Summer Clothing Hacks: How To Avoid Nip Slips & Blisters

I’ve been there. Done that. Had the bleeding feet.

Each season arrives bundled up with it’s very own set of clothing conundrums. In winter we have to contend with bobbly knitwear, handwashing galore and breaking in black ankle boots for the hundredth time. Whereas the summer has it’s very own set of issues that we must find solutions for because we’re hot and bothered and can we all just agree to walk around in our pants please because it’s TOO HOT? Please and thank you.

I’ve had my very own set that arrived last month in a flurry of clamminess and I’ve spent the past four weeks testing out ideas and hacks that help to rectify the situation; from keeping my nipples tucked away as my camisole love grows stronger and finally breaking in those wretched YSL sandals that tore my feet to pieces in a way that a horror movie would have been proud of. I’ve taken one for the team and here are my findings to help you make the most of your summer capsule wardrobe, without having to worry about having a nip slip on a packed tube carriage. Definitely not speaking from experience with that one…

HOW TO BREAK IN SANDALS. I asked in my summer capsule wardrobe haul for recommendations on how to break in a pair of sandals that cost me a small fortune, but were sadly the most uncomfortable things I’ve ever put on my feet and you guys came back with an absolute barrage of tips. Honestly there were too many test. I’d need to buy more terrible shoes to test them all! Instead I settled for a handful and actually the combination of them all worked a treat. The first thing I did was to put on a really thick pair of socks and wear the sandals around the house like slippers, occasionally blasting them with a hairdryer for a few minutes in an attempt to soften the leather. Then I knocked a candle out of it’s jar and rubbed it on the inside of my sandal against the leather to coat it in a protective layer almost. Finally I cut and fashioned a blister sticker into the exact shape of the area that was causing the rubbing on my sandal and again stuck it onto the inside. This three-fold approach has seriously saved my feet and although it’s a faff, it’s worth it for a blister-free life.

TREATING BLISTERS. If you’ve gone too far and your feet have seen better days then step away from the offending sandals immediately. In fact step away from any and all sandals immediately. I’ve been in foot rehab for the past few weeks and it’s meant that I’ve only worn trainers or pre-worn-in loafers for the duration as to avoid upsetting any current blisters further. If you manage to catch it before the rubbing turns into a full-blown volcano then give your foot a swipe of the Compeed Anti-Blister Stick. This really doesn’t work once you actually have a blister, you have to catch it at the first sight of rubbing or even pre-empt it, but if you do it works like a dream. In terms of treating blisters once I have them, I try to leave them alone as best I can and treat them overnight with the Lanolips 101 Ointment to speed up the healing process.

FREE THE NIPPLE! Boobs in the summer pose a set of tricky questions. Do you go bra-free completely? Do you want to go down the nipple cover route? Is the idea of not wearing a bra just not going to happen for you? As our clothing straps get skimpier, we may wish the same for our bra straps too. If going bra-free is an option I say go for it. You only live one and I’m pretty sure that your death bed regret isn’t going to be that you wish you’d worn a bra more. If it’s not an option that you’re into, then put some time, research and money into finding comfortable and practical options that are summer-friendly; strapless options, bras with thinner straps than usual, or straps that are prettier than your nude over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder, so you don’t mind so much if they show. Quick tip; if you find yourself needing a racerback bra (seriously who has those!?), use a paperclip to pull your straps together at the back and TA-DAH you haven’t even had to spend a penny.

BYE BYE STAINS. You’d think the thinner fabrics that we gravitate towards during summer would be easier to remove stains from, but their über absorbent qualities mean that they soak ’em up like tissue paper. Foundation? Suncream? Sweat? It’s a stain remover’s marketing team dream. But I’ve had some hacks passed down through the generations that mean that no purchase is necessary to rid your clothing of these pesky marks. Baby powder left on any oil-based stains overnight before throwing the item in the wash should help to soak it out – think SPFs, body oils, that kind of thing. The whole ‘white wine removes red wine’ old wive’s tale totally works for me. Shaving foam on any shirt or t-shirt collars  works wonders at ridding them of any makeup stains, and popping a little lemon juice on any yellowing armpit stains pre-wash should help to give them the heave ho.

TIT TAPE IS A GREAT INVESTMENT. Recently I treated myself to a roll of tit tape. I know, I really know how to live. It’s a purchase that I should have made a long time ago given hatred of bras, but it’s not just boob concealing that it comes in handy for. Of course the obvious use of the extra strength double-sided sticky tape is to pin down gaping necklines or straps that have a propensity to slip. But they can be used for various different items of clothing that like to move around a little too much – ankle straps on shoes that don’t stay up, over the knee boots that slip down Beyoncé at Coachella Style, armpit holes that give a solid view of your sideboob. I don’t quite know how I managed without a roll before.

WHY YOU NEED A STEAMER. During the colder months we bundle up in thick fabrics that you can 100% get away with not ironing. My Mum would of course still insist of ironing them to within an inch of their lives, but me? Yeah I will dodge the act of ironing at all costs. Which actually becomes a little troublesome in the summer months as the heavy knits are ditched in favour of floaty fabrics, silks and satins, that if not ironed look like you’ve just uncurled them from a crumpled ball in your bag. Enter – the steamer. Here’s the one I’ve got. Now they’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they are quick and effective enough to avoid the whole ‘bag ball’ look. Keep it in your wardrobe and easy to reach so it’s raring to go whenever you come across creases in the morning.

Photos by Emma Croman

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