To help you plan the perfect day, we're giving you 20% off your rental and every rental in your wedding party*, for this month only. Promo Code: PARTY20

View CollectionArrow pointing right
Mar, 4 2024

How to Care for and Maintain Your Tuxedo

A man in a black tuxedo

A tuxedo isn’t any old suit you just toss in a closet until the next time you need it. Your tux is an investment – one that you need to keep in good condition so it’s ready for every black-tie event you might attend. Proper care is essential, so you need to know how to care for and maintain your tuxedo.

Looking for the perfect outfit? Browse our catalog

Storing Your Tuxedo

The average person may only attend a handful of black-tie events per year (if any), which means their tuxedo will spend a lot of time in storage. Protection is key during this storage period – there’s no use buying from one of the best tuxedo brands if you ruin the outfit when you’re not even using it.

Use the Right Hanger

Any type of hanger that could deform the carefully tailored shape of your tuxedo jacket is immediately out of the question. That means wired hangers should be avoided, along with cheap plastic hangers that afford the suit the ability to slip and slide while it’s in storage.

Rather, a sturdy hanger – ideally made using wood and shaped appropriately to fit your jacket – is preferred. Look for padding on that hanger, too, as padding prevents sharp creases and bulges from forming over time.

Garment Bags

Garment bags protect your tuxedo in transit by sealing it away from the outside world.

Those protective qualities also come to the fore when your tux is in storage. A breathable garment bag made using natural fibers ensures enough air circulation to allow the fibers in your tuxedo to breathe without inviting dampness, mold, or other nasty stuff that could affect the integrity of your suit jacket.

Avoid plastic bags. They’re moisture trappers that lead to you pulling out a musty tuxedo when it’s time to dress up.

Traveling with a Suit or Tuxedo

You’ll occasionally have to transport your tux to a different location before you wear it, as you might if you’re attending a destination wedding with a formal dress code. While there are many styles of tuxedos, all of them can be ruined – or at least develop unsightly creases – if you fail to pack them correctly.

Always have a dedicated suit carrier or suit bag for the occasion. The garment bag you use for storage can come in handy here as you can simply hang the tuxedo in the bag and lightly fold it in half. Avoid placing anything on top of the bag and you won’t have to worry about creases or wrinkles.

Assuming you need to stow your tuxedo in packed-in luggage, follow these steps to fold it properly:

  1. Lay the jacket face down flat and fold the left shoulder back.
  2. After turning the right shoulder inside out, tuck the left shoulder into that reversed right shoulder.
  3. Fold the suit in half, first lengthwise and then horizontally.
  4. Place your folded jacket in the center of your outstretched dress trousers before folding the trouser bottoms over the jacket.
  5. Fold the top of the trousers over the jacket.

You can now place the tuxedo into a suitcase. But remember – don’t stack anything on top of it. Any weight applied could lead to creases.

Cleaning Your Tuxedo

A man opening a garment bag

How much is a tuxedo? Enough for you to not want to have to buy a new one every single time you need a tux,” says Generation Tux. “Knowing how to clean your tuxedo properly extends its life so you can wear it to as many black-tie events as you want.”

There are three ways to clean your tux – dry cleaning, spot cleaning, and steam cleaning.

Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning is both the most effective way to clean a tux and the quickest way to create wear and tear on the garment if you do it regularly. So, dry clean sparingly with the help of a professional. Limit dry cleaning to two or three times per year – fewer if you rarely wear the tuxedo – and be prepared to pay up to $40 for the service.

Spot Cleaning

If you have a light stain on your tuxedo, spot cleaning may help you lift it as long as you do it soon after the stain develops.

It’s a simple technique. Using a clean white cloth – dipped in cold water and with a couple of drops of mild soap applied – dab the stain slowly and without rubbing. If you’re unsure about the soap you’re using, test it on another item of clothing to ensure it won’t damage your tuxedo’s fabric.

Steam Cleaning

When it comes to how to care for and maintain your tuxedo, steam cleaning comes into play when you need to remove creases and wrinkles. Better yet, steam cleaning doesn’t involve any harsh chemicals that could lower the life expectancy of your tuxedo.

Hold your steamer about 6 inches away from the tux parts that are wrinkled, and use it to steam those wrinkles out slowly. When you’re done, hang the tuxedo in a dry and airy place, ideally away from sunlight so that it can dry naturally.

One final note – avoid using irons. They place too much pressure and heat on the fabric, resulting in burn marks that ruin the delicate fabric used to make your tuxedo.

Daily and Post-Wear Care

A black suit on a mannequin

If you’re lucky enough to escape staining your outfit during your black-tie event, you can get away with basic post-wear care to keep your tux in great condition.

Brushing Your Suit

There’s a simple rule when brushing a tuxedo – the softer the brush, the better it is for use on the delicate fabric used to make the garment. So, look for a brush that has soft and natural bristles.

As for the actual act of brushing, hang your jacket up on its hanger and brush downwards gently, starting with the lapels. Pop the collar and apply the same downward brushing technique before moving onto the shoulders, where you’ll brush downward from the seams to the cuffs. Finally, brush under each sleeve – holding the relevant sleeve out as you do – and you’re done.

Brushing removes hair, lint, dust, cigar ash, and even some surface stains, so it’s a good idea to do it after each wear.

Airing Out Your Suit

Even the best garment bag isn’t breathable enough to deliver a perfect flow of air to your suit. Eventually, it’ll get musty, especially if it’s left in storage for a long time.

So, take it out, pop it on its hanger, and leave it to hang in a well-ventilated area that’s away from direct sunlight. It’s also worth airing out the suit after each wear for a couple of hours before you place it back into storage.

Rotating Your Suits

Rotation keeps suits alive for longer.

Remember that fact if you attend a lot of black-tie events. If you rely on one tuxedo for all of them, you’ll find the constant wear – and increased need for dry cleaning – leads to the fabrics wearing out faster than you’d like.

So, if you attend a lot of formal events, it’s best to have two or three tuxedos that you keep rotating. This gives each tuxedo ample time to rest so it lasts longer.

Additional Care Tips

A man in a blue suit in a garden

Now you know the basics of how to care for and maintain your tuxedo, keep these final tips in mind to ensure your tux doesn’t get damaged.

Protect Your Suit

Proper storage – remember to use breathable garment bags – will go a long way to protecting your tuxedo, but there are a few other steps you can take.

For instance, pop a handful of cedar blocks into your wardrobe. The scent they emanate keeps insects, especially moths, away without forcing you to rely on mothballs that achieve the same effect using chemicals. Cedar essential oil can also work, though you run the risk of accidentally staining your tux with the oil.

Apart from that, keep your tuxedo away from damp locations. You don’t want to go through all of these steps to care for the garment only to have mold and mildew ruin it when you’re not actively cleaning it.

Know When to Seek Professional Help

There are times when you need to know when to throw in the towel and have a professional work on your tuxedo. Those times are when a stain is too stubborn for you to remove or when steam cleaning simply won’t remove the creases and wrinkles embedded in the garment.

A reputable dry cleaner will know how to care for and maintain your tuxedo when you’re not able to do the job yourself. Trust them to do it – it’s their job to know how.

Keep Your Tuxedo in Great Condition

A stack of dress shirts and a suit on a mannequin

A tuxedo isn’t a cheap piece of clothing, as you’re likely to spend over $500 on the garment alone. That’s not an investment you simply throw away. And you won’t when you know how to care for and maintain your tuxedo.

But what if you don’t want to worry about maintenance?

That’s where a rental tuxedo can come into play. Rented tuxedos, such as those offered by Generation Tux, are returned to the rental company after use, leaving them responsible for handling the aftercare. Try one – you’ll save money because you don’t pay the full cost of the tux upfront, and you won’t have to worry about cleaning it afterward.

Customize your ideal outfit and choose from 25+ different styles.

Featured Products