Cary Grant once famously stepped into a shower fully clothed, in the 1963 spy thriller Charade. If only he had been wearing one of the new "wet-clean" suits carrying the name of John Pearse, London's tailor to the stars, a sartorial disaster might have been averted.
The suit, made under licence in Japan, is the first to pull off a long-sought coup that could spell the end of dry-cleaning bills for white-collar workers.
It is billed as the first two-piece that can be washed in the shower each evening and be ready to wear again in the morning – with no ironing required. And amazingly, after a rigorous road test, it appears to fulfil that pledge.
Konaka, a Japanese menswear retailer, and Australian Wool Innovation Ltd devised the suit as a solution to the problem of long, hot, sticky summers during which salarymen have to remain fully suited and booted. The lightweight woollen suit, made using a fabric blend that includes polyester, has two special finishes that help it to maintain its shape.
Our tester, IoS reporter Andrew Johnson, said: "The suit is surprisingly light and comfortable, although probably not too warm in winter. Nor is it very waterproof. It only takes moments for it to become soaked once in the shower. It's definitely a summer suit.
"Once hung up to dry, however, the miracle begins. The suit quickly drips to a damp state and the next day is bone dry with only one crease – where it should be, down the front of the trousers."
A spokeswoman for John Pearse, who has dressed clients ranging from Sir Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan to Jack Nicholson, George Clooney and Brad Pitt, stressed that the shower-proof suit was a world away from the company's usual "bespoke" offerings.
The bad news for office workers everywhere is that if they want to buy the suit now, they'll have to go to Japan to get it.