A good suit should last a lifetime…just as long as you take good care of it. Raja Daswani, head of Hong Kong-based bespoke tailor Raja Fashions, explains how to make a great suit last forever
Less dry cleaning, water-based stain removal, and an extra pair of trousers – these are just a few of the ways you can make your suit last longer, according to Raja Daswani, head of Hong Kong-based bespoke tailor Raja Fashions.
Daswani creates thousands of bespoke suits each year for his international client base, and everyone asks him the same question – how can I look after my suit properly?
“We like to sell two pairs of trousers with each jacket because this way the suit lasts longer,” says Daswani. “If you have one pair of trousers, you will eventually wear them out, while the jackets usually keep for longer.
“As for the jackets, we recommend to not have too much dry-cleaning because people don’t understand that it makes a shorter life for the suit. With dry-cleaning, chemicals are used with the product, and ultimately chemicals ruin fabrics. The more you dry-clean, the more problematic it becomes.”
Instead, Daswani recommends that small stains are treated with nothing more than water, or a water-based spot removal solution for stubborn marks.
Alterations are another matter – snags, tears and re-fittings can easily go wrong unless they are tackled by a professional, and Raja Fashions prides itself on the aftercare which it offers to all clients.
“We guarantee all of our products for at least two to three years,” says Daswani. “And all of our alterations are free.”
This is particularly useful for female clients who may find that their measurements change after pregnancy, and for clients who have lost or gained weight over a relatively short period of time. However, Daswani cautions against dramatic shape changes.
“When you gain and lose weight, we can alter the material and make the cut a little bit more tapered or a little wider,” he says. “But sometimes people lose 30-40lbs in a year or less, and this makes things more difficult. You may need to change the fabric to make a new pair of trousers, or to remove the stitching and cut the pattern again. The suit won’t look the same afterwards.”
Over the past six decades, the tailors at Raja Fashions have seen it all – cigarette burns, frayed cuffs, missing buttons, split seams and dramatic rips. There is just one type of tear that can’t be easily mended.
“Snags are the death knell for a good suit,” he says. “It’s very hard to repair something like that. You have to change the fabric to make a new pair of trousers or a jacket.”
Raja Fashions offers tailored garments at highly competitive prices. Bespoke suits start at £350 for lightweight fabrics and £435 for 100 per cent wool. Raja Fashions’ premium suits go up to £2,500, but the same garment could cost £12,000 on Savile Row.
Tailors from Raja Fashions are in the UK every six weeks to perform fittings across London, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. For more information, visit Raja Fashions’ website at www.raja-fashions.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.
Hong Kong main shop: 34-C Cameron Road, G/F, TST, Kln, Hong Kong.