I only just realized that I have never done a post on all the practical items I own that have really helped my wardrobe go farther.
There are things that are super handy and can be used for various purposes without having to go to a professional, or to be stressed that you don’t have what you need to look your best.
Cashmere and Wool Shampoo
I have tried everything and I use The Laundress (use this referral link for $10 off). The cedar scent is heavenly, and it is so gentle on all of my expensive (and even thrifted) clothing. HIGHLY recommended to keep your knits in good smelling shape.
Belt Hole Puncher
Belt hole punchers are a staple in my wardrobe. I use the smallest punch to add holes to my watch straps, to belts, and I never had to go to a tailor or even a shoemaker to make my belts cinch tighter or loosen a little…
I did not think I would use a shoe stretcher as much as I did, but I end up pulling this out often to relieve pinching parts of my shoe to relieve the pressure (there is a little knob that you put at certain pressure points of the shoe stretcher), and to stretch out too-small shoes that need a bit of help.
For instance, I picked up these Loeffler Randall purple sandals in a US 7 for a SONG off Poshmark. Brand new, never worn (you can tell by the soles).
I almost cried when I got them because I couldn’t even slip my foot in, it was SO. DANG. TIGHT. I mean, WOW. I can see why everyone keeps re-selling this brand new pair of gorgeous sandals because US 7 fit more like a US 6…
Enter: The Shoe Stretcher.
I put it in, crank it up to WIDE and then leave it overnight.
Now, I can finally fit my feet in these shoes and am super excited for the summer.
No Sew Hemming Tape / Fabric Fusion Tape
Can’t sew? No problem.
You may not need to bring in all your items to the tailor to get them hemmed up. You can just buy some no sew hemming tape, or fusible hemming tape, and hem your items yourself. Or anything that needs to stay down and fixed.
What this stuff is, is like dried glue woven as Velcro strips. You put some of this dry tape glue in between the parts you want to hem up, use a very steamy hot iron, press down, and voila, the glue melts (safely) and hems the item.
After washing you may need to redo the hems again (I haven’t had to, to be honest), but it lasts a very long time and you don’t need to commit to any sort of hem job if you aren’t sure.
This only works on SMPLE HEMS. Not stuff like hemming up an A-Line skirt where you need flexibility, movement…
Dr. Scholl’s Heel Grips
I live for these. I have tried the silicone ones but they are really not comfortable. The Dr. Scholl’s grip is made of like a sponge-y material instead that really grips your foot without creating friction and blisters.
They don’t seem to be available in the U.S., but I once saw them in CVS….
This particular heel grip though, is the best. If you can find something similar to this, but not necessarily Dr. Scholl’s, give it a shot.
The fashion tape here is like very sticky double-sided tape that can be used to hold clothes tight, and to hold clothes CLOSED even against your body.
I am sure you remember this very famous outfit by J. Lo? She definitely wore a ton of fashion tape underneath that to keep that flowy garment closed….
Foot Petal Grips for the Shoe Soles
I use these when I want to go cheap and not bring them to a cobbler to get soles put on them that cost $40 a pair.
These are under $10, and much cheaper, and sort of do the same job. At least, until you are certain you love these shoes and want to keep them, then you can splurge on the permanent rubber $40 option….
The glue / sticker part is VERY strong and VERY good to keep the shoe from slipping on floors or anything. Not as amazing as a full rubber half sole, but at least 75% of the effectiveness.
Very Tiny Safety Pins for Skirts
Super tiny safety pins to hold wrap skirts and wrap dresses closed from blowing open in the wind.
I use very tiny safety pins to hold everything closed, because I have found ZERO solutions to this other than safety pinning my skirt so it doesn’t blow open and I don’t flash everyone as I am walking.
Suede Shoe Cleaning Block
I wear a lot of suede. You may not. But I have found this block to be VERY helpful in cleaning off spots and stains on my suede shoes especially my lighter coloured ones.
I use it like an eraser, and erase off the stains, to keep suede looking fresh and clean. I also have a suede brush but I bring that out when I want to really clean up my shoes.
Portable Boot & Shoe Wipes
I use these to wipe off my smooth leather shoes (NOT SUEDE), to keep them clean of salt, dirt, dust.. nothing drives me crazier than having a perfect outfit but then the shoes end up looking dodgy…
Okay I lied, I had 11 must-haves:
To maintain your boots perfectly straight and pretty you will need to buy a few boot trees. You can also use cardboard or newspaper, but I find it gets finicky when you’re getting dressed in the morning and are constantly pulling all of this newspaper out and making a mess.
Boot trees, greatly simplify all of that.