the • Move
BY NOAM NUESNER
pir he wrinkly suit,
one of a business
fears, has blos-
somed in the age of natural
fabrics. Linen and cotton, two
of the most fashionable of
the natural threads, wrinkle
faster than you can say
"If you're sophisticated
enough to buy the fabric,"
says one clothier, "you have
to understand what these
fabrics are going to do."
His caveat should alert the
business traveler to many
possible danger areas. Your
destination, whether it's
Miami or Maine, has a great
affect on clothing. Only steel,
he says, wouldn't wrinkle in Detroit's
sweltering August heat.
To fight the effects weather and
poor packing have on a business suit,
it is best to choose a fabric that, while
fashionable, retains its shape in ex-
For fall and winter, clothiers agree
that worsted wool looks crisper than
heavy flannel. Why? "Because
worsted wool consists of longer
strands of wool. As a result, the fabric
is harder and tighter, which means it
travels better and avoids wrinkling,"
says one expert.
If your suit is a wool blend or a
polyester, one quick way to remove
wrinkles is to steam them out in the
bathroom. Rim on the hot water in
the shower and hang the suit as close
as possible to the spray without get-
ting it wet. Close the bathroom door;
after about 20 minutes, the wrinkles
can make the
should be gone.
Colors, while irrelevant to a suit's
wrinkle resistance, nevertheless can
make or break the "fresh" look to
which the traveling businessman
aspires. Particularly fashionable these
days are olive green (a.k.a. khaki) and
taupe, a dark tan color that Lefko de-
scribes as looking a bit like card-
board. Navy blue and gray remain
favorites among fans of the classics.
If those colors should somehow be-
come spoiled by an unsightly spill,
the businessman confronts
another of his greatest fears.
"If you only take one suit
and you get a spot on it,
you're in trouble," says one
A number of possible
actions can save the day.
Depending on the spill, he
recommends dabbing the af-
fected area with cold water
or club soda, but without
over-saturating the fabric.
Also, rubbing the spill against
the same fabric sometimes
works. And, most hotels do
offer emergency cleaning
Salad dressings are another
story. Many dressings leave
stains which become invisible
when they dry. Eventually, after
exposure to heat and air, these stains
oxidize and become yellowish-brown
in color, by which point it may be too
late to save the garment.
If you have an unfortunate encoun-
ter with salad dressing, blot — don't
rub — the excess from the garment.
Do not dab with water or club soda.
As soon as you return home, have the
garment professionally dry cleaned,
being sure to point out the invisibly
stained area so the cleaner can treat
it with special chemicals. Unfortu-
nately, some items never fully recover
from these encounters — silk ties,
particularly the expensive ones, are
especially vulnerable because the
dyes used on them tend to bleed and
If all else fails, and you simply
cannot avoid wrinkles and spills, what
you need are alternative wardrobe