Implementing some of the following procedures will go a long way in helping you protect and extend the life of your garments:
Dry clean your garments sparingly. Frequent cleanings can actually cause your garments to prematurely wear because of the solvents and heat that are used in the dry cleaning process. Consider dry cleaning only when necessary or, at the end of the season before storing. After cleaning, garments should be removed from the plastic bags and aired.
Limit the use of fabric softeners. They contain additives that stick to your clothing to make them feel softer. Unfortunately, frequent usage of these softeners will also compromise the fabric’s absorbency and make them less breathable.
Use padded or shaped hangers as they are more gentle on your garments than wire ones. Uncoated wire hangers may also rust and stain your clothes.
Avoid hanging your coats and jackets on racks or hooks, which may cause the neck areas to stretch out of shape.
Give your wool garments a day’s rest between wearings, allowing them to shed wrinkles and return to their original shape.
Fold knitted garments instead of hanging them, to prevent distortion or stretching.
Brush your garments regularly and thoroughly to refresh them, removing any soil, hair, etc. Use a slightly damp sponge or cloth on knits and finer fabrics.
Always read the label on your garment for specific washing-instructions.
Allow deodorants and antiperspirants to thoroughly dry before you dress. Also, consider using dress-shields to your garments to protect them against excessive perspiration, which can weaken certain fabrics.
All garments should be either laundered or dry cleaned prior to storage. This step is not only essential, but will prevent attracting moths.
Never store your jackets or garments in plastic bags. They create limited air flow which may trap moisture and cause mildew to form. Plastic bags may even cause leathers and suedes to dry out. Use canvas or cloth bags instead.
Select a storage area carefully, avoiding those with high temperatures and/or high humidity.
To revive your clothes when you have removed them from storage: first air out the garments thoroughly and then either brush them and/or lightly pass a garment steamer over them to remove any wrinkles or creases and to perk them up. Air the clothes thoroughly after these procedures, and before putting them into your closet.
~~Monsieur François (the late Frank Blaeser), Townline Tailors of Vancouver, British Columbia