8 smart and budget-friendly style hacks

Remedies for everyday annoyances by trying to dress well.

Thanks to Slick Collar for supporting Primer’s mission to make dressing affordable and effortless by participating in this post. Primer readers save 15% with SLICK PRIMER.


Most men’s style advice comes in a few varieties:

  • hopefully, either the expensive/out there clothes or the man himself
  • outfit ideas that you are left trying to recreate on your own
  • historical and cultural understanding of why you have to wear something

But there is one extremely overlooked part of the style that we just have to deal with.

The practical. To get all these different types and quality of clothes work together he our bodies in the way we live our lives it doesn’t more expensive than it already is, rarely gets a mention.

But there is a few things that make trying to dress better a little less frustrating.

Fashion tape for all kinds of things

Add that to the list of things women have known about forever while guys just trudge through life, annoyed by stupid clothing items. Fashion tape is like double-sided tape that are specially made to be used with fabric and skin. It is commonly used to hold low cut dresses in place – a DEFCON 1 level job that is either pass by or betray. So the stakes are high for these tacky little things, which means they should be more than up to the task for the type of stuff men face.

The uses are honestly endless. One of my favorites is using it to hold my no-show socks in place for those pesky pairs that ALWAYS seem to ride down and get stuck under your heel. You have a job no-show socks, come on!

By using a small piece of fashion tape on your heel, right where you want the top of the sock to stop, it keeps it in place all day – meaning no more scratching and no more blisters. And it’s cheap, too: Each piece works out to be about 15 cents, and for many uses you don’t even need a whole piece.

use tape to hold on no-show socks - style hack

Another thing I’ve used it for is to keep the narrow end of a tie on the back of the wide end so it doesn’t go astray on days when I’m moving around a lot or a crooked knot makes the ends not connected. .

Style hack showing fashion tape used to hold a button up shirt closed

If you find yourself going tieless often, fashion tape is also great for giving your collar a “2.5 button” setting. Because when going up to the 2nd button is too high and going down to the third gives your acquaintances a chest hair extravaganza, putting a small square of fashion tape halfway between the 3rd and 2nd buttons gives you the professional relaxed look you’re after.

But if you’re a guy who regularly goes for the Open Collar look in professional settings, then you should definitely check out:

An easy and effortless solution for hanging collars

before and after photo showing the use of smooth collar

Unlike other open collar solutions on the market, the Slick Collar does not require it to be permanently sewn into your shirt. Simply flip your collar up, slide it onto the back of your collar, flip your collar back down, and you’re good to go. Completely invisible and you can’t even feel it’s there. It usually flies across the room when I take my shirt off at the end of the day because I’m unaware it’s there.

It’s honestly impressive how well it works because of how affordable and straightforward it is.

Close-up of Slick Collar

What I appreciate about Adjustable smooth collar it is the ideal product of frustrated innovation. Started by a couple of professionals trying to solve a problem they were annoyed by, the small Canadian company created and released the Slick Collar, at a price that is on the mark for the daily behind-the-scenes task it performs.

hanging polo collar with and without smooth collar
That Slim collar works with all kinds of collars and can help with floppy collars on aging or cheaper polos

Each Slick Collar actually comes with two, a standard size one and one for slimmer profile collars and can be used with all types and sizes of collars. It’s the most budget-friendly open collar solution on the market, which also lets you reuse it with all your shirts. But don’t just take my word for it, the Slick Collar has thousands of 4+ star reviews on Amazon.

Primer readers can give it a try and save 15% with the code SLICKPRIMER.

Use the Savile Row Fold so your trousers don’t slip off the hanger

There are three types of guys: Those who have to hang up their dress pants twice every time because they always slips off, guys who buy special trouser hangers that lock them in place, or guys who use the Savile Row fold.

The Savile Row fold is named after London’s famous street of men’s tailors and creates a neat self-locking trouser fold that works much better than simply folding dress pants over the hanger.

how to hang trousers with the savile row pleat - fold one leg over the hanger from the outside in, then fold the opposite leg over the hanger

How to fold trousers with the Savile Row Fold

  • Hold the pants upside down and straighten the ends of the legs
  • Place the hanger between the pant legs
  • Fold one pant leg over the hanger, from the outside in, until it is most of the way down to the crotch
  • Fold the other trouser leg over the other from the outside in.

Give it a good shake and be amazed!

This is what pants look like in an emergency without sewing

Let me write a story that I’m sure you will relate to some variation of:

You’ve just discovered at the last minute that you’re going to something that requires trousers, maybe a funeral, a wedding, some work function for an otherwise casual job, but the only ones you have – or can buy on short notice – are far away. too long to get away with carrying. There is no time for a tailor.

The answer?

before and after shortening a trouser hem with permanent fabric tape

Permanent fabric fusion tape. Like the temporary fashion tape above, but on steroids, fabric tape is not meant to be removed. Available at your local craft store, using permanent fabric tape really is as simple as peel, stick, fold.

permanent fabric tape

However, you will want to be methodical about it to avoid taped wrinkles or one side being longer than the other.

use fabric tape to hem the pants

My recommendation would be to call around to local dry cleaners and tailors with your sob story to see if anyone can squeeze you in. Short of that, use the permanent fabric tape as a stopgap until you can get your pants permanent lowered in the right way.

Avoid yellow pit spots

Have you ever had to throw out a favorite shirt because of yellow pit stains that you think were caused by sweat? Well, it turns out, sweat is naturally odorless and colorless when it leaves your sweat glands. It’s not until it mixes with bacteria on your skin that the rotten party starts.

But that yellowing? Believe it or not, it comes from friendly fire.

When your sweat mixes with aluminum in your antiperspirant, it causes a reaction that stains fabrics. Stain removers and laundry boosters like OxyClean can help remove some, but the best defense is a strong offense.

close up of antiperspirant that says black+white anti white marks & yellow spots Grad

Look for an antiperspirant as this who feel safe for black and white clothes, which will not cause white, cake marks on darker shirts or yellow stains on lighter ones.

Read more about why your current deodorant probably won’t cut it.

Wrinkle trigger actually works

before and after using wrinkle releaser on a wrinkled t-shirt

Wrinkles are a frustratingly prominent reality in my relationship with clothes. It seems my lazy habits just don’t match the crinkly nature of cotton. I try to pull things out of the dryer right away, but even then I’ll still get that “slightly textured” wrinkled look. Or I’ll make way too much use of the “clean clothes chair” in my bedroom and crush what should be wrinkle-free clothes under a pile of recent additions. Or maybe while traveling and dealing with the inevitable wrinkles that come no matter how precisely you pack.

While I’m a big fan (and frequent user) of a garment steamer, for quick/easy jobs, touch-ups, or on the go, wrinkle-relieving products work surprisingly well. I remember the first time I saw one I thought “yeah right” but wouldn’t you know it, they have a noticeable effect and work better than just a water softener.

Simply spray and smooth over the wrinkles with your hands. It won’t completely remove stubborn creases (but can help in an emergency), but for the wrinkles and textures clothes develop just by *existing*, it’s surprisingly helpful.

close up of a downey wrinkle releaser bottle

Get one travel size bottle like this one from Target to give it a try, and you’ll also be able to take it in your fluid bag when you fly.

Make laundry day less stressful

a mesh laundry bag with socks in it

I wouldn’t hesitate to do laundry and let the hamper overflow if it was just load, wait, swap to the dryer and hang. For some reason, sorting socks from the dry laundry—pulling them out of a pile of clean clothes and trying to find a match—always seems to take more time and energy than it should.

Like duct tape, there is a common solution that many women use all the time.

Mesh laundry bags allow you to dump all your socks in one place, separate from the rest of your clothes, place them in the washer and dryer, and then very quickly sort in your sock drawer. They can also be used to wash delicate items such as sweaters or items that can get wrapped around the machine such as shoelaces or a bathrobe belt. Best of all a multi-pack is dirt cheap.

Re-dye your old denim to extend its life

before and after of a pair of faded jeans redone with RIT dye

When I find a pair of favorite jeans that fit perfectly, I will hate having to give them up and buy new ones just because they have faded and lost some of their shine.

Luckily, it’s super easy to give your go-to denim a new lease of life by re-dyeing it. Pick up a bottle of black RIT clothing dye at the grocery store for less than $10. Soak in the tub, wash, and go. Read Primer’s more thorough tutorial here. I’ve been doing it for years.

Do you have a handy style hack that makes dressing easier? Continue the list in the comments!

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