The expert insight:
Plastic presents a problem because it traps in heat and air, says Chris Callewaert, Ph.D., a microbiologist and postdoctoral research associate at the University of California, San Diego. Even if your plastic bag has openings, the resulting moisture buildup will create a breeding ground for odor-causing fungus and bacteria, he explains.
The bottom line:
To keep clothes in top shape, store them in breathable, opaque bags made of cotton or canvas, says Jason Tetro, a Toronto-based microbiologist and author of The Germ Files. Leave them in a cool, dark room, since sunlight and UV rays can make colors fade.