Out­smart stored cloth­ing oops

First For Women - - News -

Un­pack­ing our breezy spring wardrobe is a sure­fire mood lifter…un­til we en­counter some down­right de­press­ing wear-and-tear sur­prises. Here, pro tricks to fix com­mon prob­lems—fast!

Rescue stretched-out sweaters

“I work as a wardrobe dresser for TV, where the show must go on, and most of my job is fix­ing dis­as­ters in a pinch,” says Corin Wright, owner of Style Haven, a mo­bile bou­tique in New York and New Jer­sey. Her save for stretched-out sleeves on spring-weight cot­ton sweaters: Soak cuffs in hot wa­ter for 10 min­utes; lay flat to dry. “The heat will shrink the fibers, but im­merse only the dam­aged area— you don’t want to wet any­thing you don’t want shrunk.”

Re­store faded spots

“When wear and tear or other, more mys­te­ri­ous fac­tors leave a washed-out area on a once-vivid gar­ment, break out a bot­tle of rub­bing al­co­hol, says Wright. Wet­ting a cot­ton ball with the al­co­hol, then rub­bing it over and around the faded spot trans­fers dye from the sur­round­ing fab­ric to re­store color, she ex­plains. Let air-dry, then rinse in cold wa­ter. “This method works best on deeply dyed dark or bright-col­ored fab­rics such as linen, cot­ton and rayon.”

Elim­i­nate odors

“Some of the cloth­ing I deal with has been stored away for months or even years—and it can pick up a stale smell,” says Lau­ren Arkin, owner of L.A. Boudoir Mi­ami, a vin­tage cloth­ing bou­tique. The rem­edy she swears by to re­move

“off ” odors from wash­able fab­rics? “I just soak items made of nat­u­ral fibers like cot­ton and wash­able silk in equal parts vine­gar and wa­ter for 20 min­utes—up to 40 min­utes for syn­thet­ics like polyester and rayon, which can hold on to odors more stub­bornly—then laun­der as usual.” For more del­i­cate items, Arkin re­lies on ac­ti­vated char­coal (avail­able at pet-sup­ply stores). “I place the char­coal in a pa­per bag and punch a few holes in it, then lock it—and the gar­ment—in a lid­ded plas­tic bin overnight. The char­coal’s por­ous tex­ture ab­sorbs odor so clothes smell fresh the next day.”

Erase un­der­arm stains

“White tees are a sum­mer wardrobe sta­ple, but they don’t make a pol­ished fash­ion state­ment when they’re yel­lowed un­der the armpits,” notes wardrobe con­sul­tant Diane Pol­lack, founder of Stylem­power in New York City. The method she swears by to re­move them: Mix 1 oz. of liq­uid dish soap with 2 oz. of hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide, add 1 tsp. of bak­ing soda and ap­ply to stains. Wait an hour, then wash as usual. “The mix’s bleach­ing ac­tion re­moves stains that form when sweat re­acts with alu­minum salts in un­der­arm de­odor­ants. It works es­pe­cially well on white cot­ton-based fab­rics,” says Pol­lack, who sug­gests spottest­ing be­fore us­ing on col­ored gar­ments and avoid­ing on items la­beled “dry-clean only.”

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