As much as we love fashion and looking amazing, it can be a real hassle to keep ourselves looking great throughout the workday. Between makeup stains, nip slips and funky smells, it’s a wonder how we can keep it all together. But you can quickly avoid a fashion faux pas by adopting some of these tips and tricks when crisis strikes. Whether it is to keep your off-the-shoulder top in place or to increase the longevity of your accessories, these game-changing fashion hacks are things you have to know. You’re most welcome.
Text: Sean Tham
Additional text: Zoe Zeng
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1. To remove fuzz balls from your clothes
Pills, or fuzz, are unsightly tiny balls of tangled broken fibres that are formed due to rubbing or abrasion during normal wear and use. They are commonly found on sweaters, linens and overly-worn garments. Here’s how you can get rid of them.
What you’ll need: A razor and some sticky tape.
Method: Use a clean razor to shave the pill off your garment. Remember to use gentle strokes to avoid damaging your clothes. Once you’re done, remove the loose fuzz ball with sticky tape. You can also try getting a fabric comb.
2. To fix a zipper that’s stuck
Zippers on jeans or jackets are subjected to wear and tear over time. You don’t necessarily have to visit a tailor when you come across a faulty zipper — save some dollar bills with this simple DIY trick.
What you’ll need: A traditional graphite wooden pencil or Vaseline.
Method: Rub the tip of the pencil along both sides of the zip. Continue rubbing until you spot graphite particles on the zipper. Then, slide the zipper a few times to see if it works. Repeat if necessary. Graphite acts as a dry lubricant that will help to smooth out the rough edges. If it’s still stuck, it’s time for you to move on to an oil-based lubricant, Vaseline. Repeat similar steps with Vaseline until you achieve results.
3. To remove stains instantly from your white garments
You’re having the best time of your life at a dinner date. Everything seems perfect… Until you discover unsightly food stains on your white clothes. Drats, you know you shouldn’t have had that lobster bisque! Fix them in a flash with this handy product.
What you’ll need: A bleach pen from Clorox.
Method: Squeeze a small amount of bleach onto the affected area. Use the tip of the pen to gently massage the product into the stain. Once the stain dissolves, apply some water to get rid of the excess bleach.
4. To fix a loose button without sewing
No time to fix the loose button on your favourite shirt? If you’re in a hurry, here’s how you can mend it under a minute (or two).
What you’ll need: Clear nail varnish.
Method: Coat a generous amount of clear nail varnish onto the frayed threads on your button. Make sure to dab on threads found behind your button as well. When it dries, the tackiness of the clear varnish will harden, keeping your button snug and secure. Psst, this should not be used as a permanent fix — you should resew it when you do find the time.
5. To expand your one-size smaller soles
Made an impulsive shoe purchase online recently just to receive a pair that’s one size too small? Shucks! This trick will help to prevent cramped toes and blisters from happening.
What you’ll need: Plastic bags of water, and a freezer.
Method: Fill two small plastic bags half full of water. Stuff the bags inside your soles till they reach the toe area. Leave them in the freezer overnight. The water bag will turn into ice and expand — stretching out the toe areas and reducing discomfort.
6. To keep an off-the-shoulder top in place
We love an off-the-shoulder top, since it shows off a little skin and allows us to flaunt our collarbone. But chances are, the top will go out of place once you reach for something set on an overhead shelf. Constantly adjusting and pulling at your top all day? Not cool. Here’s how you can avoid this fashion boo-boo.
What you’ll need: Four safety pins and two elastic hair ties.
Method: Attach two safety pins to the ends of each hair tie. Once that’s done, take one of the bands and secure the safety pin to the front of your top, near your armpit. Take the other safety pin that’s attached to the hair tie and pin it to the back of your top, behind your armpit. The hair tie should be positioned from the front of your shirt to the back. Make sure you pin them at spots inside a seam or near elastic so they won’t be seen. Repeat on the other side of your sleeve. Tip: When done, hold them up with your forefinger; they should look like little shoulder straps. When putting on the top, your arms should be over the hair ties so they rest under your armpits. Voila, this will help to keep your off-the-shoulder top in place.
7. To prevent your accessories from tarnishing
We love a good set of inexpensive earrings from high-street brands. However, they tend to tarnish quickly due to oxidation. Deploy this technique to improve their longevity.
What you’ll need: Clear nail varnish.
Method: Apply a generous coat of clear nail varnish along the surface of your accessories. Let them dry before you wear them out. Since the main culprit to oxidation is our atmosphere, the varnish acts as a barrier to prevent the metal from coming into direct contact with the air. Repeat this application once a week if you frequently wear them out.
8. To keep a loose zipper up
A loose zipper on our favourite pair of jeans can be frustrating — having to constantly check our fly is unsightly. Instead of forking out a sum just to get them fixed at a tailor, here’s a cheaper alternative.
What you’ll need: A small key ring.
Method: First, attach a small key ring onto the loose zipper. Put on your jeans and zip it up. Secure the small key ring around the button of your jeans. Once you fasten your button, the key ring will keep your fly up while staying concealed.
9. To keep your necklaces free from tangle while travelling
Have you ever found your necklaces tangled into an inextricable mess after you have arrived at your holiday destination? What a nightmare! Prevent this from happening with one simple household tool.
What you’ll need: A straw.
Method: First, unhook your delicate necklaces. Slip one end of the chain through the straw. Secure the hook back together, and there you have it! Easy peasy. Use one straw per necklace to keep things organised. For necklaces that sport a shorter chain, you can trim the straws into smaller pieces to utilise this hack.
10. To remove odour from your shoes
You think you can prevent odour from developing in your shoes by putting socks on. Well, you’re wrong. The sweat and bacteria from your feet can seep through your cotton socks, leaving an unpleasant smell in your favourite pair of kicks. Use this DIY solution to remove any pungent scents.
What you’ll need: White vinegar and water.
Method: Prepare a bottle of this deodorant spray with equal amounts of white vinegar and water. Shake the mixture well before applying them onto the insides of your shoes. Leave them to air dry overnight. The white vinegar will eradicate the odour-causing bacteria, leaving your soles smelling fresh and new.