10 Insider Fashion Hacks

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By WalterThornton

During my first internship at a fashion magazine, I watched the editors with awe (and a little fear): They were powerful, worked hard, and looked impossibly chic. Everything about them seemed cool and effortless.

So I studied them. I tried to find out how they got that swag (though I believed they must have been born with it). But the secret to their cool wasn’t innate; it wasn’t so mysterious. It was simply that after years of working in the industry, they’d gathered all the tricks to looking just-so. And now, after racking up a number of years in fashion myself, I feel equipped to share some of the sneaky fashion tips I’ve learned. Be warned: they are weird, and many require a fridge.

1. An employee over at a luxury brand that houses one of the most enviable handbag lines out there taught me this tip for getting scratches out of leather:

“Rub a tiny bit of moisturizer into the scratch using a Q-tip until the scratch is gone. It’s gross, but literally it’s like rubbing lotion into cracked skin. I recommend Nivea unscented moisturizer.”

2. One A-lister told me to turn my leather pants inside out and store them in my freezer to help them keep their shape. Another swears by machine drying leather leggings on low heat, again inside out, to reduce stretching. I’ve tried both techniques and can say both work like a charm.

3. A jewelry designer to the stars offered up this household tip for cleaning brass, gold, and diamond jewelry:

“Ketchup cleans brass and Fantastik shines gold and diamonds like a mofo.”

4. A friend of mine swears by the powers of the fine-tooth comb to de-pill her most luxurious cashmere sweaters.

5. One of the most famous perfumers in the world instructed me to always keep my perfume in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.

6. Try to never wash your jeans. If they start to smell, put them in a gallon zip lock bag with a dryer sheet over night and leave them in the freezer. Once they thaw, they will feel fresh and clean but still fit perfectly.

7. To get deodorant stains out of pretty much any material, rub the fabric together. It even works (really well) on black clothing!

8. Contributing editor, Faran Krentcil, got this useful tip from her grandfather, who ran a leather factory in the Garment District in the ’60s and ’70s: “If your suede shoes get wet, ball up newspaper inside them and wrap them up in newspaper too. They’ll keep their shape and texture, and dry out fairly quickly.”

9. For those of you wearing fur this winter (or eyeing all the colored furs on tap for next fall), here’s a tip to keep yours from shedding. Keep your fur coats (or scarves) in the freezer to keep from them shedding. Sure, it requires an extra large freezer, but don’t you think it’s worth the investment?

10. One of our favorite street style stars taught me to use a hair dryer as a steamer to get wrinkles out just before you’re running out the door (or, if like us, you live sans iron). If you have an entire dress that needs ironing, try hanging the garment outside of the shower while running hot water to steam creases out.