The chilly autumnal weather calls for breaking out those cozy sweaters and comfortable boots to stay warm. Fall clothes typically need a refresh after being tucked away in your closet for months. Luckily, you can use household items to get the job done. From revitalizing your favorite sweaters to reviving beat-up boots, here are the five simple solutions for all your cool weather wardrobe arghs.
Fix a ‘lost’ drawstring with a safety pin.
We’ve all felt the dismay of pulling a beloved hoodie or pair of sweatpants out of storage only to discover the drawstring has come out. Luckily, the solution is probably already in your junk drawer. “Simply secure a safety pin through one end of the string, close it and start fishing it through the opening,” advises seamstress Elise Chase-Sinclair (EliseSewingStudio.com). “You’ll easily be able to shimmy and push the pin along from the outside. Just remove it once you’ve pulled the string out the other side and re-secure the ends with new knots.”
Unstick a zipper with bar soap.
Ugh, the zipper on your go-to pair of jeans refuses to budge. The fix: a bar of soap, says fashion expert Jason Lim (TheMogan.com). “Just turn the jeans inside out and rub the soap along the zipper teeth, front and back, a few inches above and below the slider,” he suggests. “Tug it gently until the zipper moves freely, and you’re good to go!” No bar soap on hand? Waxy lip balm, Vaseline, or even a candle will also work.
Stretch leather boots with olive oil.
Leather boots can contract if left too long without being worn. Thankfully, a little TLC will ensure they fit just as well as last season. Start by stuffing the shoe as tightly as possible with tissue paper, newspaper or bubble wrap. Next, gently wipe boots clean with a dry cloth. Finish with a quick olive oil polish. The oil moisturizes and softens the leather, while the stuffing will helps it regain its shape.
Stop sweaters from shedding with your freezer.
Natural fibers like angora and cashmere are notorious for shedding hair. To keep them in great shape and revive them after a season spent in storage, just pop them into a plastic bag, then nestle them amongt your cache of popsicles in the freezer. After a few hours, take out the bag, shake vigorously and voila: all those ready-to-shed hairs are now frozen and brittle, so that when you shake the bag, they right fall off, ensuring your sweater looks as good as new.
Un-shrink wool clothes with baby shampoo.
It’s easier than you may think to salvage a shrunken wool sweater or jacket, promises style expert Katya Bychkova (StyleSprinter.com). Her process: First, hand wash item using baby shampoo instead of detergent—baby shampoo helps the fibers relax and become more pliable. Rinse in cold water then gently squeeze out excess water and put it in a dryer for exactly five minutes. While the garment is still warm from the dryer, stretch it in every direction until it’s back to its original shape. Lay it on a dry towel to air dry and you’re done!
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.