From the occasional blisters and persistent sweat marks to the inevitable struggles of swimsuit shopping, summer can be a pain. (There’s a reason people call it cruel.) So we created this guide full of nifty tips that will help you bask in the 80-degree glory rather than run (er, limp ) into the shade.
1. Get your off-the-shoulder top to stay put. It’s the shirt of the season, but keeping yours from riding up and becoming more “milkmaid” than “model” is almost impossible. Here’s a trick: Get yourself two loose hair elastics and four safety pins. Attach one safety pin to each end of the elastic, then pin the contraption straight across the arm openings of your top, closest to the shoulder. (The elastics should nestle under your armpits.) It keeps the shirt taut so that when you lift your arms, the shirt snaps back into place.
2. Use a paper clip to create a racer-back bra. Speaking of clever hacks, if you ever find yourself with a sharply cut tank top and no strapless bra in sight, use a paper clip to secure your two bra straps together. It comfortably creates an X shape and remarkably stays put for hours.
3. Learn how to properly break in your heels. So you pulled the trigger on that adorable pair of tasseled sandals. Now, how to deal with the blisters you’ll inevitably get from the first wear? Step 1: Slip into a pair of thick socks. Step 2: Squeeze into those heels. Step 3: Use your blow-dryer to warm up your shoes and feet. The heat from the dyer softens the leather and allows it to stretch. Strut your stuff around your kitchen to continue the process and you’ll be golden.
4. And make them more comfortable. It’s weird, but it works: Tape your third and fourth toes together on each foot to help ease pain and alleviate pressure when you wear heels, since a special nerve exists between those two piggies.
5. Find the key to cleaning white sneakers. Girl, you are rocking those Adidas so hard right now. Too bad the white rubber soles have turned a depressing shade of grimy gray. Fun tip: You can clean ’em right up with a trusty Magic Eraser. Wet the eraser and go to town buffing out all the marks and dirt. Once you’re done, dry them with a paper towel and behold as your sneaks return to their former glory.
6. Discover the magic of stain-resistant denim. Get this: Old Navy has just released a pair of white jeans that are certifiably stain-resistant. Watch us test them out here, then grab a pair for yourself (they’re under $50!).
7. Remove sweat stains with lemon juice. They cost $1 and are the trick to making your white T-shirts look like new. Mix equal parts lemon juice and water, pour it into a spray bottle and give it a good shake. Then spritz the mixture onto the underarms of your tee until the stained area is soaked. Gently rub the fabric together and the stain will start to lift. (A sprinkle of table salt will help make it easier to scrub.) Let the lemon juice soak in for about an hour, then toss the tee into the washer to clean it properly.
8. Or use aspirin. Yep, you heard us. Dissolve five aspirin tablets in a sink full of water and let your white T-shirts soak overnight. This has the same effect as if you used an OxiClean solution.
9. Realize the best time to apply antiperspirant. Turns out, stopping the sweat marks actually begins at night. Here’s why: Antiperspirant works by clogging sweat ducts, which stops moisture from escaping your body. By applying it at night (when skin is drier and sweat glands are less active), the antiperspirant has time to do said clogging.
10. And how to also use it on your face. Antiperspirant has a similarly mattifying effect on the parts of your face that are most prone to looking oily. Dab a bit onto your index and middle fingers and apply it to your cheekbones and T-zone (you know, your forehead and nose area) to prevent shine.
11. Remove odors from clothes by spraying them with vodka. OK, vodka mixed with water. Create a solution of equal parts and mist it onto your clothing. The alcohol works to absorb the odor-causing bacteria.
12. And stick your stinky shoes in the freezer. Soft, breathable fabrics (like the rope and linen of your favorite wedges) absorb moisture from feet. This creates the perfect damp breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. By freezing them, you’re killing the bacteria and helping dry out moisture. (The same also works for your jeans.)