How to Properly Store Your Off-Season Suits
After a long winter and a particularly chilly spring, the weather is finally beginning to warm up and that means one thing — it’s time to switch to a summer wardrobe.
But before you throw your winter suits aside and forget about them for six months, it’s a good idea to prepare them for their aestivation first (that’s the summer version of hibernation, by the way!).
Storing your off-season suits correctly will help keep them clean, prolong their lifespan, and save space in your wardrobe. Plus, when winter comes back around, it won’t be a whole ordeal to get them ready for wear again.
Convinced? Then here are some quick and easy tips to help you achieve successful suit storage.
Clean your clothes before you store them
While it might be difficult to find the motivation to wash suits that you’re not even planning on wearing, getting your clothes clean before storing them is a must.
Dirt, stains, odours, and sweat are all things you do not want to leave festering over the warm summer months. It could damage your suits and it will definitely make them harder to clean after.
Dirty clothing is also more attractive to the kinds of bugs and moths that chew away at your precious suits and everything else in your wardrobe.
Figure out when to use hangers and when to fold
When it comes to optimum wardrobe maintenance, you might assume that all clothing should be hung up if you have the space. But some items actually prefer to be folded!
For fabrics that are prone to stretching and losing their shape — most commonly, knitwear — the best thing to do is neatly fold and store them on shelves.
For your suit jackets, waistcoats, and trousers, hangers will do just fine but it is worth investing in some decent-quality ones. Wide hangers that mimic the shape of shoulders help to prevent deformations in your clothes.
Don’t use plastic or cardboard storage methods
It’s easy to think that storing your suits in the plastic sleeves you get from the dry cleaners will keep them protected but unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
As well as keeping things out, plastic also traps things in — and trapped moisture could cause mildew and damp to build up and damage your winter tweeds.
Cardboard is another no-go for the same reasons. It can promote a damp environment and cause clothes to become yellowed. They’re also easily infiltrated by bugs like silverfish.
When it comes to storing clothes, breathability is key so the best option for delicate items is a cotton or linen container.
Get the conditions right
To achieve the perfect suit storage environment, you need to choose somewhere cool, dark, and dry. Too much light can fade your colours, too much heat can damage fibres in the fabric, and too much moisture can cause mildew. Delicate items are particularly susceptible to these kinds of damage and could become completely unwearable.
Wardrobes are usually built to satisfy these conditions but if you run out of space, make sure to choose somewhere suitable to store the excess clothing. This rules out the boiler room, the garage and the bathroom, just to be clear.
Keep the critters out
Cleaning your clothes is a good first step towards repelling pests but it’s unfortunately not enough to get the job done completely. To keep your wardrobe safe from infestation, you also need to make it difficult for those fabric-feasting nuisances to get near your suits.
You can do this by tying a bag of dried lavender to your wardrobe rail and popping one or two in your drawers or shelves. It acts as a natural repellent for bugs without the strong odour of alternatives like cedarwood or naphthalene mothballs.
You can also buy repellents for specific insects but you need to be careful with these as some include chemicals that could damage your suits. Even fabric-friendly repellents could still affect more delicate items, so only use these if the situation demands it.
Certain items made from cotton, linen, and synthetic fabrics can also withstand vacuum-sealed storage solutions. If you have any particularly valuable or favourite pieces you want to guarantee the safety of, this method could help set your mind at ease.
These tips should help you store your suits safely and effectively. For more tricks and advice on clothing care and storage, keep reading the Tweedmaker blog!