Closet 101 Style

The Power of the Sun

Sale PSA: An open shoulder shift dress from Madewell, now under $100, simple stack heeled black leather booties from Halogen, now under $100, a pretty white eyelet summer dress from Joie, now 40% off, a lovely little off the shoulder dress from Parker, now 40% off, and a classic fringe trim jacket from Veronica Beard, now 60% off. 

There are a few go to jokes my husband likes to torture me with, but one of his favorites is the concept of the “Chanel moth” – a special devious breed which specializes in the most high quality of UK/Scotland manufactured cashmere, zipping through your closet in search of the most expensive pieces to munch. Since this is pretty much my #1 greatest nightmare, I halfway believed him the first time he said it. Because I love my knits and cashmere! So today I thought I would share one of my spring/summer rituals which I do at least once to twice a year, which I believe has helped keep my closet moth free and my knits fresh. The great “airing out”.

Did you know that moths hate sunlight? They avoid it whenever possible, and just the act of shaking out your clothes and hanging them in the sun will a) repel moths and their disgusting larvae (which are what actually eats your clothes), and b) shake out any larvae which might be already in your clothes (even more disgusting). The sun is also a natural disinfectant and will help get rid of any storage odors, etc. So every spring, as soon as the sun comes out, I clean all of my winter knits and pieces with fur and then as an extra precaution, set them out in the sun to air out (though fur shouldn’t be in direct sunlight too long). I do this even with the pieces I haven’t worn, so that they don’t get musty.

Does it look kind of crazy? Yes. We had some workmen at the house right as I was in the middle of my batch last weekend and clearly they they thought I was loco. I could tell that they clearly wanted to ask what was going on, but were afraid of angering the preggo. However, it works, and (knock on wood) I haven’t had any issues with moths yet, or my clothes smelling musty out of storage. It’s a few passive hours of work on a sunny day, and will keep your clothes fresh.

Other tips I have to ward away moths:

1. Keep your clothing clean. If you spill food on your cashmere, you have to wash it. That’s just good hygiene, not to mention good economics (especially if your cashmere is Loro Piana priced).

2. Wear your pieces. The more you wear your pieces, the less they will attract moths, because as I mentioned above, the very act of shaking them out dislodges them. Its the items in your closet that you have sitting there, stagnant, season after season, which are in the greatest danger.

3. Airtight storage for those pieces you don’t wear often. Because of reason number two above.

What do you think of my sun ritual? Crazy or cool? Do you do anything like this for your closet?

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  • Glenda
    May 1, 2017 at 8:28 am

    I’ve heard that moth larvae eat all types of natural fibers. I prefer silk sweaters, so this topic is of interest to me, too. I keep small cedar blocks & balls in my closet & drawers, not touching any fabric, and not too many because I don’t want to smell like a cedar tree. I most definitely will give this “sun-airing” tip a try! Thank you!

  • Cassie
    May 1, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    I wish a had a good spot to air out my clothes like this! One day I’ll have a laundry line, but currently I have cedar blocks hanging in my closet.

    • Katherine
      May 3, 2017 at 7:53 am

      You can just shake them out in the sun once in a while 🙂

  • Archana
    May 1, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you for this.

  • Oonagh
    May 1, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Sunlight also gets rid or turmeric stains on clothes, it’s like magic.

    • Katherine
      May 3, 2017 at 7:53 am

      Very cool! Had no idea!

  • Oonagh
    May 1, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    OF.

  • D
    May 1, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    I haven’t had any issues with moth larvae (I use cedar balls) but this is totally in my head now. Excuse me while I go rip open all my dresser drawers.
    -D
    http://www.styledtour.blogspot.com

  • Melissa
    May 2, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    This is a good reminder for me to clean out my cashmere and wool clothes. I’ve gotten lower maintenance clothes (washable) since becoming a mom. Recently I’ve experimented with washing wool sweaters in the washing machine on the wool setting cycle and air drying them flat. They have turned out remarkably well, much to my surprise. I certainly wouldn’t recommend trying it on an expensive piece though.

    • Katherine
      May 3, 2017 at 7:54 am

      I wash in the machine, too! In a delicates bag, it works but I hate the ironing after, ha.

  • Raincouver
    May 3, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    I only worried about discoloration on those expensive shawls. Other than that, I wish to be hanging with those gorgy shawls & fur parkas under the scorching sun. It had been raining nonstop in my region n I afraid I might attract moths.

    • Katherine
      May 4, 2017 at 9:25 am

      LOL! I hope it clears for you soon. I do try not to keep them in the sun too long, for the very same reason 🙂

  • TC
    May 6, 2017 at 9:32 am

    All you really need to do is wash your items, let them dry thoroughly, then store, but not in an airtight container; fabrics should breathe. I put clothing on hangers in breathable garment bags and folded items in cotton pouches. I don’t recommend hanging items outside if they have color as the sun will fade them.

    The only time I’d store items in an airtight container is if there’s a possibility of damp or wet conditions

    • Katherine
      May 6, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      Thanks TC!

  • Lynnie
    May 13, 2017 at 3:36 am

    Hi, where is your jacket from in the picture? Thanks!

    • Katherine
      May 14, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      Mr and Mrs Italy 🙂