I’ve had my share of clothing emergencies, and because of my tight budget, I’ve got to make my clothing last.
Of course, I’m always willing to pay a few more dollars for quality fashion as long as I can get a lot of wear out of the item. But when it comes time to throw the item out—I’m hesitant. That’s why I’ve found 9 tricks that will extend the life of your clothing!
1. Repair a pulled thread
Not only do I value my clothing, but I also want to make sure that my clothing is presentable when I wear it. A simple pulled thread can make a shirt look used. To repair a pulled thread, you’ll only need a sewing needle. Take the sewing needle and use it to push the pulled thread back through to the inside of the clothing item. Don’t cut the thread—just tie it in a knot and dab clear nail polish over it.
2. Rethread a drawstring
A safety pin is a great problem solver if the drawstring in your clothing has a habit of disappearing. If you lose the end of a drawstring in the laundry, completely pull the other end of the drawstring out. Pin a safety pin to the end of the drawstring and slide it into the drawstring opening. Push the safety pin (with the drawstring attached) and pull the fabric. Continue to repeat this action until the drawstring is threaded out the other side of the drawstring opening.
3. Repair a bra underwire
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than when the underwire pokes through your favorite bra. In order to extend the bra’s lifespan, push the wire back into place, and cover the hole with a small piece of moleskin which you can find in your local pharmacy in the bandage section. The generic brand works just fine! Not only will this make your bra last, but you’ll be comfortable at the same time.
4. Return a shrunken item to its previous size
My husband is so helpful when it comes to the laundry, but on more than one occasion he has mistakenly thrown one of my tops in the dryer and it came out small enough to fit my 11 year old daughter. In the past, I’ve just given it to her, but I’ve found a simple process to restore the shrunken item to its previous size.
What you do:
- Combine water and 4 squirts of conditioner in a large bucket or bowl. The conditioner will untangle the shrunken fibers.
- Completely submerge the clothing item into the solution and soak it for 30 minutes. The item should expand to its former size.
- Rinse with water and lay flat to dry.
5. Fix a ripped hem
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting the heel of my shoe hung up in the hem of my skirt when I’m going up the stairs at work. For a quick repair, use double sided tape applied to the inside surface of the hem.
6. Stretch a pair of tight shoes
This happens to me often—I purchase a pair of well-fitted shoes at the store, but after I wear them for a few hours they end up pinching my toes and killing my feet. A quick fix for this is to simply put on a pair of thick socks and slip on the tight shoes. Point the hairdryer at the tight areas of the shoe and wiggle your toes around in the shoes. Keep the shoes on while they cool off.
7. Replace that missing button
Don’t throw away that expensive shirt when the button pops off! All you need is a needle and thread. Thread the needle with thread that matches the blouse and tie the ends in a knot. Place the button over the place where it was originally located. From the underside of the blouse, insert the needle through the button hole, pull through then insert the needle through the next button hole to the side or directly across. Continue to follow this pattern until you feel the button is securely held by the thread. Knot the thread on the underside of the blouse, and clip the thread.
8. Stop a pantyhose run
The magic of saving a pair of pantyhose is to keep the run from extending. Nail polish does a great job of saving pantyhose that have a run in them. Apply at the top and bottom of the run to keep it from ruining your pantyhose.
9. Fix a stuck zipper
I’m kind of claustrophobic, and if my skirt zipper gets stuck—I panic. To fix this issue, simply apply a little lip balm to the inside part of the zipper that’s stuck. Gently pull the zipper back and forth until it works. If it’s a stubborn zipper, apply the lubricant, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then retry.