How to fix your favourite clothes and fabrics

A quick guide to fixing your favourites

Nobody’s perfect. Rips, snags and stains happen to even the most fastidious of fashionistas on a daily basis. And there is nothing more embarrassing than ripping the seat of your pants or finding a big run in your stockings in public—especially during a big presentation, interview or date! Fortunately, that discomfort is short-lived because in those cases, quick fixes are a snap. Here are 10 common fashion emergencies and how to save face—and your clothes!

Remove Stains

For stains caused by deodorant or antiperspirants, a quick stain removal fix involves vigorously rubbing a separate section of the same fabric over the stained area. That will disperse the stain, eradicating those pesky white streaks. Remove white marks and deodorant build-up completely by pre-treating the stain with Ariel Original Washing Liquid and soaking it in warm water containing Ariel. Wash according to the fabric care labels.

Remove Wrinkles

Unless we stand absolutely still and don’t come in contact with anyone or anything else all day and night, our clothing is going to see a few wrinkles now and then. If a particularly irksome one pops up when you’re away from an iron, gently dabbing the area with a damp (not soaking wet!) cloth or paper towel and then drying it with a hair dryer or hand dryer should smooth it out.

Dealing with ripped stockings

While there is no magical fix for runs in your tights aside from picking up a new pair during your lunch break, you can stop your current pair from tearing further with a little clear nail polish to make it through the day. Stick a piece of paper towel or tissue between your skin and the fabric first, then apply a thin layer of the clear polish over the ends of the run. Let the area fully air dry or use a hair dryer or hand dryer before you jump back into your daily routine.

Getting rid of static cling

Your style is part of you, figuratively speaking. But when your clothes actually cling to you, thanks to static electricity in the air, it’s time to separate yourself a little. To get rid of the cling, try spritzing a little aerosol hairspray on the affected area and flaring the fabric to release it from your body. If you don’t have hairspray, a light misting of water can serve as a temporary fix.

How to depill sweaters

If you can’t stand those little fabric fibre balls that suddenly appear on your favourite sweater, you’re in luck. To remove these unsightly nuisances, take off your sweater and lay it on a flat surface. Go over it gently with a pumice stone or fruit zester to loosen and remove the pills. And remember that hand washing and air-drying your sweaters is the best way to prevent further pilling.

Fixing a loose or broken hem

Hems aren’t made of steel. Occasionally they unravel. Sellotape works in a pinch to keep that hem in line temporarily, but at the end of the day, you’ll have to whip out a needle and thread for a more permanent fix.

Dealing with torn fabrics

Sellotape also works for some fabric tears, but for unsightly seam rips, staples are a better bet. Excuse yourself to the bathroom for a minute (surreptitiously taking a stapler with you) and remove the garment. Pinch the torn fabric together at the seam toward the inside of the garment and staple a few times, making sure there are no sharp ends sticking out. Gently put the garment back on and carry on carefully with your day.

Sorting out scuffed shoes

Those boots were made for walking. And walking occasionally causes scuffs! There are different fixes for different types of shoes. Rub a little bit of toothpaste or baking soda and water on canvas, rub a pencil eraser on vinyl, dab a little nail polish remover on patent leather. You can fix your nails and your shoes at the same time!

Removing pet hair from clothing

Did the cat decide to take a little snooze on your outfit before you got a chance to put it on? Or did the dog leave a little too much hair on the car seat? Make sure you pack a lint roller in your bag or briefcase lest you find out that your clothing has suddenly sprouted fur.

Missing a button?

Whether or not you are too big for your britches, a button will pop off now and then. For a quick fix, locate a twist-tie or small piece of pliable wire (remove the paper if it’s a twist tie) and thread it through two holes in your button. Pull the two ends of the wire together on the other side and stick them through the buttonhole in your garment. Twist them together and pull the ends away from each other. Set them against the inside of your garment with some Sellotape to keep them in place and avoid scratching yourself.