Your favorite old clothes - when to fix and when to toss

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Don't toss your favorite clothing or shoes without giving them another chance. Consumer Reports ShopSmart says fabrics and leather can be easily renewed, saving you big bucks.

Everyone has things in the closet that are too nice to toss, but too worn to wear. Consumer Reports' tips will help breathe new life into your old clothing.

For less than $15, a fabric de-fuzzer can remove ugly pills and make your sweaters smooth again.

If you have nasty shoulder puckers from putting your sweaters on hangers, simply steam them away with a blast from your iron. Pat it in place and let the fibers rest.

Tiny moth holes can be repaired by a dry cleaner. If it's bigger than a dime, toss it.

A collar that is showing wear or stains can simply be taken off and flipped over by a tailor.

To keep your jeans from shrinking, a Consumer Reports textile expert says, "Take them out of the washer, and while they're still damp, step on the hems, and give the waistband a tug. Then air-dry them."

If you're tired of buttons breaking on your good shirts, button the shirt up and turn it inside out before washing. This will protect the buttons.

If your favorite boots are truly worn, a visit to the cobbler can add years to their life.

"I've seen shoes come in here that are 25 years old. With a little bit of maintenance and a little bit of small repairs, you can get your stuff to last a lot longer for years to come," said Cobbler's Corner Shoe repair Ralph Nuzzi.

Some useful products to keep on hand:

  • Lip balm to loosen stuck zippers

  • Crochet hook to easily fix clothing snags

  • Spend $6 for a brush and neutral-colored polish that will brighten leather shoes

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