How to Fix 18 Common Wardrobe Malfunctions

By Jennifer Holder on 16 October 2014 0 comments

It happens to me all the time. I've got an important meeting and suddenly my hem falls out or a button falls off in the worst possible place. It's no Super Bowl 2004, but it's still embarrassing and frustrating. (See also: Make Your Clothing Fit Perfectly With These 10 No-Sew Fixes)

But fear not, because we've got some life-saving (or at least, blouse-saving) tips and tricks when you're in a last minute bind before an important meeting or a potential date.

Zippers

Few things are worse than having a zipper go wrong miles from home.

1. Paper Clip It

If you've pulled off a zipper pulling on your jacket, use a paper clip or key ring as a temporary fix. It might not look amazing, but it'll get the job done until you can get a more permanent solution.

2. Glue It

According to Shannon Makes Stuff, you can fix broken zipper teeth with hot glue and a little patience. These are untested waters for me, but if you have this problem, it's worth a shot!

3. Unstick It With Graphite

If you've ever gotten stuck in a jacket, you know how frustrating it can be. Find a graphite pencil and rub it on the teeth of the zipper. If this doesn't work, grab some lubricant — windex, bar soap, or lip balm. And most importantly: be patient and slow. The more frustrated you get, the more the zipper becomes a Chinese finger trap and you're stuck in there forever.

Stains

You need to act fast to keep a stain from holding fast if you want to save a favorite piece from losing its place in your wardrobe.

4. Carry a Stain Remover

Yes, it's obvious, but purchase Tide To Go or Shout Wipe & Go and keep them in your bag, desk drawer, or car. You never know when you might need them, and they're worth having just in case.

5. Sprinkle Baby Powder to Remove Oil

If you've ever had oily spots, baby powder is great for removal of oil, wine, or makeup stains. Sprinkle some on and take a white cloth to remove.

6. Use Baby Wipes on Deodorant Stains

If you have deodorant stains at random times and ALWAYS when you're running late, grab some baby wipes. They'll get the stains off and they won't come back after the spot dries.

Hems

Hems come undone from time to time, but you can fix them on the go quickly and easily.

7. Fix It With Double-Sided Tape

If you're in the office, ask around for some double-sided tape to quickly fix your pants. I've also used packing tape when I was out of options.

8. Try Stitch Witchery

Stitch Witchery has saved my day more than once. Once you put the tape around and fold up, grab an iron (or flat iron if you don't have an iron around), press the hem and you're good to go! Stitch Witchery is washable and dry cleanable.

9. Safety Pin It

You can also use a few safety pins to put your hem back together. These also work for pretty much every other problem.

10. Sew It Yourself — It's Easy!

Last option, sew it yourself.

Buttons

Maybe the best way to replace a button is to keep it from falling off in the first place.

11. Secure With Clear Nail Polish

To prevent buttons from falling off, use clear nail polish to help secure them. This will keep the thread from unraveling.

12. Sew It Back On

If you have a sewing kit handy (or someone in your office does), follow this guide to sew on a button.

13. Twist Tie It Back On

You can also use a twist tie to temporarily attach a button back on. Men's Health has a step-by-step guide that shows you how to quickly and effectively put the button back on.

Shoes

Don't let scuff marks on your shoes spoil a great outfit.

14. Polish With Improvisation

If your shoes are scuffed up, but you don't have any polish handy, you can always use bananas or vaseline to remove the scuffs. Use the inside of the banana peel, and then wipe with a paper towel.

15. Remove Odor With Rubbing Alcohol

If your shoes are stinking up the office, grab some rubbing alcohol wipes from the first aid kit and wipe down your feet and in the inside of your shoes. For a more permanent fix, use your washer and dryer, a machine deodorizer, and new insoles.

Static Cling

When the weather gets dry and windy, our clothes get close and clingy!

16. De-Ionize With a Wire Hanger

Static cling can be a nightmare, but luckily someone still makes wire hangers out there somewhere. Just use the wire hanger and rub it on the material causing the cling. If you've thrown away all your wire hangers like your mother always taught you, use hairspray or another metal object, such as a thimble.

17. Deploy Static Prevention Devices During the Wash

To prevent the cling from happening, ball up tinfoil in the washer (but not the dryer!), use fabric softener, or a dryer sheet. They can all reduce static cling.

18. Stick Your Skirt Down With Moisturizer

If static cling is causing your skirt to ride up, dab some moisturizer on your legs and it'll solve it right away.

What are your solutions to these — or other — common clothing problems?

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