The Correct Ways to Care Your Formal and Evening Wear
March 22, 2021
Formal wear is special: people are willing to splurge on it even with the knowledge that they might wear it only once.
As an established dry cleaning service in Lincoln, Starcrest Cleaners has tended to all kinds of formal wear. Customers looking for dry cleaners that can wash and preserve wedding gowns and tuxedos without damaging any delicate fabric or stitching come to us for help.
Although our specialty is washing and drying clothing, we can give you some helpful tips on how to care for your formal wear properly.
Here are our recommendations for storage and after-care of evening wear.
Have them washed and dried after wearing.
Wine spills, droplets of sauces, and hardened bits of food can stain and leave a smell. You’ll ruin your expensive evening wear if you put it straight to storage, i.e., wrap it in plastic or tuck it inside garment bags without washing it first. The traces of food and drink sediments can attract insects, which can cause all sorts of problems: yellowing, permanent discoloration, foul smells, and tears in the fabric.
Even if you’re able to keep insects and bugs away, the organic matter will eventually decompose right on the fabric. The stained spots, as well as the parts of the fabric that they come in contact with while in storage, can still turn yellow.
Same-day dry cleaning is ideal, but if that’s not possible, look for or weekend dry cleaners on the same week. What’s important is that your garments are clean before you store them.
Follow the care instructions on the label.
Tuxedos and ballgowns often usually have washing instructions printed on the inside label of the garments — follow them. So if the label says “dry clean only,” take the garment to a next-day dry cleaning. This way, you can be sure that the laundry service will give your evening wear special attention because they need to have it cleaned and ready to deliver the very next day.
What if there’s no tag with washing instructions? Ask the sales representative of the boutique, if you bought RTW evening wear; and if it’s bespoke, make sure to ask your tailor about aftercare for the fabrics used on your gown or suit.
Buy the correct storage containers or bags.
Plastic garment bags are cheap and easily accessible; it's why many people use them for storing formal clothes. But we advise against the use of plastic. It doesn’t allow heavy fabrics to breathe, and if moisture forms inside the bag because of temperature changes, the droplets won’t easily dry out.
The best way to store them depends on the garment type. Here are some examples:
- Hangers for long gowns - Long gowns are best hung on sturdy, fabric- or tissue-lined hangers with hooks on the side for the garment straps. If the dress is beaded or adorned with gems, wrap it with tissue paper before tucking it into a muslin garment bag.
- Boxes for evening wear - If you have plenty of storage space, you can use garment boxes for your dresses. Fold long dresses accordion-style beginning with the skirt, and insert tissue paper between each fold (this is a technique to prevent the fabric from yellowing). Boxes are also ideal for gowns with petticoats.
- Wooden hangers for suits - For suits, wide, wooden hangers lined with foam are the best. They preserve the shape and folds of the suit, specifically the shoulders. The pants can hang on a felt-lined clamp hanger or hanger with a horizontal bar.
Store and care for your formal wear the right way, and it'll stay in pristine condition long enough for you or someone else to wear it again.
Since the first step of evening wear aftercare is washing and drying, bring yours to a dry cleaning service as soon as possible. If you live anywhere in Lincoln, NE, Starcrest Cleaners would be happy to accommodate you. We use state-of-the-art equipment, and our professionally-trained staff will take extra care of your evening wear.
Starcrest Cleaners’ business hours are from 7AM - 8PM on weekdays and 8AM - 6PM on Saturdays.
Contact us for inquiries and bookings.