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Repair wardrobe malfunctions yourself

  • Rolled-up magazines are a great way to keep boots standing tall.

    Sally McGraw/Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Rolled-up magazines are a great way to keep boots standing tall.

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By Sally McGraw 
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Published:
  • Rolled-up magazines are a great way to keep boots standing tall.

    Sally McGraw/Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Rolled-up magazines are a great way to keep boots standing tall.

Some alterations and repairs are best left to the pros, but there are loads of inexpensive, easy-to-use and invaluable tools that can be kept on hand for minor wardrobe emergencies, touch-ups and maintenance.
Pilling sweaters: Sweater stones can help a bit, but a $10 sweater shaver is faster, more effective and less likely to cause snags.
The best versions of these little devices look like men's electric shavers, with a perforated metal head that guards fibers from the whirring internal blades. Pills are gently lifted, trimmed away and deposited into a lint catcher.
Shiny shoes: An inexpensive oiled leather sponge can work wonders on scuffed and faded shoes. These sponges are injected with mild protective oils that restore suppleness and shine to most porous leathers.
Test an interior patch first to make sure the oils won't drastically alter your shoe's color. Shoes that have been thoroughly damaged by water, salt or dryness won't be saved, but those with minor scuffs and fading will be restored instantly.
Pressing issues: Ironing takes time and patience, so consider a handheld steamer. For $30 or less, you'll get a portable device that works wonders on wrinkled garments.
Stubborn wrinkles in wovens and twill may require an iron, but knits, jersey, wool and cashmere will respond beautifully.
Boot up: Keeping tall boots in shape can be challenging. Roll up old magazines and slide them into boot shafts. Wine bottles work equally well, but can prove hazardous if boots are stored on high shelves.
Scarf storage: If you've got room inside your closet door or on an interior wall, install a towel rack to drape scarves over, or add shower rings and insert multiple scarves in each ring.
This simple storage method keeps scarves visible, accessible and relatively wrinkle-free.
Emergency kit: Most wardrobe malfunctions happen while you're on the go. Fill a small zippered bag with blister block, double-sided fashion tape, safety pins, a stain removal stick, a mini bottle of clear nail polish, bobby pins and nail clippers.
You might add ponytail holders, blotting papers and tweezers, but remember that the ideal emergency kit can be tucked into a handbag. Don't let it get too bulky.
Story tags » Fashion

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