Quick Fix Wardrobe Tricks!

wardrobe fixesI’ve been doing a fair amount of traveling lately and it never fails that SOMETHING with my “wardrobe” will go terribly awry when I’m away from home and not able to avail myself of all my regular resources for dealing with such dilemmas.

So I’ve been collecting “quick fix” tricks to deal with those wardrobe malfunctions that always seem to attack at the most inopportune moments!

Here are some of my faves!


wardrobe fixes

Flat Iron as Touch-Up Iron

No time to drag out an iron and ironing board? A straightening iron works perfectly between buttons where a regular iron doesn’t fit. And it smooths collar creases and minor wrinkles. So you can look perfectly pressed when you’re pressed for time.



wardrobe fixes

Remove Static Cling With a Wire Hanger

When your skirt decides to start clinging in all the wrong places…look for a wire hanger and run the long side of it over your skirt, and between your skirt and tights or slip. No more static cling!  Mommy Dearest confiscated all the wire hangers in the vicinity? Try a quick spritz of hairspray on the areas that are bunching.



wardrobe fixes

Shoelace Securer

Keep shoelaces from constantly coming undone by using a little lip balm to coat the laces where you loop and knot and they won’t budge.


wardrobe fixes

Shrunken Sweater Fix

Add 1 tablespoon of baby shampoo (or hair conditioner) to 1 quart of water, then immerse a washable garment in the solution to relax the fibers. Lightly squeeze the excess water from the garment, then lay it on a flat surface. Gently stretch the item to its original shape and size. If there is a little stiffness, use a steamer or the steam from an iron to make the garment more malleable. Finally, secure the edges with heavy objects until dry.



wardrobe fixes

Baby Wipes as Stain Removers

I always make sure I bring a small travel-sized container of baby wipes with me when I travel. They come in handy SO many times. Especially for white deodorant stains!



wardrobe fixes

Pumice Stone as Sweater Depiller

Restore a favorite, well-worn cardigan to form by lightly running the stone across the surface to lift off any unsightly pills.



wardrobe fixes

Paper Clip as Zipper Pull

Temporarily replace a broken zipper tab by threading a paper clip through the hole. A safety pin also works.



wardrobe fixes

Double-Sided Tape as Hem Securer

Fix a fallen hem when there’s no time for a trip to the tailor. Also works well as a temporary fix for gaps between buttons on your blouses or jackets.



wardrobe fixes

Pencil as Zipper Releaser

Unstick a stubborn zipper by rubbing the teeth on both sides with a pencil—graphite is an excellent lubricant. Other options….lip balm, or soap.



wardrobe fixes

Detangle Necklaces with Baby Oil

I am constantly dealing with tangled necklaces…especially when traveling. This one has saved me more than once. Rub a few drops of baby oil into the knots and work them gently free with a straight pin.



wardrobe fixes

Nail Polish Button Securer

Apply a layer of clear nail polish to the threads on top of dress-shirt buttons. The nail polish will help the threads endure the heat of laundering, keeping the buttons on the shirt longer.



wardrobe fixes

Baby Powder as Oily Spot Remover

Sprinkle on to absorb oil from spots, then brush off with a white cloth. It’s also useful for hiding the residue of wine and makeup stains after you’ve used stain-removal wipes.



wardrobe fixes

Bananas as Scuff Remover

Use the inside of a banana peel to erase scuffs leather shoes. Then buff them to a shine with a paper towel.


So what’s YOUR favorite quick fix for fashion emergencies?  Please share!  I can use all the help I can get! :-) 

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  1. Lori Sue Johnson says

    I put necklace chains into a straw to keep them from tangling. Place the necklace in the straw leaving a inch or so hanging out the top. Do this for each chain. Take a twist tie and thread the bits of chain left hanging out the top to secure the chains in the straws and keep them together. No more tangled chains.

  2. kim says

    Wonderful tips as always! I’m going to try the lip balm on my running shoes. It always drives my batty that they don’t want to stay tied.
    For deoderant marks, all you need actually is a washcloth dampened with water. Works like a charm. But it is always a good idea to travel with some baby wipes for other spots that don’t come out as easily.

  3. Joyce says

    Rub those deodorant marks off with a piece of hosiery; works just like an eraser! I carry a knee-high stocking in my purse. Great for when I’m trying on clothes in a store, or if I don’t notice the mark before leaving home.

  4. Kristen says

    I have no tips :( Just wanted to give you 2 BIG thumbs up, Jillee! I love everything you post, I’ve been stalking, uh, following you on Pinterest, and I’ve learned SOOOOO much from you! You’ve literally changed my household with all of your fabulous ideas. Thanks so much! I just wish I didn’t live on the other side of the country because I’d love to come hang out with you! Lol : D

  5. Deborah Jennings says

    I never travel without my small travel steamer. I bought it years ago from Walmart. Another thing is a I don’t leave home without is a Tide Pen to go. I love all the tips that you have mentioned and will add a lot of them to my list of things to always take! When we travel, we usually go on cruises. I always take a sewing kit with me, too. Threaded needles with black, white, brown, blue and red threads. A very small pair of scissors for cutting strings. (blunt pointed are best.) You can get a basic sewing kit at the Dollar store for $1 or so. Did you know that they make a tape that you can use with an iron to “hem” up your un-done hems? And they also make fabric glue. Washable! as in it won’t wash out! I take a tube of that with me, too.

  6. Vickie White says

    I love all the tips and will file them in my “Favorite Tips” folder for future use! THANKS!

    My tip for wrinkled clothes (mostly on cotton or knit) is to just carry along a small misting or spray bottle and fill with water. While clothes are still on the hanger, just squirt the item with the water bottle (no need to saturate, just misting), then rub your hand down the item and you’ll be amazed at how the wrinkles just disappear!! Truly! I’ve been doing this for years, not just while traveling but every time I do laundry!

  7. Kelly says

    I can’t live without Shout wipes. I once had a bloodstain in a very obvious spot on my dress 30 minutes before an interview for a promotion at work. The Shout wipe removed it without a trace! (I also got the promotion ;)

    My other favorite trick is with baby powder. When we lived in Massachusetts, going to the beach was a hike for us; riding back home with sand everywhere was… uncomfortable. Baby powder on the sandy parts and it rubs off like magic!

    • Kristen says

      Oh wow! My daughter will love you for the baby powder tip! We just got her a sand box a few weeks ago. She’s 3 1/2 and such a girlie girl :) She refuses to sit IN the sand box! Lol! She’ll sit on the ground beside it to and acts like a total diva if any sand gets on her! I love you for this tip, too… You’re sparing me from many hissy fits ;)

  8. says

    As for the shrunken sweater, you can cut a piece of cardboard into the size that you want it and put that in the sweater, rather than weighing it down with heavy objects. (50 pounds ago, I could use one of those cardboard things they sell in hobby stores in the shape of a T-shirt, for painting on T-shirts.)

    My mom used to shove wet newspapers into the toe of tight shoes to loosen them up. (I just buy shoes that aren’t tight to begin with.)

  9. Ayshela says

    the hair straightener is also good for rolled hems. and I second threading chains through a straw. no need to untangle them if they don’t get tangled in the first place, and no worries about a tangled chain getting broken.

  10. Ayshela says

    oh! earrings while traveling – a bandana or cheap handkerchief is good for post earrings, just poke them through and put the back on normally, then fold it up and tuck it in your luggage. earrings with wires or hooks I laid out in pairs and gently folded into another one, then slipped that into a zippy bag so there was no chance one would work its way out in luggage being shoved around. Never lost an earring, and never had one damaged.

  11. Jamie says

    I’ve used super glue on button threads for years especially on baby clothes just in case a button fell off…I didn’t want the baby to eat it. And buttons are forever falling off clothes in the wash and who has time to sew them back on?

    For oil stains I use straight Dawn on them before I throw them in the wash. Works great! It will even remove engine oil.

  12. says

    How to tie shoelaces so they never come untied and are still easy to untie when you want: when you loop the second lace around the base of the loop you made with the first lace, wrap it around TWICE. I found this in a kids’ book on knot-tying, and it works. My kids (now 27 and 23) and I never have untied laces — even the round ones that never stay tied — and never have a knot to wrestle with at the end of the day.

  13. Cathey says

    I use dryer sheets to remove things like deodorant marks. When my son was about 2, he stuck his fingers into a jar of vaseline and proceeded to wipe them on his grandma’s black cashmere cardigan, right as she was heading out the door! The dryer sheets even came to the rescue then! Dryer sheets smell nice and fresh too, so that’s a plus!

  14. Cindy says

    I took two old receiving blankets (flour sack towels can work too) and folded it over a wire hanger. I put my earrings on it poking through all the layers of the blanket. When I had them all on securely I took the other blanket and draped that one over the top of the jewelry. Instant dust protector.
    If you want to take it with you or you make a smaller one for travel, take an old plastic grocery bag without rips in it and make a small hole in the bottom center. Feed the hook of the hanger through that hole and carefully pull it down over the blanket and tie the ends of the bag at the bottom holding in the jewelry.

  15. Cindy says

    For laundry that is wrinkled I use a spray bottle with 50-50 fabric softener and water. This works on anything I have tried so far. The best thing to impress how this works is denim. When you take it out of the dryer and it will NOT unwrinkle no matter what you try, this works. If the wrinkles are fresh or been there for a while, this works. Simply shake the bottle, spray the wrinkled area and press flat with your hands and let it air dry. Honest, I have not found anything that this hasn’t fixed for me.

  16. PippaP says

    I use a colored permanent marker to cover bleach spots or small faded areas on clothes. I use the same color marker as the fabric, color the spot, and this covers them, thus lengthening the life of your wardrobe.

    I cover scratches on wood furniture and floors by finding a crayon close to the wood tone, usually tan or brown, and coloring the scratch. I then use a hair dryer on warm or low setting to slightly melt the crayon wax and then spread it with my fingertip. Reapply if necessary. This has saved several pieces in our home following encounters with the kids or dogs!

  17. Stacey says

    If you have a pair of jeans that the zipper just won’t stay up on, try this tip! Slide a keyring through the hole in the end of the zipper pull. Then when you zip up your pants, loop the keyring over the button and then button your pants. The keyring will hold your zipper up & buttoning your pants over it will keep the keyring from slipping off the button.

  18. Catherine's not naturally crafty says

    Just DON’T leave the tape on and wash. Or use duct tape and forget to remove. I spent days trying to get off the unsightly sticky residue from Christmas pageant costumes that “crafty” moms had adjusted with double sided, packing or duct tape. And then laundered. Argh! this year we’re going with Velcro dots and pressing. Or clear snaps. heck, safety pins would be a better option, or staples. And I’m probably just going to have to redo some of them as the wise men are looking pretty shabby. Anyone got some kid sized Christmas pagent costumes they want to donate :)

  19. Ferbie girl says

    Using hair spray on a ball point pen mark on clothing is the best ever. It doesn’t matter if it is in a can or pump spray. (I don’t know how homemade hair spray would work for this.)

    Also I completely agree that a Tide stick to go is an essential in my purse at all times. My testament to this is that the very first day I wore a new robin’s-egg blue cotton shirt, I spilled more than half a 20 ounce bottle diet cola all over the front of me. I used the Tide stick everywhere I could until it ran out. I washed the shirt. Everywhere I used the Tide stick, the stain came out; where I missed, the cola did not. I did the Tide stick again (after it had been washed AND dried) in all the spaces where the spot still showed and laundered again. Everything, and I do mean everything, came out looking as good as new.

  20. Krystal says

    I’m constantly dropping my earrings behind my dresser. Take a knee-stocking (or regular will work too) and slide it over the end of your vacuum hose. Rubber band it securely on and turn the vacuum on and Ta Da! your earring, or earring back, rings, etc. will be on the end. No more calling the hubby to move the dresser!

  21. Kalley says

    I use a dryer sheet to get the static out of my hair! It works wonders in the winter when I wear sweaters. Just take a dryer sheet and run it down your hair! Another little trick I use is water to dry wet fingernails. I hate waiting for nail polish to dry, so I dip my wet fingernails in a bowl of lukewarm water for about thirty seconds. When you pull them out and dry you hands off, they’re dry! You can also put your fingers under the faucet, but make sure the water pressure is very low. Don’t put the stream directly on the nail. Put it on you fingers and let it run down to your nails.


  1. [...] Ironing in between buttons on your blouse or shirt can be a pain, which is where your hair straightener can come in handy. This trick works best if you have a flat iron that has a variety of settings. Simply switch your straightener on to the lowest setting and clamp the iron down in between the buttons. This trick also works on collars, cuffs, or any small areas that need a quick fix. [...]

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