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Once you’ve found, made, or altered that perfect dress, you have to think about storing your dress. You want to keep it looking great as long as possible.

Let’s talk about how to prolong the life of a ballgown or skate dress using proper storage techniques.

The #1 enemy of a dress is moisture: be it sweat after a performance or dampness after washing or humidity from the environment.

If you read no further and don’t watch the video, remember this rule …. NEVER, EVER STORE YOUR DRESS WHEN IT’S DAMP. (This also applies to trousers, shirts, skates and shoes which are negatively affected by dampness, especially perspiration.)

If time allows, dry the items before you travel home or to the next show. If that isn’t possible, let them air dry at the earliest possible time. Leave dresses exposed in a well-ventilated room or in the breeze on the back porch to ensure they are completely dry before tucking them away for weeks or months.


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Tips for Proper Storage

  1. Store your dress hanging or flat depending on the weight
    • You can safely store lightweight or non-stretch dresses hanging.
    • Meanwhile, heavy dresses or those made of very stretchy fabrics should be stored flat so the fabrics don’t continue to stretch out of shape.

2. Use a white cotton sheet for inexpensive, breathable, long-term storage.

    • Wrap your ballgown or skate dress in a white cotton sheet -or a pillowcase- if you are going to keep it flat under the bed or in a drawer. The cotton allows the fabric to breathe, helping prevent mildew.
    • Use a white sheet if possible, or a matching color if white is not around, so if there is any staining it won’t be a bold, bright, blotch.

3. Choose a hanging bag appropriate for your storage or travel needs.

    • Garment bags are not created equally and are not appropriate for every purpose.
    • Therefore, make sure the length of the bag is appropriate for the length of your dress.
    • Choose a breathable bag for long-term storage.
    • Next, consider using a plastic or water-repellent bag for traveling.
    • It’s a good idea with any type of man-made material (breathable or not) to leave the zipper open when storing long-term.
    • Take heed that some materials may fade when damp from steam, water, or body sweat. Feathers are very prone to fading, so you may want to pack dresses with the feathers in their own bag!






    • Shoulder elastics are not designed to hold the weight of the dress for days or months on end. If used for that purpose, they’ll get stretched out and no longer be able to offer the breast support they’re intended to give….keep the girls high and dry. Use those tape hangers!
    • If your dress doesn’t have tape hangers, hang the dress by the crotch to take the stress off the shoulder elastics. Grab the crotch and drape it over the hanger. Nice and easy.

Places to find garment bags in North America:





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From Teresa Sigmon,
Founder and Designer of Seams Sensational
Creator of the Sew Like A Pro™ training series


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