Best suit fabric to avoid developing shine

Discussion in 'Menswear Advice' started by Craiger, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Craiger

    Craiger Active Member

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    Hello all !

    I'm planning to have some m2m suits made this Spring, probably at Knot Standard. My style tends towards BB 1818. Like everyone, one thing I really hate is when a suit starts to get shiny after a couple of years. What fabrics should I choose that will resist this kind of wear? Are there any that I should avoid?

    I prefer solid navy and navy pin, maybe a medium grey pin. Pretty standard stuff. I'm not very adventurous. I prefer tighter weaves, and I'm not a big fan of softer flannel. I do have a Zegna 15mil that's very soft, but it doesn't hold a crease all that well naturally.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017


  2. Murlsquirl

    Murlsquirl The Moral Squirrel Dubiously Honored Moderator

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    Good fabric shouldn't develop a shine after a couple years....unless maybe you wear them 2-3x per week, which isn't ideal. I've honestly never had a suit get shiny on me. Spend a little extra on a quality fabric, avoid excessive dry cleaning (always brush and air), have a decent rotation, and you should have nothing to worry about.
     


  3. stubloom

    stubloom Senior member

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    I agree with the advise offered that you should invest in a quality fabric and rotate your wearings. Poor quality fabric combined with excessive wear can lead to shine.

    As regards the widely held belief that dry cleaning is can lead to shine, I respectfully disagree. And, yes, I know I'm biased.

    I would put it differently: "poor dry cleaning" is "bad" for fine garments and "poor pressing" can lead to shine.

    POOR DRY CLEANING

    Truth is, not all "dry cleaning" and "pressing" is equal. Just like not all clothing and shoe brands are equal.

    There are basically 4 types of dry cleaners: value (discount) cleaners, ordinary (middle market) dry cleaners, wannabe (illusion) dry cleaners and extraordinary (true quality) dry cleaners. The care process offered by cleaners in each category is VASTLY different.


    Read more here: http://ravefabricare.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/4-types.pdf


    POOR PRESSING

    While there are about 6 different dry cleaning solvents or fluids used today -- each with their own advantages and disadvantages -- there is, at least in my mind, only one acceptable way to press a fine garment and avoid shine: BY HAND. NEVER BY MACHINE. BY A SKILLED FINISHER. NOT BY A PRESSER.

    Truth is, poor pressing is far more damaging to fine garments than anything else, including poor dry cleaning.

    I'd define "poor pressing" as way too much steam, for way too long, at way to high a pressure.

    You see, "pressing" as practiced by ordinary cleaners, is such a poor descriptor of the art of finishing. Of course, a skilled finisher must know how to apply pressure to achieve a smooth finish on a linen or cotton. But a smooth, soft, hand finish, that minimizes the possibility of shine, seam, flap or button impressions, and puckered or "burst" seams, best defines the finest professional finishing.


    Read more here: http://ravefabricare.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/44-position-papers-Meet-the-press-01-SING.pdf

    Read more here: http://ravefabricare.com/wp-content...sition-papers-Shiny-Suit-Syndrome-01-SING.pdf

    Read more here http://ravefabricare.com/wp-content...apers-Steaming-your-fine-garments-01-SING.pdf


    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017


  4. Murlsquirl

    Murlsquirl The Moral Squirrel Dubiously Honored Moderator

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    Great information there and couldn't agree more...I actually mail my own stuff to Rave. It's not cheap, but it's worth every penny.
     


  5. Craiger

    Craiger Active Member

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    Thanks, this is great advice. I'm guessing then that my BB 1818s aren't great quality, because they've all developed a shine, on the jackets as well as the pants. I almost never dry clean, and I wear them on average 2x per week. I learned to sit on a towel at work because the modern mesh chair seats really do mess up the fabric, but every wear point has developed a shine.

    So, when I go to have suits made soon, should I just ask for whatever fabric would be the most resistant to shine?
     


  6. 12345Michael54321

    12345Michael54321 Senior member

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    BB 1818 suits are okay quality. Not fantastic, not horrible. They're solidly mid-market suits. Sort of the Toyota Camry of suits, if you will.

    If the cut of the BB 1818 suits work for you, and you manage to get them when they're marked way down (since their non-sale price tends to be somewhat higher than their quality would justify, in part due to the Brooks Brothers name), then go ahead and buy and wear them.

    No, because choice of fabric is only one factor in whether your suits will develop a shine. To go with the previous automotive metaphor, if had had a history of running into deer on the road, it still might not make a whole lot of sense when shopping for your next car to ask for whichever model would be most resistant to running into deer.

    Yeah, a given model might have especially good brakes or steering or headlights, which might play some factor in the likelihood that you will/won't hit a deer. But it's a factor likely dwarfed by various other environmental and driver-related factors.

    Similarly, the key to keeping your suits from developing a sheen will mostly have to do with your environment, how you care for your suits, how often they're worn, etc. Even relatively minor things like how snugly your suit fits, how much you perspire, what your furniture (home and office) is like, what your car seats or train/bus seats are like, etc., are likely nearly as significant as the specific fabrics Brooks uses for its suits.

    You say you almost never dry clean. Fine. But how often are they pressed? Either at home, or professionally? Bad pressing can easily give rise to sheen. And, of course, taking an iron to a suit is just asking for a sheen problem. (Yes, with care and some skill, one can certainly greatly minimize this risk. But most people do not exercise such care or exhibit such skill.)

    As an aside, various of my suits are from BB 1818 line. Most at least a few years old. They don't strike me as aging particularly poorly.
     


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