Between shirts that don’t stay tucked in, shoes that slip on and off and zippers that get stuck every which way, it’s a wonder we humans still wear clothes. Here are our top 10 clothing annoyances, and their clever solutions.
10. Make Your Zipper Behave
Zippers may be a fantastic feat of engineering, but when they start misbehaving, fixing them is like trying to wrestle a stubborn bear. Luckily, we’ve got solutions. Stuck zipper? Lubricate it with some Windex or a graphite pencil. Zipper won’t stay up? Hook it onto a button with a key ring. Check out our list of every common zipper problem and how to fix them for more. And if you’re more of a sweat pants kind of person, you can solve similar problems with your drawstring, too.
9. Keep Clothes from Wearing Out
Clothing wears out over time. It’s just a fact of life. But you can do a lot to slow the process. For example, if you wear a lot of graphic T-shirts, wash them inside out to keep the graphic from fading too quickly. Washing things with similar fabrics — rather than similar colours — can help too. Having some minor sewing skills can help, too. Check out our guide to preserving your clothes for more.
8. Banish Underarm Stains
Sweat stains are as embarrassing as they are stubborn, but with the right things on hand, you can get your white shirts looking clean again in no time. The Art of Manliness found that OxiClean worked magic, but if you don’t have any around, you could also get by with dish soap and hydrogen peroxide, or a number of other homemade concoctions. And for best results, dry in the sun for a stain-free finish.
7. Fix Ill-Fitting Items
Sometimes an item of clothing is perfect, except it just fits you kind of funny. Most things you can just get tailored, or even tailor them yourself. However, there are a few things you have to get right when you buy that item. Men buying suits, for example, should ensure the shoulders fit, since it’s difficult to tailor. Women should check the ever-important hip area, in both tops and dresses (and don’t even get us started on bra sizes). Whatever you do, don’t just trust the size measurements — try things on to ensure they fit before you buy them. And if you’re trying on a shirt, sit down to make sure it fits well.
6. De-Wrinkle Without Ironing
OK, nobody likes ironing. And while you probably won’t be able to escape ironing 100 per cent, you have a lot of other options when it comes to de-wrinkling your clothes. You can hang them up in the bathroom when you shower, wet them and toss them in the dryer for a few minutes, or just spray them with a bit of water and hang them up. Of course, when you absolutely have to iron, a little aluminium foil can cut your ironing time in half.
5. Keep Collars Crisp and Straight
Ever have a shirt whose collar just didn’t really fall the way you wanted it to? Button down shirt collars often fall limp after you wash them, and a lot of polo shirt collars can curl up as they wear out. Luckily, there are solutions: button the top button to keep your collars crisp and for those polo shirts, try ironing these patches under the collar like a collar stay. Your shirt collars should stay crisp and straight for longer.
4. Fix Slippery, Tight, or Long-Laced Shoes
You’d think shoes are simple, but there are so many things that can go wrong. Some are too slippery, some are too tight, some give you blisters, and some just have unmanageable laces. If your shoes are of the slippery variety, a DIY cloth insert can help a lot, as can tongue or heel pads if the shoes are just a little too big. If they’re too tight, you can usually stretch them out a bit with a hair dryer. If you’re sick of tying your casual shoes, you can turn them into slip-ons or get some lock laces and never tie your shoes again.
3. Restore Shrunken Clothes
Nothing sucks quite like shrinking your favourite shirt in the wash. Luckily, you can un-shrink clothes with a bit of water and hair conditioner. Soak the garment with about two-three tablespoons of conditioner for five minutes, lay it on a towel, and carefully stretch it back to size as it dries. You should be able to wear it when you’re done — and be careful the next time you wash it! That conditioner’s also good for softening itchy wool sweaters too, while you’re at it.
2. Keep Shirts Tucked In
One of the most annoying things about button down shirts is that they always seem to billow at the waist when you tuck them in. The solution: use this military tuck that keeps the excess fabric out of the way (though it helps to buy shirts that fit, too — see #7 on this list). And while we’re on the subject: if you want to keep your underwear from having that same bunching, billowy problem, put them inside your pants and then put them both on at the same time. It’ll change your life.
1. Store Everything Neatly
Of course one of the biggest clothing annoyances is the constant washing, drying, folding, and storing of your clothes. Luckily, we have a whole top 10 list just for that — but if nothing else, you should check out the above video which shows off 10 awesome tricks in 60 seconds. Lastly, cut down on clothing overload by weeding out what you don’t wear with this hanger trick and filling your drawers front to back for easier storage.