Photo: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Nothing says instant dreckitude like wearing a sassy new skirt that bunches up around your thighs as soon as you take a few steps. Hello, static cling. Using a commercial fabric softener in the wash is one way to get your runway attitude back, but it might expose you to chemicals you could be sensitive to. Yes, you could rub dryer sheets on your clothes to get rid of the static -- but there's that pesky chemical issue again, and smelling like a freshly dried towel doesn't exactly say "I'm fierce." Make sure you feel -- and smell -- as good as you look by battling static cling the natural way.
Static develops because dry air makes it harder for protons and electrons to move freely back and forth between objects. They end up cliquing together like snarky high-schoolers, building up polarized positive and negative charges that attract your skirt to your thighs. Moisture and humidity set the protons and electrons free, which in turn frees your clothes of static. You can't humidify the entire city or your favorite club, but you can nip static cling in the bud by using a humidifier at home and not over-drying your clothes. Set the dryer to the lowest heat and time setting necessary to get your clothes dry, and check them every few minutes toward the end of the cycle. Bonus: Get those clothes out of the dryer and give them a good shake as soon as they're dry for even less static and no wrinkles.
Give your wardrobe a little extra attitude in every wash. A quarter-cup of white vinegar instead of fabric softener does more than fluff your towels. It also prevents static cling from developing in the first place. Don't worry about the smell; it dissipates quickly. But do look out for a hidden danger: Never, ever use vinegar and bleach products in the same wash. They can combine to create a toxic gas. Be smart and sassy -- not fumigated.
Static-proof yourself by running a metal coat hanger up and down the inside of your skirt or pants before you leave the house. If you notice static creeping in while you're out on the town, head straight for the ladies room. Dampen your hand or a paper towel and gently moisten the inside surface of the offending garment. Do it right and you'll kill the static cling without damping down your look. Remember, moisten -- not soak.
Still got static? Fight back harder by separating natural fibers like cotton from synthetic fibers like polyester next time you dry your clothes.
Got a girlfriend with static problems? Tuck a mini spray bottle of water in your purse or glovebox so you're ready for the next time she gets clingy. Spray a fine cloud of water in the air and have her walk through it a few times. It'll turn her walk of static shame into a runway strut.