Winter Suit Storage

Words by: Andrew Hodges


Here in the American South the flowers are blooming, the leaves are popping and the temperatures are rising. I decided over the weekend that it was time to put my winter wardrobe into storage. I won’t need those flannel suits or tweed jackets until the weather turns cold again next fall. By removing those items to a storage closet, I am sure to have plenty of uncluttered space in my main closet. Those clothes are also protected until they are again needed.

In preparing to put your winter clothes into storage I would first suggest taking stock of your inventory. Do you have clothes that are worn out? Get rid of them. Ill-fitting? Donate them. Winter clothes that you didn’t wear all winter? You won’t wear them next winter either. Get them out. Inspect whatever is left for loose buttons or other repairs that should be done before the clothes are placed into storage.

Insects are the biggest enemy to your winter wools. Moths and carpet beetles are attracted to the natural fibers as well as food stains embedded within those fibers. It’s an awful experience to pull a favorite jacket out of storage and discover that it is full of holes. Before clothes are stored, stains should be spot cleaned and the clothes should be dry cleaned to kill any egg deposits. It is also a good idea to vacuum and/or steam clean your storage closet’s carpet that may also hold egg deposits.

It’s a good idea to store your suits in canvas bags. The canvas breathes, but adds a layer of protection against insects. I personally use the pictured Rubbermaid canvas suit bags that come with a natural cedar insert. They retail for about twelve dollars each.

The final line of defense is an insect repellent. I prefer cedar; it puts off a pleasant scent, but repels moths and carpet beetles. I use a combination of the canvas bag inserts and hanging cedar blocks. Cedar hangers or a cedar-lined closet are also effective options. Keep in mind that the cedar can be refreshed with a little sandpaper if the scent fades.