How to Care For and Store Your Outerwear

April 2, 2013
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It’s such a nice feeling when we no longer need to bundle up before leaving the house each day.  Spring in the Midwest is so unpredictable, we never know when it will be the last day we’ll need our outerwear.  We may hang them in the closet one day and then it’s months before we see them again.  If we don’t hang them, store them and clean them correctly before storing them, they may not be in good condition when we reach for them again in the fall.

To avoid permanently damaging your outerwear, here’s how to care for and store your outerwear during the warmer season.

  • We recommend having each coat dry cleaned before you put it away for the warmer season.  Dry cleaning is the safest way to ensure that it will remain wearable for years to come.
  • When you bring your coat to the dry cleaner, be sure to point out unusual or fragile trim, buttons that may discolor or crack, stains that need special treatment, and anything else that concerns you about cleaning your coat.
  • Button up all buttons, check the snaps, and zip the zippers in case any repairs are needed.  Also check that all the pockets are empty.
  • Once clean you can store your coats on a wooden or padded hanger or folded in a plastic tote with a lid.  DO NOT store Leather, however, folded in a plastic tote.  Leather coats should be hung on a strong wooden, cedar or padded hanger.
  • Store leather coats away from heat.  They will expand when exposed to high heat.  Once a leather coat expands, you cannot shrink the coat or restore it back to  its original shape.
  • To repel insects, look for cedar rings, blocks and sachets to place over your hangers and in the boxes.  Cedar can lose their power after a while, so rub the cedar blocks or chips with sandpaper periodically to release new oils.  Do not use moth balls as they are not as safe and their odor will linger on your clothing.
  • Never store any coat in the dry cleaner plastic bags.   To ward off dust if hanging coats in closet, you may use a cloth garment bag or one constructed with netting.
  • Store in a clean, dry, well ventilated space.  Don’t store in storage areas that are bug-addled or dirty (such as attics, garages and basements)—unless you want to throw the coats out next year.

The biggest mistake once its too warm to wear your outerwear is to store them without having them cleaned.  Whether it be down, wool, or leather, you risk long term damage if you store your coat dirty.  Any stain will set permanently and be difficult to impossible to remove months later.  Even clear stains such as perspiration, body oils, perfume, lotions, hair products, clear food & beverage spills can set permanently into the fibers and cause discoloration.

Do you have any storage solutions to share?  Any favorite storage products on the market that have helped you store your items safely?  We’d love to share it with our customers.

Bring your outerwear to any of our 18 locations or simply leave them in the bag we provided you if you’re a customer on our free pick up and delivery route.

– S.O.