You Ain’t Such a Thing if You Got Static Cling

by Gwendolyn Anderson

“She selects wool and flax…” Proverbs 31:12a 


Recently, I attended a wedding and I had this beautiful dress, sparkling shoes, an updo to die for and the icing on the cake? Static cling! Argh! Static is something no warm body is immune to and this time of the year, it’s epidemic. 


The first step in preventing static cling is to choose your fabrics wisely. Cotton is king when it comes to the cling. I can’t recall a time cotton has ever silhouetted my legs (without my express permission). Alternately, the worst offender is silk. We love our silks, gals, and though they are less maintenance in the summer, even then they can be problematic in terms of static. Many varieties of polyester also give the cling, but it’s sometimes hard to know which are going to do it. If you’re buying vintage poly from the 50s or 60s, it’s probably so thick you don’t have to worry about it. It seems the thinner ones that try to emulate silk, take on silk’s annoying clingy property too. All I can suggest here is trying on a garment before you buy. Rub it  back and forth against your skin in the dressing room to try to generate some static and see how it responds. 


If you have fallen in love with a clingy sweater or skirt and, full-knowing its “issues,” you still purchase it – and for those clingy favorites already in your wardrobe – here are a few ways to rid yourself of static.


Use a static-nuking dryer sheet when you launder your clothes. El Cheapo dryer sheets might make your clothes smell good, but they are not effective against static. One of the best for static control is Bounce.


Static spray. “Duh!” you say. Well, do you own some? Do you have a travel size that fits in your purse or car glove box? It’s one thing to know about it, it’s something else to have it handy when you need it, right? You can spray it on in the morning, but by noon you’ll be silhouetted again. So take it with you for all day defense against static.


If you can’t sneak away to a Wal-Mart or 7-11 to buy a can of static spray when you’re in a pinch, how about some lotion? Do you have hand lotion on you? Slather up your hands and coat the skin to which the fabric is clinging. Don’t rub the lotion in all the way. The idea is to leave some moisture to keep the static from returning too quickly. This will work for maybe half an hour. 

As a totally last resort, there’s the most ubiquitous of substances: water. Go to the restroom, wet your hands and then rub those wet hands against your legs or back or wherever the cling is. This won’t last long on an electric winter day, but it will get you through entering a room with all eyes on you, or from the building to your car. 


Now that you’re in your car, drive to the nearest store and pick up a can of static spray – it’s a must-have. Don’t leave home without it this winter. 

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