I would like to wear pajamas all day, every day.
Alas, people don't seem to like when I do this, so I have to face the facts:
Style is a part of presence.
Clothing shapes our image.
Appearance contributes to our first impression.
I'm no fashionista, but I know the importance of personal style. In fact, I talk a lot about the importance of body language and conversation starters, but stylish clothing also has a big impact on our first impression.
Your clothing can help you:
- Communicate your personal brand
- Show confidence
- Round out your presence
However, clothing can also:
- Detract from your charisma
- Distract from your message
- Destroy your impact
So, I decided to put together a post on my favorite clothing tips and tricks that you can keep you looking fresh and put together.
#1: Deodorant Skidmarks
Shower + Deodorant + Shirt = Skidmarks
Nothing is worse than putting on a nice clean shirt and getting white deodorant lines all over it. This happens to me on a daily basis and I've tried using a tissue or a wet towel, but it usually just leaves giant wet spots all over the fabric--that might even be worse than the skidmarks! Instead, I have a wonderful solution for you: A sponge! A dry sponge removes even the peskiest deodorant stains like magic. This also works if someone has hugged you and gotten deodorant stains on the upper arms or shoulders of your jacket.
#2: Shoe Polish
I would love to get my shoes polished whenever they looked a little dull, but I never have the time and always end up walking around with sad looking leather. It might sound crazy, but the inner lining of a banana skin can polish up your shoes if you are in a rush. Rub the peel all over the leather on the outside of your shoes (just as if you were using shoe polish). Once you have wiped the banana peel over the whole of both shoes, buff them up with a soft cloth. Voila--banana polished shoes. This hack also helps you recycle, reduce and reuse = )
I hate ironing. It's such a pain and requires so much set-up time with the iron, water, plug, ironing board and starch--who has time for that these days? Not me! That's why I use a hair straightener to get out mini-wrinkles. If you have some wrinkles on the front of your shirt or your collar, a hair straightener is a life saver and takes less than a minute. This is especially helpful while traveling.
#4: Fat Feet
Have you been forgetting to hit the gym? Eating extra cookies? And now your feet are just a little too wide for your favorite pair of shoes? We have all been there-no judgment! I have a suggestion for you. Fill 2 Ziploc bags with water, seal them tight, put them in your shoes and place them in the freezer. The water will freeze over night and expand your shoes without damage. The freezer also helps zap away smelly shoes too.
#5: Smelly Pits
The dreaded sweat ring. You know what I'm talking about? That nasty yellowish, brownish ring around the pits of your white shirts? Please don't wear a shirt with those stains! However, you don't to throw it away either. Instead, before you wash it, spritz a little lemon juice on the area to break down the stain. Then wash it with bleach and air dry in the sun. The sun is a natural bleacher and can help your shirt smell fresh too.
#6: Runs Are Always Bad
No one likes to get the runs. And I don't just mean the bathroom kind, I mean the runs you get in your tights. I tend to snag my panty hose on a hang nail or a sharp corner and then watch it slowly creep up my leg throughout the day. Clear nail polish will stop that run or snag in its tracks! If you can't get home to change or don't have a spare pair, you can paint a dab of clear nail polish on the the base of the hole. I always have a jar of clear nail polish in my car or desk just in case I get a run in my stockings.
- Bonus Tip: Clear nail polish is also great for jewelry that you are allergic to. Coat your earring post and stopper in clear nail polish and you can usually wear it for a few hours without breaking out.
#7: Moleskin Miracles
I truly don't know how I lived without moleskin for so long. Moleskin is the anti-blister. Have shoes that drive you crazy? Don't hop around on one foot at your next networking event or bleed through your socks. You can get moleskin at any drugstore to protect ankles and even tame a wild underwire that snapped loose from your favorite bra. I always have a patch in my toiletry kit.
- Bonus Tip: If you are in a wedding, always bring moleskin. You will save someone's ankles.
#8: Smelly Shoes
If your shoes smell you have a problem. Don't think you won't get caught, because I know you will--you'll go over to someone house for some party or dinner and they'll be all like, "please take off your shoes before entering." Don't stink up the place! If you have smelly shoes, you don't have to get rid of them. You have a few options to zap the smell:
- Put them in the freezer for 24 hours. This can kill most odors.
- Put them in the hot sun for a day to air out (but don't let them get damp in morning mist or overnight).
- If you can wash your tennis shoes or canvas shoes, first coat them in baking soda and wash them with your normal detergent.
#9: Suede, Oh Suede
Oh, I love me some beautiful suede! But what I don't love about suede is what happens when it gets scuffed or stained--it's literally a death sentence for the beautiful fabric. However, you might be able to save your scuffed suede! A nail file can buff out scuffs or stains on your favorite suede.
- Bonus Tip: It is worth investing in some waterproofing spray. Make sure it is suede friendly and give your jackets and boots a once over before winter.
#10: Fabric Poops
There's poop on that sweater. No, not bird poop, fabric poop. You know when you have worn a sweater or pair of pants so many times that it begins to shed into these little balls of thready pills? I call those clothing poops, and they look nasty when you don't take care of them. All you have to do is shave your clothes--yup, SHAVE! Take your razor and run it lightly along the fabric, this will shave off any top fabric poops. Use tape to take care of any leftovers.
If you spend money on your clothes, you want to keep them looking good. I have a few yearly routines I do to help keep my closet fresh:
- Spring: Get all of your coats and scarves dry-cleaned to get out any stains or smells from the wet winter.
- Summer: Put all of your clean winter clothes away for the summer (especially if you live in a humid climate). I get big vacuum seal bags for my coats and parkas and seal them tight until Fall.
- Fall: Shake out all of your sealed jackets and use waterproof spray on all of your shoes and the shoulders of your jackets (where most rain falls).
- Winter: Clean out. I do my 'spring' clean in winter when there is nothing better to do and the weather is rotten. You can also move all of your summer clothes to the back of the closet so you aren't tempted during cold months. Take this time to replace any buttons or sew up any holes.
Bonus: Color Psychology
The quality of your clothing is almost as important as the color. Do you know what your colors are saying? Check out this video on color psychology to see what your closet is saying: