When you first walked into Capitol Hill as an employee, you may have marveled at the landscape of suits before you. Politics and government work alike are all about making a professional first impression, and you probably invested hundreds of dollars filling out your office wardrobe and putting the final touches on your fit with your favorite tailor in Old Town Alexandria.
Now, as a seasoned and experienced employee with a closet full of Nordstrom, Jos. A Bank, and Brooks Brothers, you may be concerned with protecting your investment for as long as possible. Preserving your D.C. uniform is much easier with the help of custom closet features. With these tips, you won’t have to question your suit storage strategy ever again.
Spread out in Your Space
When you add custom cabinetry to a walk-in or reach-in closet, you’re going to significantly increase the amount of storage space at your disposal. If you add wardrobe lifts, dual hanging rods, and adjustable shoe shelves, you’re going to free up a huge amount of wall space you never knew you had.
This space is critical for keeping your office attire perfectly preserved between wears and after you bring items home from the dry cleaners. Run-of-the-mill suit stores may stuff hundreds of suits all on one hanging rack, packed in like locals on the Alexandria waterfront during a fireworks display. But this strategy just doesn’t work for clothing that gets worn out and about every day—certainly not in the muggy NOVA weather.
Instead, with the extra space you’ve discovered, feel free to spread out when you hang your suits. Keep the space of at least two wooden hangers between each article of clothing, and give your fabrics room to breathe! When in doubt, try to bring the small boutique feel—like Dash’s of Old Town—into your master closet and you’ll be on the right track. With a custom closet, you can afford to take more room for each suit without sacrificing on overall storage space.
Image source: Flickr user Sonia Belviso
Try the Split-Level Approach
Here’s another revolutionary tip from the world of custom closets: store your slacks separately from your jackets. Yes, I’m inviting you to free your suits from the garment bags they came zipped up in and to hang your separates in different places. This will make putting your clothes away at the end of the work day much simpler, as you’ll no longer have to deal with wrinkling your slacks by accident by overstuffing the space.
Adding dual hanging rods lets you hang pants and jackets and shirts apart from one another, allowing plenty of room for each. With custom cabinetry, you can design a different hanging area for jackets, dress shirts, and slacks alike. Worried about mixing up your suit pieces? Simply hang the slacks directly underneath the jacket. When you’re leaving room between each suit anyway, it becomes much easier to find the item you’re looking for.
Finally, please don’t store any of your clothing in the plastic bags that come from the cleaners, even out-of-season items. This isn’t just a law school intern’s rookie mistake, either—I’ve seen plenty of long-time government employee clients making the very same unfortunate choice. These bags seal in moisture and chemicals, which is not a good combo in the constant humidity of Alexandria. Take them off as soon as you return home in order to give your fabric fibers a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Use New Accessories to Your Advantage
One of my very favorite moments in working with my clients is introducing them to the closet accessories that are possible with a custom system—and many of our most popular additions were made specifically with the professional wardrobe in mind. Your custom closet can include:
Full-extension slide-out belt and tie racks. With these accessories built into your closet, there’s no need to use specialty hangers or to roll your items around themselves to be tucked in a drawer somewhere. Now, they’ll easily and elegantly hang out of the way without taking up valuable space in your walk-in.
Pull-out laundry hampers. All of us wear our suits multiple times before taking them in for cleaning. However, when it’s time to take them in, you can toss your separates in your built-in laundry hamper. The best part: the removable liner lets you grab your bag of clothing and head straight for Yates Dry Cleaning without a second glance.
Adjustable shoe shelves. Keep your loafers and dress shoes perfectly polished and displayed using adjustable shoe shelves. You’ll maximize space and be able to see all of your choices at once when you get ready to leave for Washington Metro’s Blue Line each morning.
Valet rods. If you’ve got the time to select your clothing for the next day, our valet rods will be there to hold onto the items for you until you’re ready to get dressed in the morning. You no longer have to hang your next day’s suit on the back of the closet door.
Interested in learning other ways that a custom closet can help your wardrobe specifically? Sign up for your free design consultation with one of Closet America’s design experts. We’ll work with you to design a closet space that functions and feels exactly like what you’re looking for. Your new closet will help keep everything in its place perfectly until your next jaunt up to Capitol Hill.