September 8, 2020 | Tips & Style

How To Wear Suede and Actually Keep It Clean

If you’ve ever asked yourself “is suede durable?”, a quick look at the wide range of suede clothing, for both women and men, will give you a clue. From the durable and classic UGG boots to high-quality suede jackets, gloves and hats; none of them could become fashion icons if suede weren’t durable.

Woman wearing a camel suede jacket with fringe. Have you wondered if suede is durable? Here's how to wear it and keep it clean.

Here Are Just a Few of The Fashion Pieces You Can Sport in Suede

While all leathers, (and leather substitutes!) are versatile in how they can be worn and styled, none of them turns it up a notch, with more than a dash of unique chic, au courant or just sheer hipness, like suede.

  • The Suede Bomber Jacket – We were going to talk about suede coats here, but we quickly realized that would be a disservice to the suede bomber jacket that instantly makes even the geekiest among us très cool. Suede’s versatility carries over into a spectrum of colour options, from the traditional rich coffee browns, to sky blues and many shades of gray.
  • Suede Accessories – From clutch purses and carry-all handbags, to ties and winter hats, you can get your suede fix in all shapes and sizes.
  • The Suede Shirt – Whether you wear it inside your favourite jacket in winter for a fashionable layer of warmth, or let it be the jacket on warmer nights, versatility never looked so good.

How to Keep Suede Clean 

If suede suffers an unfounded image problem related to durability, it may be due to the fact that it is notoriously difficult to keep clean. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your suede looking runway fresh.

  1. Keep Them in Cloth Garment Bags – Even dust can show up on suede sooner than on other materials. Cloth bags also let your suede breath so you don’t have to air it out, like you sometimes need to do when it’s kept in a plastic garment bag.
  2. Gently Brush Them – Use a soft-bristled clothing brush to get rid of dust, dirt and even minor stains, once they have dried.
  3. What To Do When it Gets Wet – Is one of your fears about suede based on the old Seinfeld episode “The Jacket”? The one where Jerry’s expensive, new suede jacket is ruined in the rain: “Now, why does moisture ruin leather? I don’t get this. Aren’t cows outside most of the time?”, says Jerry. The truth is that getting caught in the rain when you’re wearing suede will not ruin it, if you do the right thing.

    First get the jacket as dry as you can, without using an electric blow dryer or clothes dryer. Get rid of as much moisture as you can by blotting the suede with a paper towel. Once you have as much moisture out of the jacket as possible, let it dry. When it is completely dry, give it a gentle brushing.
  4. Give it to the Professionals – Parkers specializes in suede and leather care, including keeping them clean, and even making repairs and alterations.

If you can’t get enough suede, check out our article “Inspired By: Suede”.

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