When it comes to fashion and style, it sometimes seems that everyone and their mother (literally!) have tried-and-true tips and tricks they absolutely swear by. Some are useful, while others … well, not so much. With that in mind, we’ve culled 101 of the best from the best: designers, lifestyle experts and, of course, our staff. Trust us: With these gems, you’ll be well on your way to living your most stylish life.
101. Despite what it says on the tag, cashmere is best washed by hand. To dry it, use a salad spinner, which releases excess water in seconds.
100. Use white wine to remove red wine stains.
99. Wash new jeans twice before taking them to the tailor. Why? Because jeans will always shrink in length when washed.
98. To stop angora or mohair from shedding, fold the garment and place it into a zip-top bag and freeze it for at least three hours.
97. Remove odors from vintage or thrift clothing by spritzing them with a mixture of one part vodka, two parts water.
96. “Remove white deodorant marks from a garment by gently rubbing the protective foam used on hangers against the fabric.” — Jonathan Simkhai, designer
95. If you get an oil stain on your favorite handbag, coat the mark with baby powder and let it stand overnight. By morning, the stain should be gone. If a bit still remains, repeat the process until the stain is completely gone.
94. The best at-home method to keep diamonds sparkling: liquid dishwasher detergent and an old toothbrush.
93. The secret to well-fitting everyday clothes is Lycra. The formulas to look for: 95% cotton/5% Lycra spandex for T-shirts, and at least 2% Lycra for jeans to hold their shape.
92. “Always organize your clothes going light to dark from left to right in your closet. Your eye will follow the color and thus help you stay organized.” — Melanie Charlton Fascitelli, Founder, Clos-ette and Clos-ette Too.
90. Wondering about the quality of your cashmere? Gently stretch the body of the garment to see if it snaps back. A lower-quality cashmere won’t.
89. “If you don’t have time to try on jeans in the store, try the Neck Method: You can determine your size by placing the waistline of the jeans around the diameter of your neck. If the waistline of the pant comfortably meets at back of your neck, then the jeans will fit.”— Sarah Ahmed, Creative Director, DL1961 Premium Denim
88. Cut down your closet by 25% by asking yourself this one question: “If I were shopping right this second, would I buy this?” If the answer’s no, out it goes. — Melanie Charlton Fascitelli, Founder, Clos-ette and Clos-ette Too.
87. “Never put your swimwear in the washing machine, and always hand dry. The machine will damage the suit and it will lose its elasticity. The only exception: At the end of the summer or vacation, wash your swimwear in lingerie washing bags on the gentle cycle with a bit if Drift or Woolite. But only after many wears.” —Shoshanna Gruss, Designer
86. To drop bloat five days before a big event, stay away from dairy and whole grains, which can do a number on the digestive system.
85. While fake designer bags are a huge don’t, fake diamond studs are a huge do. Faux stones are hard to spot to the untrained eye.
84. Dressy occasions aren’t the time to play with trends, so know your silhouette and stick to it to always look your best. Perfect example: Sofia Vergara knows she looks good in mermaid dresses, and always chooses variations of the shape on red carpets.
83. “Never put a garment on immediately after ironing, as this can actually cause new wrinkles to form. Instead, let it sit for five minutes to set the press.” — Althea Harper, Designer and Rowenta Brand Ambassador
82. The best way to de-fuzz a sweater: use a pumice stone.
81. Snap clip-on earrings onto flats for an instant evening shoe, or onto shirt collars for DIY embellishments.
80. If you get wax on a piece of clothing, layer wax paper over the hardened wax and then run an iron over it to loosen it up. Once you pull off the paper, the wax should come right out with it.
79. Pour a dash of vodka into vase water to extend the life of your flowers.
78. Spray tights with sticky (read: cheap) hairspray to avoid holes and runs.
77. To clean dirt off suede, remove the crust from a piece of bread and allow it to become stale. Gently rub dirt and stains with the edge of the stale bread, and they’ll disappear. To de-scuff suede, use an eraser or nail file.
76. Shopping for a wedding dress or another big-event outfit? Head to the store with makeup on, proper undergarments, and your hair semi-done to get a better sense of how it’ll look.
75. Double-stick tape work to shorten a hem in a pinch if you can’t get to the tailor before an event.
74. Blot, don’t rub, when you spill something on your clothes. Wiping or rubbing will actually further ingrain the stain into the weave.
73. “Panty lines are not okay! Every woman should invest in nude, seamless underwear.” — Giuliana Rancic, HSN designer and E! host
72. If you don’t feel like trying on a dress but still want to see where the hem will hit you, align the shoulder seam exactly with your shoulder bone (not your collarbone).
71. Repurpose old or thrift sweaters and blankets by using them to reupholster a throw pillow, a chair seat or cover a stool.
70. “Use hairspray to remove a lipstick stain.” – Kaelen Haworth, designer, KAELEN
69. Add a 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse cycle while doing laundry to maintain the wash of your favorite pair of dark jeans.
68. To stretch tight shoes, fill two freezer bags with water and place into each shoe. Let it freeze overnight. As the water freezes, it’ll gently expand your shoes.
67. Frame vintage scarves for cool original artwork.
66. Due to its high level of surfactants, Dawn dish detergent is especially successful at removing grease and oil stains from clothing. 65. “A flattering silhouette begins with the right underpinnings. Never underestimate the power of Spanx—they’re a girl’s best friend!” — Lucy Sykes Rellie, Fashion Director, Rent the Runway
64. Revamp an old coat by swapping out the buttons and having a tailor replace the lining with something eye-catching, like a pattern or a bright color.
63. When getting jeans shortened, always ask your tailor to reattach the original hem. It may cost extra, but it’s worth it.
62. If blush or bronzer breaks in your handbag, pre-moistened makeup removing wipes will clean up the loose powder flawlessly.
61. Break in stiff or too-snug shoes by slipping them on with socks and blasting your feet with a hot hairdryer.
60. Hang a shoe bag on the back of your bathroom door and use it to hold makeup, toiletries, brushes, hair ties, etc.
59. A vintage trunk not only makes a stylish coffee table, but it can also house shoes and clothing you rarely wear.
58. “To remove watermarks from leather boots, add a few drops of vinegar to a bowl of cool water and scrub the stains with a soft bristle brush until stains are no longer visible. Let dry overnight.” — Daryl Carr, Marketing Coordinator, Stetson
57. To stop squeaky shoes, remove the insole and apply Vaseline or WD-40 before replacing it.
56. To determine if pearls are real, lightly rub them over your teeth. Fake pearls will be perfectly smooth, and real ones will feel slightly gritty or textured.
55. When you’re shopping for a jacket, coat, or blazer, pay attention to the fit around the shoulders. While a tailor can tweak pretty much everything about the fit of a jacket—from tapering the waist to shortening it—they can’t change the shoulders. Make sure the seams sit perfectly at the bony tops of your shoulders.
54. Chic up a sporty puffer vest by cinching the waist with a skinny belt.
53. Unless they’re cropped or tapered, pant hems should just graze the tops of your shoes and be from 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch off the floor.
52. Always dry-clean coats before storing them, and place on cedar hangers inside cloth garment bags. This preserves the fabric and keeps moths away.
51. If you have a small closet, never keep your shoes in clunky shoeboxes. Instead, always line up them on the floor.
50. Going to a winter wedding or formal event? Try wearing a sleeveless fur vest as a top, cinching it with a skinny belt or piece of ribbon and pairing it with a floor-length skirt.
49. How to care for fur at home: “Pass the fur with a hairbrush and steam it for added bounce, volume and shine.” —Eran Elfassy, Co-Creative Director, Mackage
48. “Marquise ring shapes help to create the illusion of longer, more slender fingers, even on small wide hands. Pear or oval stones are also flattering.” — Carol Brodie, Fine Jewelry Designer, HSN’s Rarities: Fine Jewelry with Carol Brodie
47. Everyday bras should be replaced every three to six months, as that’s when they start to lose elasticity and support.
46. Ideally, a pencil skirt should hit just at the top of your knee. Any lower and it will start to shorten your leg.
45. Pants a bit too tight? Let them air dry and stretch the waistband by hand (or with a hairdryer) while they’re still damp.
44. Still look chic while showing some skin: If you’re wearing a miniskirt or shorts, cover up on top. If your top is skimpy, go for full-coverage bottoms.
45. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-fitting, stylish winter coat. You can be wearing pajamas underneath and you’ll still look perfectly put together.
44. Windex restores the glossy sheen on patent leather without doing any damage.
43. Fold jeans like a pro: Lay jeans on a flat surface, fold in half from left to right. Grab the stacked jean legs and fold them in half so the hem of the jeans lines up with the waistband. Fold the jeans in half one more time.
42. The power of a silk pillowcase isn’t a myth: Not only do they prevent “sleep crease,” they’re much, much gentler on your skin and hair.
41. “The best way to store fashion jewelry, including Sterling Silver, is in Ziploc bags. This helps pieces retain luster and reduces tarnishing and scratches.”—Jordann Weingartner, Founder, I Love Jewelry Auctions
40. If the garment you’re ironing has delicate buttons or detailing, cover them with the bowl of a metal spoon and press the surrounding fabric.
39. Don’t buy items you know you won’t properly care for. For example, if you know you’re never going to hand-wash that delicate cami or beaded sweater, don’t buy it.
38. “Pair flirty, feminine dresses with masculine spectator shoes for an effortless and unexpected look.” — Gabriella Perezutti, Designer, Candela
37. To achieve the perfectly effortless cuffed sleeve, keep the top button (which is called the gauntlet) buttoned while you roll.
36. V-neck sweaters and tees give the illusion of a longer torso.
35. Spritzed a bit too much perfume on yourself this morning? Use unscented, oil-based makeup remover to remove excess perfume.
34. Tend to wear certain leather shoes without socks? Always stuff them with a soft cloth when you’re done wearing them. This absorbs moisture and help the shoes keep their shape.
33. “Hoop earrings are a classic style that every woman—regardless of age—should have, but the type depends on your face. If you have a thin face, go for larger round or embellished hoops. If you have a round face an elongated hoop or drop style is best.” —Elena Kiam, Creative Director, Lia Sophia
32. Freeze jeans inside a plastic bag for two days to zap odor without running them through the washing machine.
31. Looking for an easy trick to make your bare legs look longer? Try pumps the same color of your skin, which gives give the illusion that your legs extend a few extra inches.
30. Wrap an empty bottle of your favorite perfume in a handkerchief and tuck it into your underwear drawer for a subtle scent.
29. Heat can warp your glasses frames, so always keep them in a hard case and never wear them on your head on a hot day.
28. Spray shirts prone to sweat stains with lemon juice before washing. The natural acid dissolves alkaline sweat reside that could cause yellow discoloration.
27. “It’s a myth that loose styles flatter a large bust or a plus-size woman. The area just under the bust is a woman’s smallest torso measurement, so emphasizing it with a structured waistband that hits higher than your natural waist will make you look a size smaller. —BG Krishnan, President, eShakti.com
26. Use shaving cream and a washcloth to remove liquid makeup from shirt collars.
25. A modern trick to looking like the most effortlessly stylish girl in the room: Pair dressy bottoms (a velvet maxi, a leather or beaded skirt, silk pants) with a worn gray crew-neck sweatshirt or T-shirt.
24. When it doubt, always choose the smaller denim size, since jeans stretch with wear.
23. “Never dry a wet shoe with heat. Let it dry naturally in open air. Heat will dry out leather and the lifespan of the shoe will be cut in half.” —Jordan Adoni, Designer, Modern Vice
22. The easiest way to make your closet look organized: Buy all the same hangers for everything–same color, same shape.
21. Before bed, pour two or three tablespoons of baking soda into sweaty workout sneakers and tilt the shoe to distribute the soda evenly. This will eat any odor and absorb perspiration.
20. “For guaranteed weight loss, I advise people to follow my A, B, C’s – no Alcohol, Bread or processed Carbs.”—David Kirsch, celebrity trainer and fitness guru.
19. To prevent clothing from wrinkling in a suitcase, fold everything in plastic dry cleaning bags.
18. If you can’t fit two fingers underneath your bra band comfortably, it’s probably too tight.
17. Pile on good accessories—scarves, sunglasses, hats, statement jewelry—to instantly transform even the most basic outfit.
16. Confused about laundry settings? Remember this: The hotter the water, the cleaner the clothing will be. While warm water is fine for most clothes, linens and dirty white clothing are best washed in hot water to remove germs and heavy soil. Cold water is usually used for delicates.
15. A structured hat should rest about 1/8 to a 1/2-inch above the ears.
14. After a shower, use your hairdryer to de-mist bathroom mirrors in seconds.
13. A good tip when cleaning out your closet: Ask a friend whose style you admire to come over and help. She/he might offer new insight on how to wear certain items before you toss them.
12. It might sound “budget,” but a hot glue gun works amazingly well to hem skirts, pants and even jeans in a pinch.
11. Looking for uses for all the single socks you’ve amassed while doing laundry? When you’ve got aches or pains, fill a sock with dry beans or rice and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Voila, an instant (and free) heating pad.
10. Wear your new real leather jacket in the rain to break it in. Water will soften up the leather and allow it to stretch and crease at specific points on your body.
9. Who has the time to hand wash bras? Machine wash them in cold water in a mesh zipper bag and drape them over a hanger to air dry.
8. Use a lemon wedge to remove excess or streaky self-tanner.
7. Track lighting is possible even for the tiniest closet: Buy a track kit, screw it into the ceiling, run the wire down the wall and plug it into the nearest outlet. Not only will you see all your clothes better, but you’ll feel like you have a more luxurious closet.
6. Invest in silk or satin pillowcases to keep your hair from breaking during the night. (They also keep your skin looking smoother than rough cotton cases!)
5. If you’re unsure about an impulse or sale purchase, leave it at the store. If you’re still thinking about it when you wake up the next day, buy it.
4. Have a sequin garment you don’t wear anymore? Remove the sequins and sprinkle them into a vase of flowers. Gorgeous!
3. A good shoemaker can fully rebuild your favorite pair, even if the arch is cracked.
2. To coax a loose thread back into place, gently tug at the stitches to the sides of the pull as well as above and below.
1. There’s nothing cooler than sticking to a signature style you know looks good on you. Slaves to fashion are never chic!