My husband of eight months and I were preparing to attend a wedding recently when he tells me he can’t find his suit. “What do you mean you can’t find your suit? Don’t you have more than one,” I ask. He looked at me, laughed, and said, “What do I need more than one suit for? Besides, you made me get rid of my other one when we were dating.” I did indeed. But that was because it was an outdated double-breasted nightmare. He went off in search of his suit and I followed him, curious. Don’t suits have different weights for weather? So if nothing else wouldn’t one want two suits? One for warmer weather and one for cooler? My husband is no clothes horse, but he looks sharp in his suits…I mean suit. I thought at the very least he would have one black suit and one blue suit. Why? I have no reason other than in my experience that is common practice.

AbiballCredit: Karsten Planz: my husband located his suit, he says, “Shoot. I forgot about the holes.” What?! So now the lone suit has holes and the wedding is the next day. In another state. When the time came and he emerged in his dark blue suit, he looked so handsome. No holes in sight. I didn’t know the size or location of the holes so I just assumed that he performed some quick suit surgery with a needle and thread. Little did I know. I found out the real story at the reception. Surrounded by his friends, with conversation smoothed by libations, I learned that they too only had one suit in various stages of disrepair. Every one of them looked very dapper and I wondered where they all got their sewing skills. They let me in on their secrets. No sewing skills required. Just a little ingenuity motivated by laziness and probably cheapness. Some secrets are just too good to keep to yourself, so for the enlightenment of all, here are four suit tricks that men use.

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Wear Dark Colored Underwear

When the hole in your dark colored suit is, ahem, down there, don’t bother with professional mending, wear dark colored underwear. Why not? It’s lazy quick and it does the job. It sounds tacky. And it sort of is. But you know what? It worked. My husband used this trick with the suit he wore to the above mentioned wedding and I had absolutely no idea anything was wrong.

Don’t have time to buy a patch? Then use this more disturbing trick of gluing dark colored construction paper to the inside of the pants. Why? Because apparently men have glue and construction paper, but no sewing kits. Wouldn’t that chafe? What happens if it gets damp? I don’t know and I don’t want to know.

Magic Marker Makeover

When a suit starts to fray either at the wrists, elbows, trousers, or wherever, it’s a pain. Especially for someone like my husband who expects suits to last forever and says “I paid good money for that %!@# suit!” To mend a frayed suit typically requires some sort of reconstruction involving reweaving of the thread. The cost varies and depends on the size of the area to be mended. Reweaving not only works with frays, but with holes (are you listening dear husband?).Magic MarkerCredit: Morguefile

This is all well and good, but why go all professional and what not when you can use a magic marker. Yep, my husband and his friends use the old magic marker makeover technique. Take out dark suit. Rub dark magic marker over said dark suit aaaaaaannnnnnd DONE! Magic marker usage to mend suits was a common thread (sorry for the pun) when discussing suit tricks and techniques with the boys. Again, given how put together they all were, I would never have suspected.

Genius Tie Tack

Thanks must go to my husband’s friend Rick for cluing me into and naming this next trick. It’s not exactly a mending technique, but it does clearly fit into the category of lazy and/or cheap suit fixes…and I LOVE it. One thing that many men hate about wearing a tie besides the fact that they are wearing a tie, is when the offending garment is slapping them in face when there is wind, or slipping into the soup bowl while making normal movements. Cue in TiesCredit: Michael Himbeault: music for the tie tack. This wonderful invention, also known as a tie clip is affixed to the tie and the shirt and keeps it from flapping around. It can be plain or decorative.

Forgot your tie clip? Don’t like to use them because some can poke holes in your nice silk threads? Other reasons (including ones about being cheap which I won’t repeat)? No problem. Use the “Genius Tie Tack.” Take a small piece of duct, masking or other strong tape and make a device similar to Velcro. Fold the tape so that it becomes two-sided. Place the tape on the back of the tie near the bottom and press so that it adheres to the shirt. Voila! No more flapping, swinging, or hanging tie. It really is genius. Like the other tricks, it’s also sort of tacky, but if anyone did this at the wedding I didn’t notice. This method is similar to a product sold online called “MyTieTape,” an adhesive system for ties designed to achieve the same function of the tie clip and “Genius Tie Tack,” but more tasteful looking.

Stained Shirt Cover Up

If I had a stain on a blouse that I was wearing for a special occasion I would do one of two things: 1) remove the stain; or 2) change the blouse if the stain did not come out. What I wouldn’t do is cover up the stain with button down sweater that I might want to take off if I
got too hot. I’m probably the extreme but I would feel uncomfortable walking around wearing a blouse that I knew was stained when I put it on.

Not hubby and friends. Dress shirt have a stain? It doesn’t come out? Didn’t try to remove it? Will a tie cover the stain? Awesome! Problem solved. Ordinarily I would have asked if they would be bothered by the tie flapping or swinging out of place exposing the stain. However, the “Genius Tie Tack” answers that question, now doesn’t it?

So now you know the four suit secrets of my husband and his friends. I feel as if I have been let into the inner sanctum of a very strange club. However, I would not be surprised if the “secrets” that have just been exposed are only new to women. But perhaps I’m wrong. Given I was totally fooled by these tricks, I admit to having a grudging admiration for them and have come to the conclusion that the moral of this suit story is that there are better things to worry about. If you can fake it, go out and have fun. Holes, stains, tape and all!