Everything You Need To Know About Storing Specialty Items: Part II

Welcome back to another installment of our series on storing specialty items! Today, we’re talking about some of our favorite clothing that’s high stakes to replace – formal wear.

No matter who you are or where you live – chances are you possess a few items in your wardrobe that are reserved for special occasions.

Church, a fancy birthday party, date night with your significant other, a wedding, etc. Formal wear pieces are our nicest pieces of clothing that most likely cost a bit more than your other items. They’re reserved for special occasions, which means they spend a lot of time sitting in our closets – awaiting their time in the sun.

When the time comes and it’s ready for a night on the town – you want to be looking your best! Make sure these items get the TLC they deserve so they’re ready to go when you are.

The four most important things when storing your formal clothes are that they’re clean, cool, dark and dry!


Make sure your formal clothes have been dry cleaned and that stain from red wine or mini quiche has been removed before you put it in your closet and it has weeks or even months to set.


You’ll want your clothes to hang out in a cool place, so they maintain their shape and texture. Environments that are too hot can cause clothes to expand, retract and lose their quality.


A little sunlight now and again is no big deal, but formal clothes should not be exposed to consistently bright lights as they’ll discolor and fade. Keep those vibrant colors vibrant by keeping your closet relatively dim most of the time.


This one is most important. Formal clothes, and all clothes in general that are in storage, should be dry. Damp or wet clothes will lose their quality at a much quicker rate. If something does get wet- throw it in the dryer if the cleaning instructions allow you to do so – otherwise you’ll want to head to the dry cleaner for a proper drying.

In terms of storage and the use of physical space- hanger storage is the way to go for most things if you can fit everything! If you can’t, box storage with acid-free tissue paper is the way to go!

Let’s talk formal dresses.

If your dress has intricate beadwork, you’ll want to wrap it up before storing it, or wrap between the folds if folding and placing it into a box.

If you have the height in your closet, hanging dresses is the best way to go. For longer ballgowns and skirts that may not fit, folding into an airtight box or other container is the way to go.

For men’s formal suits – make sure they’re hung up on a wooden hanger that leans slightly forward to maintain the shape of the shoulders, and that pants are hung to be wrinkle-free on a separate or the same hanger.

Overall, give everything the room it needs to breathe. Stuffing clothes together does them a grave disservice when it comes to their quality and longevity.

If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be looking sharp no matter how many months go by between a reason to wear your nicest clothes.