June 16, 2013

Storing Figure Skating Costumes

If you're anything like me, you don't have enough space in your closet as it is. Adding skating costumes to this is kind of a space-consuming nightmare, so I thought I'd write a post today on a few storage options for skating costumes, to liberate your wardrobe a new!

The first thing to consider when storing skating costumes is the frequency of use, and whether it is a current season competition or testing dress (or men's outfit), or if it is from seasons past, and only kept for sentimentality and for its prettiness.

Now I'm in no way throwing stones: I don't think I've ever gotten rid of a skating dress. Ever. It's kind of ridiculous, but what can you do? I'm sentimental like that (and let's face it, my when-I-was-a-little-kid-era dresses don't take up that much space... right? *guilty face*)

Now obviously you're going to need this season's dresses out, in a place where they are easily accessible. Training dresses you use regularly can also be kept close to hand, but for everything else you need to get organised and stash those babies away! Don't let them take over your closet, clouding the things you have and cannot enjoy because you can't see half of what you've actually got (yes I cleared out lately, so I'm kind of on a high of being able to actually see the garments I had forgotten I even had).

Current Costumes
These need to be stored in dress bags that breathe. Don't zip them up in pure plastic bags, as condensation and odours could make for an unpleasant surprise when you go to get your competition dress out on the big day. Invest in a few breathable dress bags (I bought mine from a random online shop in the UK and they worked out great, I'm sure there are lots of viable options on eBay too) and your costumes will thank you for it (well, not literally, but you'll thank you for it!).

Also make you you store your costumes with anti-mite products, because you really don't want any nasty surprises like your dress having minute little holes in it, or little bugs attached to it for that matter.

Also invest in some good quality hangers, especially if your garments are heavy under the weight of their embellishment. The heavier the garment, the more pressure will be put into the shoulders when it's hanging up, which could spell disaster for delicate net or flesh-coloured fabrics which could stretch and distort under the weight.

Costumes For Keeps
When you want to store costumes away, go ahead and buy plastic storage boxes, along with some acid-free tissue paper (the acid in cheaper papers can stain fabrics). Line the box with paper, and then alternate dresses and paper sheets until the box is full.

To protect the embellishment on dresses, turn them inside out first (I picked this tip up from buying a heavily embellished gown on the internet as my dance dress for our wedding last summer!) and then fold them into neat box-sized parcels.

Don't roll up dresses to store, because they may cause damage to heavy embellishment zones, zippers, and and fragile fabrics which are easily distorted and pulled such as stockinette (flesh coloured fabric often used to give the illusion of skin).

Another way to store costumes if you're really stretched for space is vacuum-packed. You can buy bags which can become vacuum-packed using your regular house-hold hoover, although I cannot attest to their worth because I've never used them. You should be aware that although this option will definitely cut down on space (huge amounts of the bulk in stored clothes are in fact just due to air!) it may be more damaging to the garments. If you're just keeping them for old time's sake, and don't plan to sell them on as mint, then this is a really viable option (and one that I'm going to be looking into soon for my own dress stash - I'll let you know how that works out for me!).

I hope this little guide to storing skating garments was helpful, please let me know how you keep yours!

Until next time, enjoy those dresses!

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