Work Wardrobe Hacks Every Professional Needs to Know

5 Clothing Tools for a Tarnish-Free Work Image

work wardrobe - professional presentingA critical meeting is on your morning agenda.  It involves a presentation delivered by none other than… you.  It’s okay.  You’ve prepared well.  You know your material like the back of your hand.  But you look down and notice that at some point between leaving your apartment two hours ago, and this very moment, your trouser hem has come undone.

This presentation means a lot to your team and your firm’s newest client.  The last thing you want to be worrying about while in front of the group is a distracting wardrobe malfunction.

Here are 5 keep-at-your-desk solutions for work wardrobe emergencies:

lint shaver, ready for the job

The tool (clothes shaver)

1.  Clothes Shaver  (aka lint shaver, fabric shaver)  No matter how much you pay for a sweater, or how high quality it is, there are times those little fiber fuzzies called “pills” are going to show up.  Very seldom are they indication of a sweater beyond repair.  Often it just needs a little bit of grooming.  Enter: the clothes shaver.  Very much like a battery-operated shaver for the skin, this little device, when moved over the surface of your knit item, trims and sucks those pills right up!  (Use a light touch on delicate knits and test on an inside edge before tackling the outside of your sweater.)

Sweater, pills removed

Like new, after a good shave.

Sweater with pills

Sweater, before shaving






2.  Lint Brush  If you’ve got a cat or dog at home that sheds, you’re probably intimately familiar with this tool.  Even those of us who don’t use one on a daily basis can benefit from having a lint-remover on hand for the occasional “oh-my-gosh-what-did-I-lean-on?” moments.  A lint roller works well, too.  The roller offers the convenience of disposable, tear-off sticky sheets that pick up the loose “stuff” that doesn’t belong on your clothes (lint, hair, threads, etc.).  The lint brush does the same job in an environmentally-friendly form (no disposable elements), though it does require periodic cleaning to remove lint accumulations.

3.  Knit Picker  Despite its cutesy name, this tool does some serious fabric rehab.  Those long threads that pull away from your sweater after getting caught on a sharp object?  Call in the knit picker to salvage what might appear a total loss.  (Don’t let the step-by-step below intimidate you.  The whole process is done in less than 3 minutes.)

Knit picker how-to, before use

1. Pulled thread from a snag

knit picker how-to, step #1

2. Insert knit picker from back side of fabric close to base of the pulled thread

knit picker how-to - Close the hook with thread caught in loop

3. Close the hook with the thread caught inside the loop







knit picker how-to - pulling through to backside of fabric

4. Almost done: Pull knit picker back through to reverse side of fabric, taking thread along with it.

knit picker how-to - complete

Repair complete — in under 3 minutes!








work wardrobe care - hollywood tape

4.  Hollywood Tape  Not just for celebrities, and not just for over-revealing clothing openings.  This double-sided tape is your quick fix for fallen hems, overgrown linings hanging from your jacket’s bottom edge, or cuffs that don’t lie smoothly in place.  In other words, it’s a temporary substitute for needle-and-thread. 

work wardrobe care - seam ripper

5.  Seam Ripper  A seamstress will use one of these to rip seams open, just like the name implies.  For everyone else, it’s the perfect tool to gently remove a sewn-in garment label.  You know the one:  it’s at the neck of your new shirt that, 45-minutes into your workday, you realize is sewn in with thread as sharp as knife.  Don’t use regular scissors for a job like this — they’re likely to catch fabric right along with the tag’s irritating thread.  The seam ripper’s tiny point allows you to manage the matter with care.

With these items in your emergency tool kit, you’re ready for on-the-spot repairs that’ll return your professional attire to top form in no time.  You’ll find them at your local sewing supply store or sites like  (Consider adding to your kit a set of spare shoelaces for the unexpected break, and clear nail polish for hosiery repairs, and you’re prepared for nearly any wardrobe mishap.)

(To read more on caring for your work wardrobe, visit this post for 6 Quick Tips to Protect Your Wardrobe Investment.)

Patty Buccellato Image CoachPatty Buccellato, is an image coach and founder of Refined Images.  She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups. Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls.  To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit or contact Patty.

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