Daily wardrobe dilemma tips

Using household items can ensure that you never have to deal with wardrobe issues again.

Story highlights

  • Solve any wardrobe issue with things you already have on hand
  • Use a flat iron as a touch-up iron for clothing
  • Soap can help "unstick" your zipper if it won't budge
Baby Powder as Stain Guard
Sprinkle a little on the shirt's underarms and collar, then iron to prevent sweat stains on white shirts. The powder forms a barrier that keeps oil and grime from seeping into the threads.
Baby Wipes as Stain Removers
Has your deodorant left its mark? A baby wipe works to lift those hard-to-remove stains.
Bobby Pin as Pleat-Making Tool
Prep a pleated skirt for ironing by sliding a bobby pin onto each pleat at the hem to hold them all in place while you press. (Be sure to remove them afterward!)
Candle as Zipper Fixer
Release a stubborn zipper by lightly rubbing a candle along the teeth on both sides to smooth the way.
Chip Clips as Clothes Hangers
Hold small coats in place on adult-size hangers. Use clips with rubberized grips to help items stay put. Not only will you have an organized coat closet, but you'll save money by not having to buy special kids' hangers.
Clothespin as Hanger
Use clips to prevent silky sleeveless shirts and dresses from slipping off the hanger. And you can say goodbye to wrinkled sundresses on the closet floor.
Secure a Belt With Double-Sided Tape
Don't let your too-long belt tail get caught between your legs. Keep it in line with a small bit of Scotch. Neat.
Dryer Sheet as Static Stopper
Stop static cling on clothes -- or tame flyaway hair -- by rubbing a sheet over the problem area.
Emery Board as Stain Remover
Remove small stains from suede by gently rubbing the file (either side) across the problem area a few times to get rid of the splotch and refresh the nap.
Flat Iron as Touch-Up Iron
No time to drag out your 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.
Brooch as Sweater Securer
Turn a cardigan into a form fitting wrap sweater. Pull one side across the body and pin it in place.
Dryer Sheet as Drawer Sachet
If fabric-softener sheets make your clothes smell nice in the dryer, just think about what they could do in your dresser. Slip a few fresh ones between folded clothes.
Dental Floss as Thread Substitute
Rely on waxed dental floss for temporary but durable clothing repairs, such as missing buttons or reattaching a strap.
Hairspray as Static Stopper
Banish static cling in the winter with a quick spritz of hairspray on the areas that are bunching.
Hairspray as Needle Threader
Thread a needle quickly by spraying the string's end to prevent it from fraying and raising your frustration level.
Lingerie Bag as Sock Reuniter
Rematch separated socks by stashing singles in a lingerie bag in the closet to await their mates.
Panty Hose as Candle Duster
Remove dust from candles by running it through the leg of an old pair of panty hose.
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.
Sock as Wine Bag
Slip a (clean) patterned kneesock over the bottom of a bottle, then knot the top to create a decorative carrier. Better yet, offer your hostess two bottles so she can later enjoy toasty toes.
Step Stool as Shoe Organizer
Rest your soles. Store shoes on the tiers of a stool in the closet.
Velcro as Sweater Depiller
Lightly run the hook side over a pilly sweater to smooth it out.
Wine Bottle as Boot Supporter
Preserve the shape of tall leather boots by placing a bottle into each one's shaft for reinforcement.
Wristband as Coffee Sleeve
Protect your hands from an extra-hot latte by stretching a wristband around the coffee cup so your fingertips don't get burned. (Your tongue is another matter, so sip with care, for goodness' sake.)
Wristwatch as Earring Holder
Keep track of your earrings while you hit the gym (or the spa). Place the studs through the holes on the watch strap and then attach their backs.
Child's Skirt as Art Smock
Make a smock for a budding artist. Fashion shoulder straps from rickrack or ribbon and stitch the ends to the front and back of the skirt's waist.
Double-Sided Tape as Hem Securer
Fix a fallen hem when there's no time for a trip to the tailor.
Paper Towel Tube as Wrinkle Preventer
Ward off wrinkles in silk scarves by wrapping them around the tube between wearings.
Ladder as Accessory Display
Why keep pretty printed scarves and beloved beads tucked away? Dispatch a ladder to artfully display some of your favorite things -- and to introduce color and patterns into a room.
Lingerie Bag as Extra Storage
Stash swimsuits or sports bras in a mesh bag, thread a hanger through one of the holes, and hang in your closet. Finding all those little bits and pieces will be a cinch.
Lip Balm as Shoelace Securer
Keep shoelaces from coming undone by creating your own version of waxed laces: Just use the balm to coat the strings where you loop and knot and they won't budge.
Matchbox as Travel Sewing Kit
Once the sticks are gone, fill a matchbox with a few sewing essentials: needles, thread, buttons, and a few safety pins. No more need to panic when a button emergency strikes on a business trip.
Mitten as Sunglasses Protector
Save your shades from scratches by slipping them into a spare mitten before stashing them in your purse or glove compartment.
Pencil as Zipper Releaser
Unstick a stubborn zipper by rubbing the teeth on both sides with a pencil -- graphite is an excellent lubricant.
Plastic Bag as Shoe Protector
It will never be a fashion trend, but tying bags over your shoes can keep you from tracking mud into the house when you come in, or protect slippers from dirt, snow, or rain when you run out to fetch the paper from the front lawn. (Be careful when walking on smooth surfaces, as the plastic won't give you any traction.)
Puffy Paint as Slip Preventer
Add an instant nonslip surface to your child's socks. Just dot on some paint, let dry, and -- voilà -- traction on slippery floors. And, of course, fewer puffy eyes (from sliding into the bookshelf).
Ribbon as Cuff Link
When you're wearing a French-cuffed shirt, substitute a snip of ribbon for cuff links to keep your sleeves closed. Just slide a piece of ribbon through and tie a knot on each end. They'll stop your arms from getting a chill and add a little color to a wardrobe staple.
Rubber Bands as Strap Securers
Keep your camisoles and sundresses from slipping off their hangers by wrapping a band (or two if you use skinny ones) around each end of a hanger.
Rubber Band as Waistband Extender
ake pants pregnancy-proof by looping a rubber band through the buttonhole, then securing the band's end around the button, giving your belly a few more inches of breathing room.
Shower Cap as Shoe Bag
Prevent dirt or sand-covered shoes from mingling (and soiling) neatly packed clothes in your suitcase.
Socks as Shoe Protectors
Use athletic socks to sheathe your nicest shoes inside a suitcase. Protecting them from wear and tear when you're on the road.
Velcro as Blouse Closer
Prevent a blouse or jacket from gaping open by sewing small pieces of Velcro between the buttons.
Zippered Plastic Bags as Clothing Storage
Off-season, maintain clothes by putting them in large bags. When traveling with a child, use a jumbo bag to pack a fresh outfit for her for each vacation day. Stash spare linens underneath a bed; add a fabric-softener sheet for a fresh smell.
Pillowcase as Lingerie Bag
Pack your intimates in a spare pillowcase while traveling.
Soap as Zipper Unsticker
Loosen a stuck zipper by rubbing a bar of soap along its teeth. The trick also works well on furniture drawers that are hard to budge.
Vinegar as Sweater Fluffer
Fluff up wool sweaters by adding a few capfuls of vinegar to the rinse cycle.