10 MORE TOOLS FROM A COSTUME DESIGNER’S KIT
My area of expertise with clothes is actually pretty narrow. When I shop, I think strictly in terms of color, fit and practicality. I am also a shopper who checks price tags obsessively, as I am a slave to the budget.
Costume designers who go over budget on shows don’t get hired again. As a result, I can’t read a fashion editorial in a magazine without thinking “Who in the hell is buying this crazily priced shit?!" I know a TON of rich, hip girls here in LA, and even they don’t have closets bursting with Balenciaga and Alexander Mc Queen schmattes.
I fell into my career as a result of a lifetime of being a mall rat. This probably makes “real” fashion babes turn their noses up at me. So be it. When they end up having a wardrobe drama, they are definitely gonna come cryin’ on my shoulder. I’m just going to helpfully refer them here, to part two of this handy list. (You can read part one here if you missed it.)
These wipes are meant to be used on sterling silver, gold, gemstones and other precious metals, but guess what? They also work wonders to clean up and polish inexpensive fashion jewelry. I always have a pile of cheap Forever 21 baubles that have gotten dull and dirty, and these wipes help give them back their lustre.
I didn’t mention lint rollers in my original post on the 10 wardrobe wrangling items you should own, and that was an oversight. I just assumed I was the only one with a giant white dog who was constantly shedding all over my black clothes. (And my beautiful mahogany wood floors!)
Then I realized how many of you have cats -- you bitches are way more in need of a lint roller than I am. The Evercare lint roller is the gold standard of lint rollers. It’s basically a giant roll of masking tape on a handle. I like the old-fashioned masking tape lint roller rather than the fancy new 3M adhesive one. In this case, low tech is best!
In a pinch, anything sticky can become a lint roller--clear tape, unicorn stickers, or a Fed Ex airbill pouch. Actually a Fed Ex airbill pouch is the greatest lint roller on earth, plus they are free!
You may not have ever heard of Eucalan. I hadn’t either until the woman who helped invent it was with me on the last show I did. It’s a very low-sudsing, eco-friendly, natural no-rinse laundry soap made for delicate fabrics, some leather, sheepskin, fur and vintage clothes. You read that right -- you don’t have to rinse it out!
I have had great luck using it to refresh vintage garments in particular. I got a mildew stain out of a vintage coat by soaking it in Eucalan overnight. It’s sort of mysterious and magical. Keeping it on hand has cut my dry cleaning bills in half. Plus it’s made in Canada!
I own a crapload of boots. I wear them to work almost every day. You would too after a 300 lb. rack of clothes cruised right over your foot, breaking your pinky toe. I always had the exact falling-down-boot problem the model here is demonstrating!
I’ve used these boot stays in a dozen pairs of boots. They work! You just peel the paper backing and stick them in the back of the boot. They last forever and don’t appear to need replacing.
Let me tell you a cold hard truth: Just because your bra straps are clear doesn’t mean they are now invisible. I can still see them. You aren’t fooling anyone. And clear bra straps are the tackiest thing God ever invented. Stop wearing them and get yourself a Strap Trap.
There are scissors, and then there are scissors. You haven’t lived until you own a death-defyingly sharp pair of small embroidery scissors. We constantly fight over this pair in the wardrobe room. They are exquisite.
You can easily snip the tiniest thread or poke out the eye of a Barbie doll with them. They are brilliant if you hack the tags out of every garment like I do. The tips are severely pointed, and allow you to cut everything with intense precision. You'll never accidentally put a hole in something because you were using a big, dull, clunky pair of scissors. In my opinion, there is no brand of scissors on earth worth purchasing besides Gingher.
I’ve waxed poetic here before about dyeing things in your closet random colors in order to salvage something with a stain or just to jazz up something dull. RIT dye was always my go to, until I found out about iDye. Say goodbye to that horrible RIT powder sprinkling itself everywhere, no matter how carefully you opened the packet.
With iDye, there is no packet opening. You just throw the dissolvable packet in the wash and file your nails while your clothes turn themselves into sparkly new creations.
So many clothes right now seem to not have been designed with any undergarments in mind. It’s as if clothing designers think we are a bunch of free-love braless hippies in the Upper Haight in 1967. (Maybe you are, which is cool, I don’t judge.) I am just personally looking to cover my nipples any time I step out of the house.
These silicone nipple covers come in 2 shades: Light and Dark. They are perfection for those who can go braless and just need a touch of modesty. But they also work just as well for women who practically have to sleep in their bras. Sometimes even the best bra can’t stop randy nipples that insist on perking up whenever they damn well please. Wear these nipple covers under your bra to stop aggressive nipples in their tracks. They are washable and re-useable up to 30 times with careful use.
Plus, as a bonus, your dude will freak the frack out when you take off your top and look like a cyborg/blow up doll:
In my first post on items to own that will solve almost all wardrobe disasters, a lot of you wrote in the comments that you had problems with armpit stains in shirts. We have this same issue on set, so we swear by “pit guards”, as we call them. They end up being a little pricey, but so are all those shirts you’re ruining.
I also think they have the added benefit of allowing you to stretch time between dry cleanings, as your stanky pits aren’t rubbing all up on the shirt. There are lesser-priced armpit guards out there, but the Garment Guard ones are the Rolls Royce of pit guards.
If you haven’t replaced every hanger in your closet with some of these velvet-y hangers, you are wasting precious closet space. I got my horrific closet sort of under control by freeing up valuable real estate with these space saving hangers.
The most brilliant ones have a small hook built into them so you can cascade garments on the rail to stuff even more crap in your closet. I am sadly a quantity over quality kind of babe.
The next time I post about what’s in my kit, it’s probably going to be about the really weird stuff we use to solve gross situations. You sort of don’t want to know what personal clothing/body related problems actors have and what we use to fix them. BUT I’M GOING TO TELL YOU ANYWAY!
Here’s the rest of the wardrobe for our fitting tomorrow; yes, that’s a polar bear costume and a pair of shorts made of fake bologna. Ain’t Hollywood grand?
I’m on Twitter: @IveyAlison