My shopping budget for clothes is far from endeless, so it's important that I take proper care of my existing wardrobe and keep each piece looking as new as possible. This is difficult when you're as clumsy and accident-prone as I am. Stains, rips and wrinkles make frequent appearances in my closet.
Over the years I've figured out exactly what tools I require to maximize the lifespan of my clothes and my appearance in said pieces. I use the following wardrobe tools for regular clothing maintenance and highly recommend them. Some are a bit obvious, but they're important nonetheless.
The best $4.00 I ever spent. I had no idea this type of product even existed until a few years ago, when I was complaining about my pilling sweater to a friend. She suggested I swing by the drugstore and pick up a fabric shaver. It blew my mind! My sweater looked completely new after just a few swipes with the shaver. It's strangely satisfying to use, like vacuuming, but better. I've brought quite a few secondhand oversized sweaters back to life with my fabric shaver.
This one's obvious. You can use double-sided tape in approximately six billion different ways, from taping your bra in place to shortening the hem on a skirt. I use it to keep a blouse from popping open at the bust and taping down floppy belt straps. Hollywood Fashion Tape has cornered the market on the stuff. (They also offer variations on several of the products mentioned in this blog entry, including sweater pill removers.)
Deodorant Remover Pads
It's the weirdest little product, but it actually works! Again, costs like $5.00 and you'll thank your lucky stars the day you actually need to use it. This stuff is purely prevenative, as no one ever anticipates getting deodorant on her black top, but when it happens, it's hard as hell to get out without one of these little squishy pads.
OxiClean Stain Remover Spray
Love this stuff. It's saved me so many times when I thought for sure I'd irreparably stained yet another item of clothing. Just spray it on, let it sit and throw it in the wash. Thank you, Meg, for bringing it into my world.
A simple slip
Another obvious item, but if you're like me, you didn't realize you needed one until it was far too late. I stole my current slip from my sister (thanks, Katy) on the night I needed to give a speech in front of a large audience, wearing a thin sundress. It proved so useful, I couldn't bring myself to give it back (sorry, Katy). Not only do slips help mask translucent skirts, but they also prevent static cling and keep stiffer fabrics from bunching up. Every woman should have one.
Okay, so I don't have these yet, but they're on my wish list for the holidays. I live in an old building with tiny closets, which means space is an issue. Wire hangers suck, plastic hangers are too slippery and wood hangers are bulky, so these fabric-covered "huggable" hangers are the answer to my prayers. They're ultra thin and designed to nest up next to one another in compact areas. Perfect! Only problem is, I need at least 100, and they cost $1.00 a pop. You see my hesitation? It's hard to spend that kind of money on hangers when I could be spending that kind of money on the very clothes they hang.
Again, obvious, but I didn't have a pair until just a few months ago. I encourage you to splurge with this one. I've tried the $15 Target brand and the $50 Spanx kind, and the latter is definitely better. Shapewear can smooth out damn near anything — just be sure you get the right size, following the chart on the back of the package. I was right on the border between sizes, went smaller and ended up tearing them after the second wear. Trust me, the bigger size ain't gonna be baggy.