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Easy fixes for big wardrobe problems

Easy fixes for big wardrobe problems
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Warning: you can ruin even the most perfectly put-together ensemble a lot easier than you think. From pilled sweaters and chipped nail polish to improperly hemmed pants and visible panty lines, these messy mistakes can cause you to be taken less seriously and even diminish your confidence. While some of them may not seem like that big of a deal, they really do make a big impact – and not in the way that you want.

Wearing the wrong size

Wearing the wrong size
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If you think you know your size, think again. “Each brand, designer, and item fits differently,” says fashion expert Allison McNamara. “You might be a large in one pair of Zara pants, a 38 in Philip Lims, and then a size 27 in denim.” Her fix? “Shop for the fit rather than the size, and don’t freak out if you’re wearing a bigger size than usual – it’s them, not you,” she says.

For a cheap, quick hack, buy a seamstress-style measuring tape. That way, the next time you’re considering a purchase online, you can review the sizing guide, whip out the tape measure, and go by your actual measurement numbers, not the retailer’s size.

Read on for the style secrets of women who always look put together.

Not tailoring items for the perfect fit

Not tailoring items for the perfect fit
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Splurging on an expensive suit or dress but not saving a few bucks to tailor it is easily one of the biggest fashion mistakes a person can make, according to fashion publicist and buyer Andrea Burman. “Everyone is built differently – petite, pear, hourglass, straight, and narrow. So how can mass-produced clothing fit us all the same way? It can’t,” she asserts. “Having an experienced tailor tweak sleeve lengths, adjust shoulders, change or add buttons, shorten hemlines, and take in wide garments can be the difference between looking just ‘OK’ and looking ravishing.” If your budget doesn’t permit frequent trips to the tailor, take things into your own hands on the easier stuff, like hems and buttons, with a sewing kit.

Disregarding shoe or boot length

Disregarding shoe or boot length
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Playing with proportions is what professional stylists do for their celebrity clients. The easiest way to make your outfit unflattering is to pair the wrong shoe or boot with the wrong bottom, according to fashion publicist Jill Ormand. “A long pencil skirt with mid-length boots will shorten your whole stem, making you look less lean,” she says. “If your legs are already short, opt for stilettos that are cut to show the front of your foot.

Check out these smart tricks to keep your shoes smelling fresh.

Pants that drag

Pants that drag
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This one can be tricky, especially when you don’t have the time or budget to hem and re-hem pants based on every heel height in your closet. (And quite honestly, who does?) “The easiest way to look dishevelled is to wear pants that drag on the floor,” says Ormand. “It’s an easy mistake to fix but one that can cost your appearance a lot if left alone.” Decide which shoes you’ll wear with a certain pair of pants most often, and bring them with you to the tailor. If you’re worried you might go too short, ask your tailor to leave a bit of room on the hem. That way, you can always drop it later.

If you need to fix your hem for cheap in a pinch, using double-sided tape will do the trick. Fold up the pant leg at the necessary length and affix it with double-sided tape on the inside so it’s invisible to others.

Discoloured clothing

Discoloured clothing
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Faded black pants are a common culprit. Other discolouration issues include runny patterns on silk, tinted lights that got put in with a bright load of laundry, and run-of-the-mill stains. Before heading out for a big event, do a careful once-over to check for anything funky. “Our favourite dark clothes can become a fashion disaster in no time if you don’t take the correct precautions,” says Ormand. To avoid black pants from fading, wash them inside-out on a short and cold wash cycle. You can also consider re-dyeing your clothes.

Don’t miss these outfit tricks to look instantly younger.

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Too many bags

Too many bags
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Don’t pack for work like you’re leaving on a two-week trip. Instead, pare your things down to the essentials, and find a structured bag that’s big enough to fit them. For example, if you tote your laptop back and forth to work, look for a bag that can accommodate it. If you like to carry a large makeup bag inside your purse, make sure it fits. The goal is to make your outfit look deliberate. Carrying a plastic bag with you everywhere shows that you tried to fit everything into your purse but fell a bit short.

Pulling and prodding at your outfit

Pulling and prodding at your outfit
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If you know you’ll spend an entire day hoisting up a strapless dress or repeatedly tucking in your shirt, look into another option for now and figure out why the original piece didn’t work. Can you take it to a tailor to remedy the problem? Do that. Is it in a state of disrepair? Toss it. Shapewear can help you minimise this common problem by making you feel more supported and, in turn, more comfortable in your own skin.

“Pulling and readjusting your clothes signals that you feel uncomfortable and makes you appear less confident,” Nicole Zabal, the designer and founder of a clothing line with built-in shapewear says. She recommends investing in pieces that have built-in support and that make you feel comfortable from the first wear.

Noticeable lint

Noticeable lint
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“Noticeable lint is a huge offender,” says McNamara. “I have a mini lint roller in my car at all times to make sure I’m lint-free before meetings.” Another tip? Take your lint brush outside: in addition to making this touch-up the last thing you do before heading out (and therefore preventing new lint from accumulating), the natural light will give you a better picture of your outfit’s lint situation.

Poorly fitted shoes

Poorly fitted shoes
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When you fall in love with a pair of shoes at the store, it’s tempting to buy them even if they’re not your exact size. “I think it’s crazy that people buy and keep shoes that don’t fit,” says McNamara. Aside from, you know, not actually fitting, a too big or too small pair of shoes will wear out faster than ones that fit well. The result? A dishevelled look.

If you went ahead and splurged on the shoes, pads may help you adjust sizing. They will also provide cushion and comfort for those long nights in heels.

Find out how to stay on your feet despite corns, calluses and cracked heels.

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