Frugal Suit Care Tips for the Spring

The first warm days of spring signal a change from the heavier wool suits of winter to the lighter fabrics and colors of spring. Here are a few maintenance tips for the frugal menswear enthusiast who wants to keep his well-curated wardrobe of suits and sport coats looking their best for the spring and summer season.

I like to check my spring and summer suits for loose or missing buttons at the beginning of spring. Loose buttons are resewn securely and lost buttons are replaced. If I don’t have a matching replacement button, I replace all of the jacket buttons with a set that coordinates well with the jackets fabric color. But I do it the frugal way!

Frugal Suit Care Tips for Spring
My linen Black Brown 1826 sport coat is getting some spring maintenance!

I keep a growing collection of suit buttons salvaged from old suits and sport coats that are retired as they wear out or no longer fit. These are complete button sets (jacket front & sleeve) that can be used to replace buttons on current garments if needed. A new set of good quality suit or blazer buttons generally cost $10.00 per set and higher. I avoid that cost by salvaging button sets from old suits and sport coats I am throwing out.

Suit Care Tips for Spring - Frugal
Because this sport coat has a missing button, I am replacing it with a set salvaged from an old worn-out sport coat.
Needle & Thread
Tip: Double up the thread when threading a needle for sewing buttons for a stronger shank.

By the way, there is something else I salvage from my old, worn-out suits before retiring them. The lining! I can often reuse the lining as one-of-a-kind pocket squares (I also do this with old worn-out dress shirts). A sample of an old suit lining reused as a pocket square is seen below.

Suit Care Tips - Pocket Square
This ‘silky’ pocket square was made from an old suit lining.

I also like to give my suits and sport coats a thorough brushing and quick steaming inside and out to ready them for spring. It’s a great way to refresh the fabric and remove any lingering odors. Use a soft-bristled clothing brush to remove any dust that may have accumulated on the fabric from storage during the colder months. After brushing, give the fabric a steaming inside and out with a handheld clothing steamer to remove any lingering odor and bacteria (it’s also great for killing moth larva and dust mites that may be attracted to your suit). A light misting with Febreze Fabric Refresher before steaming enhances the odor removing power of a clothing steamer and leaves a gentle clean scent.

clothes brush
A soft-bristled clothing brush
Suit Care Tips - Clothing Steamer
A clothing steamer is your suit’s best friend!

The use of a clothing steamer minimizes the need to dry clean suits. It is generally recommended that you should not dry-clean a suit more than once a year.

Finally, if needed give your suit or sport coat a light pressing. Check this post for a guide on pressing suits properly.

That’s it! This low-cost regimen that will ensure that your spring and summer suits look and smell their best every year! This regimen can work either to prepare clothes for storage or for a season of wear. I hope you find these tips useful! – SplurgeFrugal!