Posted on December 13, 2023
December is in the heart of the holiday season, and also the time when the social calendar becomes a whirlwind of parties, extravagant balls, and lively festivals. For many, this means diving into their closets and dusting off the party dresses, often showcasing an impressive rotation of elegant outfits, including cocktail dresses. Cocktail dresses still demand special care due to their infrequent use, a common characteristic of formal attire.
Tips for Caring for Your Precious Cocktail Dresses
- Seek Professional Help: Most formal wear is a marvel of meticulous construction, delicate fabrics, and sometimes embellishments like intricate beading. This craftsmanship can make cleaning and maintenance a challenge, especially considering the high probability of encountering spilled drinks and food at these events. Dancing, too, adds another element to contend with: perspiration. The best solution? Turn to a professional dry cleaner. They have the expertise to remove spills and stains, and they can finish the dress without the marks that often accompany the use of a traditional iron. In the end, your dress will look as pristine as the day you brought it home from the store.
- Clean Before Storage: Even if your keen eye doesn’t spot any spills or stains on your cocktail dress after the event, it’s essential to clean it before putting it away. Since these dresses are worn infrequently, they spend long periods in storage. Over time, any unseen spills or stains can oxidize, leaving permanent marks. Furthermore, critters and insects are drawn to the remnants of dirt, perspiration, body oils, and leftover food or drink spills.
- Store with Care: You’ve invested money, time, and effort into professionally cleaning and finishing your dress, so be sure to store it properly. Use a high-quality wooden hanger to maintain the dress’s shoulder area’s shape. If you’re concerned about preserving the form, consider stuffing it with a bodice or acid-free tissue paper. Place your dress in a breathable cloth garment bag, avoiding plastic or poly bags. Store it in a temperature-controlled environment, away from direct sunlight. Drastic temperature changes can render the fabric vulnerable to mold, mildew, and deterioration. Excessive exposure to sunlight or artificial light can lead to fading.
Shores is a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, and we specialize in wedding dress cleaning and preservation. That means we can manage difficult and delicate fabrics and trims, so if you choose us, your cocktail dresses and formal wear will be well cared for. Stop by or call one of our convenient locations if you have any fabric-related questions.