There might be 104 days of summer vacation for Phineas Flynn and Ferb Fletcher, but there certainly isn’t for the average businessman.
Summer is a time of sunshine and blazing temperatures, which can be damaging to the magnificent wardrobe you’ve carefully created. So how to beat the heat and everything that comes along with it?
Here, we’ll show you several tips on how to care for a suit during those hot summer months.
How to Care for a Suit in Summer
The good news is that regular summer heat won’t have direct effects on your wardrobe. But everything summer brings with it–rain, sweat, storage and other fun events–can be damaging.
Let’s start with the bane of every businessman’s existence during summer: sweat stains.
Avoiding Sweat Stains
Very few things are as unappealing and unprofessional as a patch of wet cloth across your new cotton suit. Furthermore, excess sweat on suits creates foul odors and can even damage the fibers. Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way of beating the sweat. Instead, you should take measures to prevent it.
That means avoiding darker suits and wearing lightweight fabrics. Darker suits tend to suck up the sun’s rays like a Kirby vacuum on super mode. Avoid them at all costs to stay cool.
Blues are a classic summer look, anyway, so consider adding them to your seasonal wardrobe if you haven’t already.
In terms of material, aim for anything made of the following:
- Seersucker (this actually refers to the fabric, not the suit style)
- Linen or linen blends
- Cotton or cotton twill
Finally, consider wearing undershirts everywhere and storing a few at the office, as well as some antiperspirant and face wipes. That way if you do come face-to-face with the Sweat Demon, you can change.
A Word About Rain
Carry an umbrella. Everywhere.
Sure, it’s not the manliest thing in the world, but that umbrella can be the only thing stopping the rain from soiling or ruining your $2,000 suit. And while it doesn’t rain as much in the summer as it does in the spring, flash flooding is still a thing.
So bring an umbrella or wear a trench coat.
In the summer, we tend to get slimy and smelly and a little gross, especially after a long day of work.
While it might be natural, this can also mean businessmen tend to bring their suits to the dry cleaners a bit more often than they should. It’s suggested you should only have your suit dry cleaned about twice a year or when it becomes soiled, otherwise, the chemicals can ruin the fibers.
You’ll know when it’s time to bring it to the cleaners by the smell. If a lint roller and some spray don’t do the job, it’s time.
Don’t Overdo It
Try to wear your suit jackets only about twice a week during the summer, even less if you can afford it. Store them in your closet with a rounded hanger to hold their shape and dust them off with a suit brush. Run a lint roller overtop them and place each in a cover while you’re at it to avoid sharing dust.
Doing this gives your jackets time to breathe in between use in a safe environment. It also means you’ll have fewer scents collected on them, increasing the period between your suit and its next visit to the cleaners.
And we all know that’s a lot better on the wallet, anyway.
Doing this will keep you looking fresh at work and will give your suits time to resume their natural appearance, all without the pollen, lint and smells that come along with summer.
Wash Your Sheets
Yeah, that’s right. Your sheets. Once a week.
We don’t have to tell you that summer means hotter weather, and if you don’t have central air (and even if you do), the apartment or house usually gets hotter. That means sweaty nights and grungy sheets.
Laundering will mean less oil and gross things on your skin, which means less dirt on your suit. It’s well worth the two hours.
Travel the Right Way
July is the busiest travel month of the year, and that often means delays, long lines and unanticipated overnight stays at hotels. Especially for this time of year, it’s important to keep your suits safe.
That means packing them correctly.
Use traveling garment bags for your suits. If you don’t have garment bags or you’d like to pack a suit into your carry-on (which is not the worst idea in the world), there are simple ways to fold your suit appropriately.
The best way is to fold it lengthwise shoulder-to-shoulder, then fold one of the shoulders inside out and over the other. Next, fold it in half downwards.
Place your pants into this fold. (Pants are easy; all it takes is one lengthwise fold and two half-folds going waist to cuff.)
If you can, always cover them. All these tricks will mean your suit won’t get ruined by checked baggage or come out looking like a wrinkled elephant. Even better, you’ll be ready for all those delays and cancellations caused by summer tourists.
Any well-versed businessman knows there are some suits you just don’t wear in the summer. For these, it’s important you take measures to keep them safe until autumn.
When the nauseating heat of summer hits, take all the suits you plan to avoid to the dry cleaner. This will remove any unwanted particles that could create funky smells or warp the material during a several-month-long storage session.
If you haven’t tried out the world of custom suits yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. Not only do custom suits fit your body better, but they also can be hand-crafted purely for a certain season.
A tailor will know exactly what material is best and how loose to make the fabric around your shoulders and armpits. You won’t know the meaning of “my suit can breathe” until you’ve tried custom.
They can be lighter, cooler and a lot more comfortable–three things that every man craves in the summer.
You don’t have to sweat the summer months anymore. Using these tips, you’ll look greater than ever and enjoy more longevity in your suits’ lives.
See? Learning how to care for a suit has never been easier.
Take a look at our article about fabrics to find out more handy information about seasonal materials.
No more sweat stains. No more pollen stuck to your jacket. Just you in your suit, looking mighty fine all through those sweltering days.