A gentleman’s guide to wardrobe maintenance

It's not just about mothballs these days...

Though somewhat less exciting than indulging in a new, crisp purchase that requires no sprucing up, proper care and maintenance of your existing wardrobe is a skill every gentleman should have. After all, it is much harder to justify your more decadent sartorial indulgences when they invariably end up shapeless or damaged shortly after purchase.

Get organised

It sounds obvious, but the first rule of wardrobe maintenance is to get organised. Ensure that you invest some time and effort into assessing the contents of your wardrobe, and this will invariably prove beneficial in the long run. 

With the average man regularly wearing just 13 per cent of his wardrobe, it is likely that there’s a significant amount of unnecessary clutter surrounding your favoured garments. By identifying this surplus, streamlining your outfits and organising them appropriately you’ll rely less on a select few pieces, take the daily brunt off the same one or two items and make everything last longer.

What you'll need

One of the easiest and most valuable ways to upgrade your wardrobe is to swap out any wire or plastic hangers for all wood. Thicker and longer lasting, wooden hangers allow clothes to hang better and will ultimately prevent them from becoming misshapen.

In your lifetime, it is highly likely that you’ll come into contact with fashion’s greatest enemy: moths. And, whilst mothballs are an effective way of stopping these nocturnal nuisances from destroying the wardrobe you’ve worked so hard to build, they do carry a rather distinctive and decidedly grandparent-esque smell. A much better alternative, then, are the scentless and humane pheromone glue traps.

As a gentleman you would also be well advised to equip yourself with a good quality clothes brush. A swift and simple brush down after wearing helps remove dirt from garments before it becomes too deeply ingrained, thus lengthening the time needed between dry cleaning and ultimately lengthening the lifetime of your favourite clothes.

Don't overlook shoe care

The venerable Sir Hardy Amies may have offered a wealth of sartorial insight into how a gentleman should dress, but his assertion that “it is totally impossible to be well-dressed in cheap shoes” is arguably his most incontrovertible truth. That said, with good quality shoes comes a need for a similar standard of shoe care. This shoe care kit from Turms is the ultimate gentlemanly investment. Made from claret wood and handcrafted in Italy, it will turn polishing your shoes from a chore into an occasion.

Invest in some cedarwood shoe trees such as those sold by Church’s to help your footwear retain its shape. These trees will also wick away any excess moisture, which will stop the leather cracking. A good shoe care kit is also absolutely essential to the prolonging of your shoes’ lives. 

So whilst it may not be the most scintillating of activities, by investing some time and effort into organising and maintaining your wardrobe you will soon find that your clothes will not only last longer, but look considerably better while they do.

Further Reading