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Gossip & Rumors: How To Preserve Clothing To Pass Down

GOSSIP & RUMORS: How to preserve clothing to pass down to your kids like A-list moms

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The hottest place to shop now is your mom’s closet.

The nepobabies of A-list fashion icons are raiding their mothers’ wardrobes brimming with archival luxury instead of shopping off the runway or the rack — after all, who doesn’t love a little vintage?

For her 21st birthday, Carys Zeta Douglas, the daughter of Catherine Zeta-Jones, picked her mom’s pink, silk and lace slip first worn on the 1999 MTV Movie Awards red carpet. Meanwhile, Busy Philipps lent her daughter, Birdie Silverstein, the velvet Betsy Johnson frock from the premiere of “The Green Mile,” which the teen wore at an Olivia Rodrigo concert.

Last month, Carys Zeta Douglas took a page out of her mom’s book — or, rather, a garment out of her mom’s closet. carys.douglas/Instagram
The actress wore the pink slip to the 1999 MTV Movie Awards, where she received an award for her character in “The Mask of Zorro.” WireImage

And last year, Gwyneth Paltrow shared a snap of her daughter, Apple, sporting her black Alexander McQueen gown worn at the 2002 Academy Awards, while Salma Hayek let her daughter, Valentina Paloma Pinault, borrow her fiery red Isaac Mizrahi gown to attend the Oscars.

Brooke Shields has also handed down many of her archival pieces from red carpets of yore, as has Angelina Jolie, whose daughters Shiloh and Zahara have borrowed dresses from their famous mother’s closet.

As someone who is also the lucky recipient of many ’90s staples from my mom’s walk-in, there is a priceless sentimentality that accompanies each garment that you can’t buy at the department store — and, arguably, it’s better than any designer item.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter Apple appeared to have raided her mom’s closet and found the controversial Alexander McQueen gown. gwynethpaltrow/Instagram
At the time, the Goop founder was declared one of the worst dressed at the Oscars in 2002. Getty Images

“If you are saving things for your children, save them because they have sentimental meaning to you or because you find the design exceptional,” fashion historian Ruby Redstone told The Telegraph.

But clothing storage is much more complex than just hanging the pieces in your closet.

Zippers, buttons and buckles should be fastened, Redstone noted, and use breathable boxes, since plastic bins do not have adequate airflow and can promote bacteria growth on items that are worn often or are antiques.

While storage space in a city like New York can be hard to come by, she urged amateur fashion archivists to keep the boxes off the floor, if you can help it, to protect against dirt, dust and water damage in the case of flooding.

Angelina Jolie’s daughter, Zahara, wore the star’s silver gown to the premiere of “Eternals” in 2021. FilmMagic
The award-winning actress first wore the dress to the Oscars in 2014. FilmMagic

“Always store your clothing in a dry environment without significant temperature fluctuations, a bit cooler is better,” Anthony Barzilay Freund, the director of fine art and the editorial director at the antiques e-commerce company 1stDibs, told The Telegraph.

“Keeping a handbag in a dust bag or other cloth covering is advisable for long-term storage, as well as stuffing the bag with soft packing to maintain its structure and prevent creases. For silk items and other delicate fabrics, acid-free tissue will help prevent deterioration of these fibers.” 

While natural fibers, like silk, wool or cotton, last longer than synthetic fabrics, pieces made from leather or a coated canvas are most durable, the experts said.

“Having children has also made me keenly aware that I should hold onto things from bigger-name designers like Prada, Chanel, the great Simone Rocha, even if they feel outdated in the current moment,” said Redstone.

By the time your child wants to raid your archives, it’s likely that the cherished, vintage pieces will be en vogue once more.

Redstone added: “I think – well I hope – that my children will care more about the fact that I wore a beautiful dress to a ball in Scotland than the fact that it’s from one of Simone Rocha’s earliest collections.” 



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