Few men are blessed with a walk-in wardrobe. For most, it’s tricky finding enough room to stow even a season’s worth of clothes, without partners griping about the overspill.
To avoid the kind of Black Hole of Calcutta approach to organisation that slashes your clothes’ shelf lives, you need to stick what’s unneeded into storage when the summer fades, allowing ample breathing room for your cold-weather wardrobe.
If you want to stop your cotton and linen becoming a moth’s winter feast, follow these rules, which will guarantee what you pack away is wearable straight out of the box when things start heating up again.
The garden party invites have stopped dropping through your letterbox, so it’s time to shutter your seersucker for the off-season. With wool and flannel eating wardrobe real estate, anything unlined or in a sun-suitable material – think linen or light cottons – should make way.
To prolong its life, a suit only needs dry cleaning once a year. That time is now, to evict the skin flakes and grime that invite fabric-munching moths. Once your tailoring is clean and pressed, switch the dry cleaner’s wire for cedar hangars – the wood kills moth larvae, doubling your protection.
Red Cedar Hanger 3 Pack, available at Muji, priced £9.95.
Ideally, you’d have a second wardrobe in the loft for storage. If reality prevents, pack them flat into your summer holiday luggage to avoid creases, and stow under your bed. Suit bags will guard against small beasties, but don’t be tempted by the vacuum-sealed options; they keep bugs out, but also crush your tailoring.
Moss 1851 Black Suit Carrier, available at Moss, priced £5.
Shirts & Knitwear
Those florals and Cuban collars are ill-advised when the rain’s lashing in sideways. As with your suits, first clean your shirts to rid the seams of moth food, then iron – letting creases sit for six months will make them a near-permanent addition to your outfit. For your knits, hand-wash and let them dry flat. Hanging means the waterlogged hems stretch the fabric out of shape.
Instead of folding – creases, remember? – place each piece face down and top with tissue paper. Roll into cylinders to ensure your clothes won’t come out crumpled once winter has past. Or smelling like they’ve spent a season in the attic.
Slot into plastic boxes with a tight-fitting lid to keep creepy crawlies away from your cashmere. If you’re stowing a selection of coruscating Hawaiian shirts, maybe let the bugs have their fill.
Orthex 23L Plastic Storage Box with Lid, available at John Lewis, priced £8.
The first frost means throwing your boat shoes overboard to get boots on deck. Luckily, you kept the box they came in. The shoe bags, at least? In which case, best invest in some plastic replacements.
Before stowing your suede, take anything that needs repairing to the cobbler (you’ll appreciate it when the first sunny day has you rooting through your boxes) and give each pair a thorough cleaning, paying extra attention to the soles and any seams where grime can accumulate. Otherwise, you risk introducing clothes-munching stowaways to your fabric lockdown.
Slip cedar trees into leather shoes to help them keep their shape (the wood will absorb a summer’s worth of odours, too) but stuff suede and canvas with newspaper to avoid stretching the material.
Cedar Adjustable Shoe Tree, available at Charles Tywrhitt, prices £19.95
Wrap each shoe in acid-free tissue paper, then slot the pairs into those boxes you just bought. For bonus points, attach a photo of each pair to the outside to accelerate the search for your espadrilles come spring.