They have personal fashion stylists to dress them in the finest designer duds, of course, but it takes more than just the right tulle to look like a star — it also takes the right tool. Whether you’re a professional stylist or just a stylish professional, here are 10 essential tools that everyone should have handy for when you need to look perfectly put together.
1. Garment Bags
Set Ready Ultimate Everyday Garment Bag 54″ w/ Pockets/Black Trim, $39, wardrobesupplies.com
Assuming you aren’t somebody who has access to an unlimited supply of designer freebies, you want to keep every item in your wardrobe looking like new for as long as possible. Keeping your clothes safely stored in garment bags, especially while traveling, will help avoid smudges, stains and other kinds of damage. While any type of good-quality garment bag will do, clear ones are best because they make it easy to see what’s inside without having to unzip the whole bag.
2. Garment Steamer
Jiffy Steamer – Model J-2000 (w/removable mini tank ), $229, wardrobesupplies.com
Every stylist keeps a garment steamer in his or her kit for removing wrinkles from delicate fabrics and freshening them between cleanings. Be mindful of the type of water used in a steamer or iron. Distilled is better than tap water, which sometimes contains a high mineral content that can cause the machine to rust and stain fabric.
3. Iron and Ironing Surface
Black & Decker Classic Iron w/ Non Stick Sole Plate, $39, wardrobesupplies.com
While steamers remove wrinkles, irons create crisp collars, cuffs and creases by flattening fibers. If you don’t have an ironing board, you can create an ironing surface by laying a clean piece of fabric on the floor. Make sure you know which heat setting to use for certain fabrics and which fabrics to steam instead.
4. Hem Tape
Braza Double Stick Flash Tape – Extra Hold, $7.95, wardrobesupplies.com
Ill-fitting clothes should be sent to a tailor, but in the meantime, hem tape temporarily fixes hemlines and sleeves. Some brands stay put with a little finger pressure, while others need to be ironed into place. Although iron-on tape is sturdier, it’s also harder to remove if too much heat is applied. Alternatively, hairpiece or toupee tape works well.
5. Chicken Cutlets and Breast Petals
Braza “Petals” Adhesive Nipple Covers (5 pair), $6.95, wardrobesupplies.com
Chicken cutlets are gel inserts used to fill out the bust if necessary — for instance, if your weight fluctuates. Breast petals are great for covering nipples when wearing thin or sheer fabrics without a bra or undershirt. Band-Aids also work in an emergency.
6. Garment Guards
Garment Guard Disposable Cotton Dress Shields (5 pair), $11.95, wardrobesupplies.com
Garment guards are especially useful in hot climates. These underarm shields protect clothes from sweat stains with the additional benefit of cutting down on dry-cleaning bills. Sanitary pads stuck inside the armpits of shirts also do the trick.
7. Static-Cling Removal Tools
Static Guard(Tote size), $3.49, wardrobesupplies.com
Static electricity can be a problem in cold, dry weather, especially with thinner fabrics. One solution is to use a static removal spray or aerosol hair spray to remove static cling in clothing. Another option is to apply a light layer of lotion to skin so that fabric doesn’t stick to the body. Rubbing fabric-softener sheets onto skin can remove cling, as well.
8. Clothing Shaver
Evercare Fabric Shaver – Mini, $7.99, wardrobesupplies.com
Contrary to popular belief, pilling is not a sign of poor-quality fabric. Even your most expensive cashmere sweaters will inevitably pill from repeated friction as individual fibers become dislodged, causing them to cling together in little balls. Underarms and sides of clothing are especially prone to pilling. A clothing shaver can solve the problem and keep your clothing looking newer for longer.
9. Laundry Stain-Removal Tools
Shout Gel (8.7oz.), $5.99, wardrobesupplies.com
Let’s face it, accidents happen. If a stain accidentally happens to clothing, pretreating will prevent it from setting in. Stain-removal pens work to remove stains and smudges in an emergency. Aerosol hair spray is great for removing ink stains. Makeup sponges help remove deodorant from clothing. For stubborn makeup stains, try a little shaving cream.
10. Lint Remover
Mini Lint Roller, $2.25, wardrobesupplies.com
Last but not least, a lint roller covered in disposable adhesive paper, lint brush or washable, reusable lint roller is a must-have tool in your stylist kit.
If possible, it’s best to invest in quality items when building a kit. In the end, it’s more expensive to buy a cheap garment steamer that doesn’t work well or for very long. Since you’ll eventually have to replace it with a more expensive steamer anyway, you’ll save more money by investing in top quality in the first place.