When your formal capsule... is covered in mildew!

The title says it all. I'm heading to a wedding this weekend. The other day I pulled my fancy Theyskens Theory fishtail skirt out from the guest room closet, and the bottom is covered in little spots of what must be mildew. Damn it. I don't know if there's a leak in there, or if I put it away wet, or what.

It might be clean-able, but not this week.

The wedding is a very out-there crowd, all bright mohawks and techno-goth finery, and the clothing suggestion is "elegant but non-stuffy" (black is fine, even encouraged). And it'll be sort of chilly at the venue. So I fell back to a different plan, a simple LBD, fishnets, and this amazing silver leather coat that I found at a thrift store right when I joined YLF: http://youlookfab.com/welookfa.....oween-look

So I'm not sure what the moral of this story is. Either, check your formalwear capsules occasionally for moth / mildew / fit issues, unlike me. Or, good thing I had a good formalwear capsule, with a few other options ready to go!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Oh no!! I hope the skirt can be rescued and I admire your resourcefulness in coming up with an alternative so quickly. What a shame, though. It looks like a beautiful skirt. 

  • LaPed replied 7 years ago

    Yikes! Getting good ventilation in closets -- especially in guest bedrooms with doors closed -- can be so difficult. I used to live in an apartment where the closet backed up to the bathroom, and it had recurring moisture issues. No leaks, just bad air circulation. In addition to checking for leaks, maybe ask an HVAC tech about ways to improve airflow in that room.

  • Alexandra replied 7 years ago

    Yikes! Fingers crossed you can get it cleaned. Kudos for coming up with another outfit so quickly!

  • chewyspaghetti replied 7 years ago

    I love it when people talk about their formalwear capsule. I understand that there is a need for some people, but it is so far removed from my needs, it's not even funny!

  • replied 7 years ago

    Oh NO!

  • Barbara Diane replied 7 years ago

    Oh my! So glad you had another option.

  • minimalist replied 7 years ago

    So glad you have excellent backup, and thank you for the reminder.

    Sounds like a dehumidifier might become your friend. :-/

    Have a wonderful time at the wedding!

  • Style Fan replied 7 years ago

    Great leather coat.  Good thing you had a back up plan.  I hope you can get the skirt cleaned.

  • Emily K replied 7 years ago

    Techno-goth!  That wedding is going to be so fun!  I hope you have a great time.  And I hope your skirt can be salvaged--what a disappointment!

  • Bennett replied 7 years ago

    The moral, for me anyway, is: keep an amazing silver leather coat on hand, always! : )

    I have an armoir in my bathroom that had a moisture/mildew collection problem behind the closed doors, totally solved by placing a tub of DampRid brand moisture control crystals inside. It is commonly used in RVs to control moisture problems. The tub slowly collects water over time from the air and when the crystals are dissolved, toss it out and replace. Maybe this would be an easy, inexpensive solution if it is just a small area problem like mine.

  • Ginger replied 7 years ago

    Oh, how horrible! I do hope it can be cleaned. I've only seen black mildew on textiles, and it does make permanent stains.  (Caveat: my part of Texas is more dry than humid, so it's not something I usually deal with.) But the powdery white stuff seems like it should come off okay.  And Bennett's suggestion seems perfect for that closet.

  • Aziraphale replied 7 years ago

    Gah. How awful. I hope it comes off! Well done finding an alternative so quickly.

  • Diana replied 7 years ago

    Oh no! I hope the cleaners are able to get the stains out of the skirt! Your replacement outfit sounds awesome though - would love to see a photo.

    As for the closet... do you have any of that blue dessicant in your lab? You know, the stuff that turns pink when it absorbs water? That would not only help keep the closet dry, it would also tell you whether or not it's significantly damp in there because of the color indicator.

    And heck, I would spray down the walls/shelves of the closet w/70% ethanol (or just rubbing alcohol if you don't feel like raiding your lab, lol) just to be on the safe side.

    (Why, yes, I do have a lot of off-label uses for lab supplies....)

  • unfrumped replied 7 years ago

    Good backup plan!
    I hear you on buying weird but fab items . I know I need to be careful, but also to have a bit of budget and risk- taking for it in order to " accumulate " a capsule. There is a big risk of orphans, but my experience also is I almost never find a complete dressy outfit in one shot( base, topper, shoes, etc). Sometimes I am lucky in that one piece can work in another venue while I'm trying to find the completer.
    It is also wise to just relax and be okay with not having the " perfect" outfit. But sometime I want to try!

  • Helen11 replied 7 years ago

    I hope you can rescue the skirt!
    But how fab are you to have another formalwear outfit ready to go?  
    Enjoy the wedding festivities.

  • harmonica replied 7 years ago

    Oh no! I'll learn from the moral, though. Great attitude and so glad you found another outfit in your closet. That silver coat is amazing! Keep us posted about the techno-goth wedding. Sounds really fun!

  • replied 7 years ago

    Greyscale -- because that could happen to any of us, please let us know if the dry cleaning worked out.  It would be a tool in our arsenal for possible disasters.  

    I do use DampRid in all my closets because I live in a fairly humid area and air doesn't circulate well in closets.  

  • Greyscale replied 7 years ago

    Diana, that's a great idea to use the lab stuff. I'll see if we have any.

    I'll let you all know how the cleaning turns out.

    I'm here at the wedding and it is COLD and rainy. It's a weekend thing at a summer camp type place and our cabin's heat seems broken. (Warm cozy blankets though!) All in all, probably good that I didn't wear the skirt, because it is a little too tight to be truly comfortable, and impractical for the setting.

    I brought 4 pairs of shoes (!!) for a 3-day event: hiking boots, casual sneaker boots for everyday, and then a choice of heels or Frye boots with my dress. Looks like it'll be the boots for sure, with the long wet walk from my cabin to the ceremony.

  • replied 7 years ago

    I am really sorry about the mildew, but glad you have that GORGEOUS silver jacket to console you.  Good thing you brought all those boots.  Ugh, I hate having cold feet! 

  • replied 7 years ago

    When we lived in a tropical humid climate without A/C, our closets had light bulbs in them to combat the mold. It didn't help much, though. We could only store what we regularly wore and laundered. I miss it every chance I get!!!

  • Bijou replied 7 years ago

    I once lived in Sydney which is humid and there they sold things called Closet Camels, which was as Diana suggested a tub of water absorbing crystals. I only learnt of the requirement after suffering a similar mildew incident. I love the silver coat which is perfect for such a fun wedding.

  • JAileen replied 7 years ago

    What a shame! Your silver coat is fantastic, though.

    I used to live in the subtropics of the Texas Gulf Coast. My shoes and books mildewed. Once I was given some piano sheet music that was mildewed and it caused an allergic reaction. My husband laid it out in the sun to kill it, and only then could I get near it.

  • Rambling Ann replied 7 years ago

    Four pair of shoes is entirely reasonable in those circumstance!

    DH says polyacrylamide is what's in the DampRid tub, a scientist should be able to get it cheaper from the usual sources.

  • Gigi replied 7 years ago

    Oh my, I had never considered that this could happen! Right now I don't have any issues with mildew, but if I ever move, it will be something to keep in mind. 

  • eleventhall replied 7 years ago

    Hi! Were you able to get it cleaned? Curious! I recently had the same problem..

  • MsMaven replied 7 years ago

    When living in a humid climate I had a pair of expensive (for me) heels that I seldom wore. I was horrified to pull them out one Sunday and find mildew inside and out. I was able to wipe them clean though. Growing up in the dry air of the west, I'd never seen or heard of such a problem. I hope the skirt turns out okay.

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