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Fortify your defences

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Most readers of Classic Timeless most likely know that I view a man’s wardrobe as an investment in himself.  Just as a man must protect himself he must protect the investments that support him.  All too often items in wardrobes are found with holes, off smells, dust, etc.  These outcomes, while usually only occurring during poorly conceived offseason storage, should also be considered a threat when clothes are in use and stored in a closet.closet

It isn’t necessarily hard to prevent any of these from happening if you just take some simple precautions.

Insects: For most, moths will be the worst of your worries when it comes to protecting your clothes.  They will eat the all too familiar holes out of wool and generally will feed on any natural fibers with animal origins.  Aside from the various types of wool this includes hair/fur and silks.  In order to prevent an attack first keep the area where you store your clothing clean.  Vacuuming regularly will help remove larvae and eggs that may be present and what is collected should be bagged and removed from your home immediately .  You should also incorporate deterrents such as mothballs, cedar, or herbal repellents.  I prefer to use cedar because I find it easy to incorporate into my closet, in hangers for example, and because I find its smell pleasant.  When storing clothes for the offseason, do so in airtight containers and with the addition of a little bit of a repellent.  Keep in mind that insects are attracted to food stains and may target these areas if so have everything cleaned before storage.

Moisture: Depending on where you live you may find that you are dealing with either extreme humidity or dryness.  In a humid climate I recommend purchasing a closet dehumidifier.  Here is a link with reviews of a number of different types of dehumidifiers.

By controlling humidity level you will also prevent the growth of molds and other sources of off odors that can occur in such a musty environment.  Leather is also very susceptible to high levels of moisture and will benefit from a dehumidifier.

For very dry environments make sure that leathers are properly cleaned and conditioned on a regular basis (see: Maintaining your shoes) .  This will prevent these items from drying and cracking.

Further precautions you can take are to store suits, which are not on a constant rotation, in suit bags as well as keep shoes in felt bags.  This has the double effect of keeping them clean of dust and helping to keep them bug free.

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