The secret fashion hacks to get you through events season looking immaculate

The Duchess of Cambridge knows a thing or two about events dressing
The Duchess of Cambridge knows a thing or two about events dressing Credit: PA

The shops are full of fascinators carefully placed next to floral printed dresses. Your next “free” weekend is September. You’ve googled “best control pants”, stocked up on blister plasters and Thursday evenings are now spent carefully applying fake tan. Yep, events season is officially here. From weddings to the races, casual barbeques to grand garden parties, the next three months are set to be one soirée and sore head after the other.

And whilst you may have spent hours carefully honing your outfit, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be completely stress free. A stuck zip. A boisterous toast that spills red wine on your top. Or a welcoming hug that ends up leaving make-up on your collar. Yep, these are all pesky accidents just waiting to happen. But they don’t have to ruin your day.

Read on for the time-saving fashion hacks you need to know...

Creased clothing

  • Three members of the fashion team swear that this travel steamer from Morplan is the best on the market. However, it’s facing some stiff competition with Steamery’s latest version. Dubbed the Cirrus No.2 it weighs only 0.58kg,  takes 25 seconds to heat up plus it’s mint hue is very Instagrammable. Words I never thought I'd be writing about a clothes steamer. 

 

  • For smaller areas such as a collar or a crumpled hair ribbon, try a hair straightener to remove creases. 

If your shoes are too tight

  • If you have 12 hours before you have to wear them, fill two zip lock sandwich bags halfway with water and place into the shoes. The water will freeze and expand over night forcing them to stretch.
  • A metal spoon can be used to mimic the action of your foot, making those pesky tight spots a little looser. Simply use the back of it to work and rub into areas such as heel or around toe straps to soften.
  • For leather shoes, put on the thickest socks in your wardrobe and place your feet inside the shoes. Then use a hairdryer to focus on the tightest areas, flexing your feet as you do so to gently soften the leather.
  • If you’re short on time, use a stick deodorant on areas that are likely to rub such as the back of your foot and your toes.
Street style in Paris  Credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Shoe stains 

  • If you don’t have polish to hand, you can use moisturiser to brighten dull or scratched shoes.
  • Buff dirt off suede shoes with a nail file.
  • Use a dab of window cleaner on a soft cloth to give patent shoes their shine back.
  • A strip of adhesive tape will lift fresh dirt or sand marks off suede or leather shoes.

Loose buttons and sunglasses

If your sunglasses start to feel a bit loose and keep slipping down your nose, dab some clear nail varnish over the hinge to tighten them. Clear nail varnish is also useful on loose buttons to stop the thread from unraveling further.

Jewellery

  • To close the clasp of a bracelet by yourself, take a large paperclip and unbend it. Thread it through one end of the bracelet, and then gripping the paper clip with one hand, secure the clasp with the other.
  • To clean diamond jewellery, use a pair of tweezers to hold it over the steam from a boiling kettle (wear rubber gloves for extra protection) The steam will loosen any dirt, and then gently wipe with a soft cloth.
  • Alternatively, buy a Dazzle Stick and dab over precious stones and gold to make them sparkle again.
Amal Clooney looking impeccable at the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. Credit: PA

Stubborn zips

  • If you don’t have anyone to zip you in and you’re worried you may have to resort to asking your Uber driver, don’t panic. Instead, thread a long piece of thread/ ribbon or even dental floss will do if you’re really stuck, through the zip and then grab with both hands. If the zip doesn’t have a space you can thread through, attach a clothes peg to the zip and the thread to the peg and then voila, you can easily tug it up.
  • If a zip gets stuck loosen it by smearing the teeth with some clear chapstick, vaseline or even softened candle wax. You can also dip a cotton bud in some olive oil and carefully cover the teeth. Or rub in-between the teeth of the zip with graphite pencil tip.

Deodorant marks

  • If it has literally just happened, use a face wipe or a wet wipe to remove before the stain sets.
  • Alternatively pull a pair of black tights over your hand and rub the marks off. Jeans can also be used to rub the stain off, but be careful on lighter fabrics as you don’t want the denim to cause further staining.

Stains

  • A face wipe is great for removing just-happened stains. Rub slowly to avoid smearing the stain further.
  • Olive oil can be removed by covering the stain with talcum powder and leaving to dry. Then simply dust off the powder.
  • Shaving foam is brilliant for getting rid of foundation from shirt collars.
  • Lipstick stains can be eliminated by saturating the area with hair spray. Just make sure it contains alcohol. Leave for 10 minutes then blot the stain with a clean cloth or a wet wipe.
  • Hairspray is also brilliant at removing pen marks from leather. Saturate a cotton bud and then gently buff the mark. Leave for 10 minutes and then wipe clean.
  • If you happen to spill loose powder onto your clothing, don’t try and wipe it. Instead, use a hair or hand dryer to blast it off.
  • A stain removing pen such as Tide to Go is also great to carry in your handbag. It’s basically like a magic rubber for clothing.  

Static skirts and dresses

  • Spray the inside of the clothing with hairspray or if you’re wearing tights spray those to remove the static cling.
  • Get an oil stain out of a bag by coating the mark with baby powder and letting it sit overnight. By morning, the stain should be gone.
 Emilia Wickstead Credit: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

To angle a hat correctly

  • When buying a hat make sure to speak with the sales assistant who should be trained in how to angle it best for your face shape. Once you’re happy with the placement take a photo so you can remember how it should look on the day.
  • A good guide for hats that are meant to be worn towards the front of the head, is to place them two fingers width above your eyebrow.

To stop shedding and bobbling

 

  • Stop angora or mohair knits from shedding by placing them in a sealed plastic bag and freeze for three hours.

  • After an unfortunate incident with an over eager electrical debobbler, our Head of Fashion Lisa Armstrong discovered a much safer Swedish alternative. At £36 it’s not cheap but with the reassurance it won’t make holes in your clothes we think it’s worth every penny.

For camera ready skin

  • Soothe a puffy face or eyes, by wrapping a face cloth around some ice cubes and then gently dabbing your skin.
  • To reduce the appearance of a furrowed brow, the former Vogue fashion director Lucinda Chambers swears by Frownies. “They’re little triangles of glued paper that you stick between your eyes while you sleep to stop you frowning!  I don’t do any invasive stuff on my face so this is as good as it gets. But they work: you wake up not looking so cross." 
  • To blur the appearance of varicose veins, stretch marks and cellulite slap on some Prtty Peaushun body lotion. Created by celebrity makeup artist Bethany Karlyn it’s packed full of light-reflecting particles that help to add a gentle glow. Gwyneth Paltrow has even called it her “miracle cream.”
A model walks the runway during the Saint Laurent show  Credit: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

To hide a bruise

For those marks that somehow seem to appear on your shins just as you’re about to walk out of the door, Madeleine Spencer, a beauty blogger and makeup artist,  has devised this tried and tested foolproof solution. Trust me as someone with skin like a peach this really does work...

Step one

To neutralise the bruise, you need to take a colour corrector. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, though remember that not all bruises are the same colour, and some bruises contain many. I like the Vichy Dermablend Colour Correctors as they’re creamy and easy to spread but they really work. Use the purple one on old bruises that are yellow, the apricot on deeper, browner bruises, or the yellow one on bluish bruises. Apply with a brush (I tend to use the Zoeva Concealer Buffing Brush).

Step two

Take your foundation or concealer and gently tap a little on top, blending it out at the edges. If the bruised area starts to look much smoother in tone than the rest of your leg, take a thin layer of foundation across your leg, too. If you want formulas that are ideal for both body and face, try MAC Face & Body for a buildable formula or Vichy Dermablend Corrective Fluid Foundation for more opaque coverage.

Step three

To hold the coverage all day, dust with a powder, making sure you are gentle as you apply so as not to disturb the concealer.