It’s been a long day/week/month of performing. You walk in the door to the black hole of costume pieces, accessories, crafting supplies, etc. How do you get from this mysterious and neverending story of a burlesque lifestyle in a pile back to the luxuriously organized space? Is it even possible? Of course it is and Lola LaVacious is here with tips and tricks on how to clean and store your wardrobe so they will hold up for another performance. Without further ado, the vivacious Lola LaVacious!
That moment a few days after a show where there are a bajillion various props, shoes, underthings, fringed gloves and other lovely sparkly effluvia scattered in my house makes me want to just close the door for another day to deal with the rainbowtastic mess. Having a solid storage plan in place gets the job done quickly and adds a modicum of satisfaction to my day and it can for you too!
1. Cleaning Costume Pieces
I use my handy spray bottle full of cheap bottom shelf vodka to spray the inside of gowns corsets and other items that come in contact with sweat which are unable to be hand washed or dry cleaned. Using plastic hangars I drape the gowns inside out and hang the corsets folded over or clipped then spray away with a towel underneath to catch overspray. A light mist is all that is needed to get the yuck out and a 24 hour drying time.
Quick wipe with damp towel in and out and on the bottoms and them stiff with white tissue paper.
Hoisery: Dreft hand wash and roll in towels lay flat to dry
2. Costume Storage:
For full complete costumes I like to use plastic hangars with the ability to hook bra and thong /panties to and hang gown and skirt. Hangers are also used for other gowns, skirts, dresses and pants if the material will not fall out of shape when hung. A Stand alone closet system will help protect fabric from dust and keep them in place. I recommend having a charcoal bag at the bottom to absorb any odor or dampness.
Character shoes or regular satin heels without embellishments are stored on a shoe rack after they have been wiped down and can be stuffed with white wrapping tissue paper to retain the toe box shape and absorb odors.
For embellished glittered or patent leather shoes I cover them with cotton sox as to prevent any glitter or bling from coming off and to protect the patent leather from smudges or accidental scratches. These are so helpful when packing for travel.
Gloves, hosiery and scarves are stored in mini plastic drawers lined silk scarves for easy and nice accessibility.
If you incorporate fur in your costumes or have fur coats, shrugs etc DO NOT use vodka spay on the fur! I like to use the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner to use on the fur itself…if there is sweat in the liner dab with cotton cloth and allow to dry with liner out a few days before hanging on a wooden hanger or fabric wrapped hanger. If concerned with dust there are wonderful fabric garment bags or a sheet can be used in a pinch!
*Hanging garment bags are wonderful for toting costumes but not a great idea for long term storage as the plastics in some bags may affect natural fibers such as silk or furs.
*From dedicated jewelry trees and racks to full-blown curio cabinets, there are many ways to store jewelry and accessories!
*Lavender scented cedar blocks in a closet or storage area help keep the critters away without smelling like a forest or moth balls.
Hope you enjoyed reading through a few of our tips and tricks to costume storage and more! These ideas may not work for all of our Angels, fans and friends however they are a great starting point to find what may work for you! Happy storing!