15 Quick Clothing and Shoe Repair Fixes You Should Own


Dress shoes losing heel caps, spills, a run in a pair of pantyhose… it's a jungle out there. My office desk drawers are a testament to 30+ years of dealing with "work clothes" emergencies. People come to me for repairs. I am the Office Mom of clothing emergencies.

Over the years, I have learned how to make quick fixes inexpensively. Here are some tried-and-true fixes.

1. Pantyhose/Nylons

My number one solution is to keep a spare pair in my desk. However, sometimes even that back-up pair fails — and always right before a meeting or a presentation. Naturally! A squirt of hairspray will stop that run. If you don't have hairspray, a little clear nail polish will also do the trick. Unfortunately, both are smelly, so try to fix quickly so they have time to dry.

2. Instant Seamstress

I wish I had a nickel for every time someone has borrowed my sewing kit. Aside from the needle and thread, the most often-requested item is the tape measure. This kit also contains some buttons, which are very handy, as well as small scissors.

3. Click, Clack, Busted Heel Cap

Every woman's nightmare: The doggone broken heel cap. They never break at home, do they? Always, every darn time, at work or on your way somewhere. Unless you like limping and clicking around all day (and explaining it a million times), you might want to make a very small investment in these heel caps.

4. Sole to Sole

Guys, if your shoe soles are worn out, you may save money by trying the repair yourself — and the rubber is made by Goodyear! They work on both dress shoes as well as boots.

5. Expensive Leather

It's upsetting to spend a lot of money on leather shoes only to scuff or scratch them. That is why you might try this leather repair product. You can even mix your own color. It also works on the couch, other furniture, car seats, coats, etc.

6. Sweater Saver

Ever snag a favorite sweater, and put a hole in it? Don't worry, you can fix it! What do you need? Just a simple sewing needle for a small hole, or a crochet needle for a larger one.

7. Stuck Zipper

This hint could not be cheaper. Where is that #2 pencil? First try rubbing the pencil on the zipper (the lead may lubricate it enough for it to work). If it is more complicated, check out this video for un-sticking a zipper.

8. Eyeglass Repairs

We even take our eyeglass repair kit with us on vacations — it is that handy. It can be really miserable to lose a screw in your glasses and be nowhere near an optometrist. This little eyeglass repair kit is inexpensive and easy to pack.

9. Deodorant Smudges

I seem to pull this move most of the time when I am wearing black, which is just peachy because then it really stands out. Try dampening a washcloth or towel, wring it out really well, and gently brush off the smudge. Don't use a paper towel, which will just make matters worse.

10. Pilly Sweater

Sometimes I fail to notice that my sweaters have pills. You know what I mean — the little fuzzy balls under your arms or along side seams. It looks pretty crummy. I love this sweater shaver, which gently removes those furry things and has never caused any harm to my favorite sweaters.

11. Lunch Disaster

I shouldn't be allowed to ever eat mustard, which usually ends up on me, not in me. My husband, who is a laundry wizard, bought me these nifty little stain wipes. They fit easily into my purse and will tide me over (pun intended) until the clothing can be properly washed.

12. Hem on the Loose

Raid the office supply cabinet. Got packing tape? That will hold that hem until you can get it fixed properly. Don't be tempted to get out your stapler, which will damage the fabric.

13. Lint No More

My dogs have white fur. I like to wear black. See the problem? I buy lint brushes by the three-pack, but for the office, I love these mini lint rollers that fit in my desk or tote bag.

14. Sneaker Separation

This hint isn't that quick, since your shoes will need to dry at least overnight, but it's a good one. I wear my sneakers until the bitter end, so I was disappointed when a fairly new pair started "flapping" in the soles. They were otherwise in good shape and I didn't want to part with them just yet. Shoe Goo to the rescue! My handy husband squeezed out a layer between the flapping soles and the shoes, let dry overnight, and the shoes were almost as good as new. It is also waterproof and really inexpensive. It also works on broken high heels.

15. The Last Resort

Buy assorted safety pins. Thank me later.

What are your favorite, reliable, cheap sartorial save-the-dayers?

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Guest's picture
Jessy Shaw

My shoes are really my pride and joy. I own so many pairs and I wear all of them as much as I can. I hate it when a pair starts to break and throwing them away is so hard. Currently, my favorite pair of boots' soles are separating. I really need to make the shoe repair soon. I will have to test out that shoe goo stuff that you suggest, thanks for sharing!