Many of us get used to fielding dribble stains and feeling rather less sleek than we did, pre-baby. But it doesn’t have to be this way – with a little know how you can beat any wardrobe malfunction quickly and step out smart and sharp…
1. Sort out the stains
To become a mother is to discover a new world of stains. Baby food, pen, poo, dribble – you can guarantee it’ll be on anything you want to wear.
Baby wipes make excellent emergency stain removers – including deodorant marks on dark clothing – while an emery board rubbed on suede removes stains from it.
Cult US stain removal pen, Tide to Go, zaps coffee, food and make up right out of clothing. Pick up one from Angels Wardrobe Supplies (£4.75).
2. War on the wrinkles
Clothes’ stylists swear by handheld steamers to get the creases out of clothing and fluff up jumpers quickly.
A blast of concentrated steam smartens up clothes on the hanger, and steamers can also be used on upholstery fabric and curtains. Don’t buy a cheap model, though; here it’s better to pay a little more and get real performance.
3. Lose the lint
A lint roller should be in every woman’s drawer. These sticky rollers remove lint and pet hair from clothes and provide an instant smartening lift – buy a large roller for home, and a smaller handbag one.
Again, cheap is not necessarily the way to go – a good roller will last longer and be more effective. Muji does a long-lasting version in both sizes – from £5.95 – with sticky paper refills.
For a cheaper substitute, this Fabric Magic set of two costs £2.75.
4. Banish the bobbles
Get rid of the bobbles on your jumpers and return them to prewash glory with a ‘fabric shaver’. You can still buy the iconic Remington Fuzzaway (£27). For a cheaper option, try the small Evercare Fabric Shaver (£6.37).
You can also use a Sweater Stone (£9) to rub across the surface of knitwear and remove pilling.
Even cheaper than that is the humble pumice stone, which works in the same way to de-bobble. Or run Velcro (hook side) lightly over a sweater to smooth it out.
5. Erase the emergencies
Clear nail polish is a classic remedy for runs in tights, but it can also be used to secure loose buttons until you can sew them back on – dab the top of the button with it.
Dryer sheets, such as Bounce, stop static cling on clothes – and also tame flyaway hair, just rub over both.
Other useful items to keep to hand include candles and pencil graphite to free up stuck zips (rub along the teeth), superglue for a temporary broken heel fix and ice to freeze and remove chewing gum from clothes.