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Protect Your Fashion Investments

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Suits, dresses, fine jewelry—you spend a fortune on investment pieces, so here’s to making them last. Here are some preservation tips from the county’stop clothing and jewelry experts.

Women’s Dresses: 

Light is the enemy of fine dresses. Hang them up, of course, but also shroud them in darkness with a light-impenetrable garment bag. 

—Mary Jane Denzer (Mary Jane Denzer, White Plains) 

Women’s Shoes:

Replacing the rubber bottoms of the heels on your shoes every few months can lend them a longer life—most cobblers are able to do this for $20 to $35. And when you’re not wearing them, there’s nothing better than the box they came in—or shoe bags to save space—to keep dust and mold away.  

—Boris Shalomov (Love Shoes, Larchmont) 

Jewelry: 

Keep items in their own boxes to avoid tangling, or keep them on a soft bust display that won’t scratch the jewelry. Take your jewelry in periodically to check the tightness of stones.

—Jonathan Landsberg (Landsberg Jewelers, Rye Brook & White Plains) 

Handbags:

Handbags need a temperature that is not too hot or humid; too much heat will disintegrate leather. Resist the temptation to store them in plastic—they need to breathe. 

—Joseph Occhicone (Occhicone Fine Leather Goods, Port Chester) 

Men’s Suits and Tuxedos:

Store suits and tuxedos in a dark, dry (ideally cedar) closet without a plastic bag. Plastic bags prevent the clothes from breathing, which can damage the fabric long-term.  

—Giovanni Secchiano (Tuxedo by Giovanni, Yonkers)

Men’s Shoes:

Cedar shoetrees keep the shape of your shoes intact and keep smells at bay. Old-fashioned? Maybe. But they’re effective. Taps on the heels can also keep them from wearing down too quickly. 

—Boris Shalomov (Love Shoes, Larchmont) 

Watches:

Battery-powered watches should be wound regularly to ensure the lubricant distributes evenly inside. Automatic watches run via a moving weight that’s stimulated by the natural motion of the wrist, so keep those on a winding device that mimics the wrist’s movement. 

—Steve Dubinsky (Tarrytown Jewelers, Hartsdale) 

Ties: 

Silk needs to be kept in the dark to keep colors vibrant. Light steaming at home eliminates creases to keep ties looking sharp. 

—Rick Buggee (Family Britches, Chappaqua)

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