07/31/2013 12:06 EDT | Updated 09/30/2013 05:12 EDT

Sticky Situation: Your Wardrobe Malfunctions Solutions

Sticky Situation:

Pop! Oooh noooo...What?

Nobody can see anything. You haven't missed a beat. You recognize all too well that sinking feeling. It is not a regular sensation but a very familiar one...your button popped. You came undone. Your pants, your shirt, your blouse or your bra feel a little looser, freer. Not a good thing.

You are in the middle of a sales pitch to a client. On the outside, you try your best to keep calm. You carry on. On the inside, your mind is going one hundred miles an hour doing a complete inventory of your pockets, your bag, your desk -if you are at the office, maybe even your car and you may even have started to scout the conference room for a forgotten sewing kit.

Why am I introducing this scenario? To get you prepared. As a contemporary employee, expect the worst, and be prepared for the best.

Wardrobe malfunctions don't just happen to Hollywood stars. They can happen to any one of us, at any moment. Actually, they usually happen at the most inopportune time. No, not necessarily in front of the cameras, but probably in front of your boss or your client. Yup, believe me. I can personally attest to a couple of these fashion faux-pas. Yikes! How I wish I could permanently delete them.

In anticipation of your next 911 dress distress, review, actually you should probably memorize, the following solutions.


Bad hair day

Gentlemen a little dab will do you. Run, water mixed with a little bit of gel, or a dab of lotion, through your hair, and brush or comb. Don't forget the back of your head. Ladies, paper clips to the rescue. Use them to create an up do. Ta da!


Maybe you had a little too much for lunch...Undo your button, thread an elastic band through the buttonhole and loop it around the button. Ahhh, now that feels better.

Boss unexpectedly calls to take you out to lunch on Casual Friday

Keep an extra jacket or blazer and tie, on a hanger behind your door. Also, keep a shoe buffer at work. Rub a bit of lotion as a substitute.

Broken zipper

Zip up above the damage. Make several stiches above the missing tooth. You now have a new stop for the slider. Use a safety pin to replace a missing pull-tab.

FTKF (Fun To Know Fact) Ever wonder what YKK means?

YKK is a zipper, and other fasteners, manufacturer. It was founded in 1934, by Yoshida Kōgyō Kabushiki Kaisha, in Tokyo.

Broken shoelace

Tie the ends together and make sure the knot is under the eyelet. Or, coat the ends in glue and let them dry before putting it back on. Keep an extra pair of shoelaces.

Drippy nose and/or watery eyes

Inhale one sniff per nostril of a medicinal inhaler stick, to relieve congestion or hay fever symptoms. This is especially effective before a presentation. In my experience, I am clear and dry for up to two hours. This Sticky Situation Solution is a courtesy of the Germ Guy. Thanks, Jason.

Deodorant stains

Gently rub baby wipes on the stain. Never use a wet paper towel! It will worsen your stain and will leave fluff on your garment. Rubbing fabric against fabric also works.

Exposed metal heel

Remove the pink eraser from the end of your classic HB pencil. If necessary, cut it to the appropriate height. Glue it to the end of your exposed metal heel. You are now good to go, safely.

Forgotten collar stays

Steady your collar tips back in shape by inserting paper clips in lieu of sticks.

Falling button

Never leave home without a pre-threaded needle or a safety pin. They along with double-sided tape will re-attach your button.

Fuzzy sweater, jacket, blazer or coat and lint

To catch the lint, use tape, placed inside out on the back of a brush or even your stapler.

Hem that is coming undone

Use grooming tape, double-sided tape, a pre-threaded needle or even a stapler.

Popped bra strap

Attach it with a safety pin, a paper clip (cool tip, isn't it?) or sew it with a pre-threaded needle.

Peek-a-boo cleavage

Use double-sided tape to secure opening shirts or blouses.

Run in hose

An oldie but goodie, paint clear nail polish on the run. It will stop it from stretching.

Scuffed up shoes or bag

Fill it in with the same colour permanent marker. Use any oil to buff it back to shine.

Sore feet

Wear insoles and shoe pads. Keep a pair of flats at work to change when needed.


A portable stick stain remover is an essential. Wet towelettes are preferable on white fabrics. Hairspray also works, especially on leather by dabbing it with white tissue paper.

Sweaty armpits or feet

Add a tiny bit of baby powder in the toes of your shoes and in the armpits of your shirt.

Torn clothing

Place tape (duct tape works best) on the inside of the tear.

Wet socks

Wet feet can be debilitating. Keep an extra pair of socks.

Wrinkled clothes

Spray your item with wrinkle remover. At home, tumble your garment in a medium setting dryer with a damp facecloth and a sheet of softener, for 10 minutes. You can also hang your garment in the bathroom while you shower.

Wrinkled scarves

Install a towel rack behind your closet or bedroom door. Place your scarves over the rod. They will never have fold lines.

Zipper that is stuck

Color it with your pencil. The lead will lubricate it so may zip back up. Voilà!

Assemble your Office Wear Survival Kit into an empty shoebox, a crafty pouch or a plastic freezer bag. Print and place this cheat sheet in it. Ahh, being "Prepared" like a scout, is a good thing.

This blog is an excerpt from my upcoming book Etiquette: Confidence & Credibility - You @ your best, coming to you in November 2013. Be among the first to find out about its launch by registering for my newsletter.

Have a Sticky Situation? Write to me and I will reply promptly. Want more Solutions to Sticky Situations? Like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter. Planning a conference? I happily travel to spread the word about etiquette. At your service.

Celebrity Wardrobe Malfunctions (NSFW)