As a modern-day woman you’re no stranger to doing whatever it takes to get things done. But when it comes to fashion fixes, your skills may be a little rusty. Here are five DIY fixes every savvy fashion lover should have under her figure-flattering belt.
1. How to fix a broken heel
Every girl has a perfect pair of heels that go with everything. Day or night, they’re your go-to. The problem is when your beloved pair of sky-highs start wearing a little thin. Either that pesky little nail in your heel starts popping out to say hello, or even worse, your spiky stiletto decides to part ways with the rest of your shoe. Luckily a broken heel doesn’t have to be the end of the road — after all, finding a comfortable pair of heels can feel like winning the lottery.
For a worn-down stub, simply grab a pair of pliers and swap out the old base with new heel-tip replacements and your well-worn shoes will have a new lease of life. If you’re the unfortunate victim of a snapped heel, there is hope. The worst part will be the embarrassment of walking around with half a shoe, but as long as you have the broken pieces a little super glue, contact cement or Shoe Goo, you should be able to keep you together. Be sure the pieces fit together seamlessly before you start, because once the glue sets you’ll have a hard time realigning the seam. If you’re uncertain of your reassembly skills, a shoemaker is your best bet for pricey favourties.
2. How to fix a scratched leather bag
If you’ve made the investment in a cherished leather handbag, you’re likely going to use the heck out of it in order to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. But as we all know, with wear comes tear, and pretty soon your shiny new purse will likely have dings and scratches all over. Though for some, this only adds to the charm of a piece, however, sometimes an unsightly mar will be a daily reminder of the portion of your pay cheque that went into that hunk of leather.
For surface scratches, buff the area with clear shoe polish to help moisturize and even out the area. Don’t use coloured polish in case it rubs off on your clothes. As for stains, baby powder or corn starch can help remove greasy spills. First blot the stain with paper towel to absorb any excess, then sprinkle powder over the area, gently spreading over the surface to ensure the stain is well covered. Let the powder set for a few hours and then brush away. You may have to repeat a few times, but the super absorbent powder will suck up any oily residue from the stain. Be careful not to rub the stain too hard, or you’ll remove the dye of the leather.
3. How to fix a fallen hem
Your mother probably tried to sit you down and teach you the basics of Needle and Thread 101, but you likely never quite warmed up to the concept. Of course when you need mom most she’s off on a Caribbean cruise and you’re left with a sloppy looking wardrobe, complete with skirts bearing fallen hems and pants with loose cuffs. Have no fear, hem tape is here! There are several varieties of fusible webbing available, some requiring the heat of an iron and others are of the stick-and-go variety, but the concept is fairly simple. It’s basically double sided tape, so you can fold, stick and press in place, and in minutes your favourite pencil skirt will be boardroom-ready.
4. How to fix a run in your stocking
If you’ve ever accidentally brushed up against a sharp corner or snagged a hangnail on your stockings, you’ve likely experienced the dread and embarrassment of getting a run in your stocking. Instead of pulling and picking at it, forcing you to then purposely start ripping the other leg for that oh-so-edgy “purposely-ripped-tights look”, stop the problem at the source. If you’re lucky enough to catch the snag before it starts running, the lifespan of your stockings will likely be long and prosperous. Simply reach for clear nail polish and paint the edges of the hole. To avoid painting your skin, you can place a tear of paper under the area, but you run the risk of gluing the paper to your nylons.
Let the area dry and if necessary repeat the process. In lieu of polish, hairspray is the next best substance and if you’re really in a bind, anything sticky that will dry clear will get the job done. That could be white glue, honey, or even jam. Yup, the sweet stuff will dry and seal the rip just as well as your favourite beauty products. Just don’t lick the evidence.
5. How to fix a zipper that’s stuck
Do you have a favourite jacket or pair of jeans whose zipper has seen better days? A sticky zipper often means your clothing will spend most of its life inside your closet rather than out in the world with you. Believe it or not there are a slew of easy fixes already sitting in your home. The key is to coat the teeth of the zipper so they slide easier. Look for a lubricant, or something with a bit of grit to help the zipper find its groove: Vaseline, a candle, baby powder, face powder with silica, WD-40, or even a good once-over with a graphite pencil can help you get gliding.