Storing Your Costumes

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Whether you’re a Halloween enthusiast, costume designer, or a larger-than-life personality who loves a bit of sartorial flair now and then, storing costumes properly can come in handy! This will keep these often expensive items looking and feeling fresh, so they can be worn again and again. Here’s how:

1. Before storage, clean items properly
Storing a stained or soiled item of clothing is never a good idea.  More than likely, the issue will worsen over time. Some costumes will come with care instructions to follow, but if not, dry cleaning is always a safe option. For pieces with tulle, sequins or beads, hand-washing (inside out) is the way to go. Synthetic outfits can usually be washed cold on a delicate cycle (also, turn inside out) in the washing machine.
2. Use the right storage vessel
Anything with acid (such as acidic plastic containers) and plastic bags are a no-go; the chemicals and lack of moisture they cause can damage items over time and cause them to lose their shape. For best results, hang or fold them in garment bags and store in cedar boxes or closets. For hats or headgear, use a mannequin head to maintain their shape.
3. Make it fun!
If the costumes belong to little ones, store them in the playroom in color-coordinated boxes or in a playful chest! Kids love to dress up during playtime, so having them easily accessible is a win-win. Another benefit? It’s a great way to teach children how to clean-up and store items.

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