Updated: Feb 1, 2020
So you’ve bought that perfect vintage garment, that piece that really sets the tone of the look you are trying to achieve. But is that it? Can vintage clothing be stored away in the wardrobe safely until the next time you choose to wear it? Is it safe to be left in the same place as the rest of your perhaps more contemporary clothing?
Vintage clothes need to be cared for, they are naturally older than the rest of your wardrobe, unless of course, the rest of your wardrobe is also vintage, in which case you have a lot more to worry about!
How do make sure they stay in good condition and not succumb to the ravages of time? To start, perhaps it’s a good idea to keep a record of your purchase, the date you bought it, the year it was made, how much you paid for it and it’s obviously a good idea to keep receipts and invoices. Remember, some of your vintage clothes are worth a lot of money and their value may increase with time if they’re taken care of. You need to think of insurance and an accurate record of what you hold, ideally with pictures, which will give your insurance company less of a headache when you are trying to recoup your losses if you’re burgled. Naturally, a one off piece can never be replaced, but at the very least you can recoup some of the cost of purchase.
Make doubly sure the clothing is clean before storage, air them somewhere away from strong light so that any musty smells are removed. If there is dust or light debris on the garment, use the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner on its lowest setting to remove it.
Don’t try ironing them if you can avoid it and keep your vintage pieces away from dry cleaning where at all possible. If you find any stains sponge gently with warm water. Depending on the material some items can be washed, but ideally not in a washing machine, hand washing is best to err on the side of caution.
Find somewhere dry and dark, preferably at room temperature. Inlaid wardrobes are perfect, or a dedicated corner of a conventional wardrobe. A padded hanger is a good idea and covering is recommended. If your intention is to hang the garment then the purchase of some garment covers is a good idea. If you are using a box for smaller items, such as shoes, bags, hats or gloves, line the boxes with either cotton or tissue and let the items lie naturally, make sure they have a lid and again, store in a dark, dry area that’s kept at room temperature.
Keep checking your items, especially if you haven’t worn them for a while. Keeping things clean and dust free is the best prevention against moth balls. By following the tips above you have a fighting chance of preserving your very precious vintage buys.
Visit my vintage at our vintage boutique based in Darwen, Lancashire for a wide range of original vintage dresses and vintage clothing as well as our range of reproduction rockabilly clothing and rockabilly dresses. You can also shop online 24/7 at www.myvintage.uk for even more original vintage fashion.
Hope to see you all soon…
Emma, My Vintage.