reduce surface deterioration.

Tears can occur in areas of a garment that undergo high stress or tension. If they occur at a seam, you can bring your garment to your local tailor and they should be able to mend it easily.