The Brook Taverner Journal

The Truth About Shower-Steaming Your Suit and Why It’s a Bad Idea!

There's an old 'trick' that has been passed down from generation to generation, blog to blog, and magazine to magazine, outlining an easy way to get rid of wrinkles in men's suits. What's the trick? Hang your suit or even your tweed jacket in the bathroom while you take a hot shower and let the steam relax the fibres, ridding your nice clothes of wrinkles easily and quickly.

Sounds great, doesn't it?

While the idea may be plausible, that doesn't mean it's an option you want to choose. For one thing, your bathroom needs to be small enough that the amount of steam that builds up can relax the fibres in the jacket. The problem is, even if you do generate the amount of steam necessary, you can do some serious damage to your men's suits or tweed jackets.


Why Steam May Hurt Your Men's Tweed Jackets and Suits

The first thing you need to realise when understanding why this 'trick' isn't your best option is that suits and tweed jackets aren't the same as shirts. They don't simply 'hang' on your body; they are shaped through pressing and ironing, which gives them a three dimensional form.

Hanging your suit or jacket in bathroom and allowing to work its magic will work, because it does allow the fibres to relax and the wrinkles to disappear. The problem is, the steam doesn't have an on and off switch, and it doesn't just target the wrinkles. It also takes out the all the shaping of the jacket. The end result is limp fabric that doesn't fit your body as well as it should.

Other dangers of steam?

  • Enough steam can cause puckering in your seams and in the sleeve cap, which will look even worse than wrinkles. Puckering is very difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of and will require the help of a professional dry cleaner.
  • Along with their shape, steam also robs suits of their fresh, brilliant appearance. They may look duller and worn until they are pressed again.
  • Steam that is very wet, like it would be in the bathroom when you're taking a shower, can cause stains to develop on certain fabrics, like silk and linen.


So What do you do?

Instead of relying on your shower's steam to get rid of wrinkles in men's tweed jackets and suits, consider alternatives.

  • Allow your jackets and men's suits to hang on their hangers for a few days. Some fabrics, like wool, naturally relax and will return to their original forms.
  • Press the clothing items yourself or have a professional do it for you.
  • Take your suits and jackets to a dry cleaner that specialised in dry heat steaming. It's the moisture in the steam that causes the problems.

If you do have to quickly steam your men's suits or men's tweed jacket, use a steamer to spot-treat certain areas, and use the steamer conservatively. Avoid areas of your clothing that are important to the shaping, like the chest, shoulders, and lapel folds.

Most importantly, don't try to use your steamy bathroom as a quick fix for wrinkles.

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