Life Lessons

10 Common Fixes for Fashion Emergencies

Most of us will mercifully never experience the mortification of a highly public wardrobe malfunction, such as when Cardi B split her pants last month. But our relatively minor clothing mishaps can be awkward and cause us some embarrassment and anxiety. Luckily, there are some easy and accessible items you can use to deal with most common fashion emergencies.

Safety pin

The humble safety pin can save us many blushes in lots of situations. It’s a most excellent tool to use if a button has popped off your shirt at work and you don’t have a needle and thread to hand. You should be able to find bags of assorted sizes of safety pins at the supermarket or the pharmacy. Any fabric gap that needs to be closed can be sorted with a safety pin. It’s also a great fix for broken zippers and snapped bra straps.


Another way to deal with a popped button is by using a paperclip. This little tool is only suitable for buttons with holes and shirts that have something to hook onto, for example, some remaining thread or a buttonhole. By straightening out the paperclip, you can use it like thread to attach the button back in place, then bend or twist the ends of the clip to secure it in place.


You’ve split your trousers at work? A safety pin isn’t going to help you with this one. Turn instead to the reliable office stapler. Turn your trousers inside out, then staple the ripped fabric together. If you don’t fancy staples in your clothes, especially ‘down there’, use tape.


Sticky tape is useful to temporarily fix ripped fabric. Everyday sticky tape will do, but packing tape or duct tape would be better because they’re stronger. Turn the item of clothing inside out, pull the torn fabric together, and then use the sticky tape to cover the edges. You can also use tape to get rid of unsightly pet hair or lint by making it into a loop (sticky bit on the outside) and blotting at your clothing.

Double-sided tape

Double-sided sticky tape is excellent as a quick fix for a ripped hem. If the hem on your skirt has come undone, you can affix a piece of double-sided tape to the inside of the fallen hem and stick it back in place.


Have you ever broken a heel or split the sole of a boot? Obviously, if you have time and you want to rescue your shoes, it’s best to take your footwear to a shoe mender. But if you’re stuck at work and you have superglue to hand, you can fix your broken shoes by gluing the parts back together. This will probably ruin your shoes, but you won’t have to work the rest of the day barefoot (unless you want to).

Hand sanitiser

You might keep this handy little item in your bag or, if you eat at your desk, in your desk drawer. Not only will it keep your hands clean, but it can also fix scuffed leather. If your scuffed leather shoes look too scruffy for an important meeting, crack out the hand sanitiser. Rub the fluid onto the scuffed area, then use a paper towel to buff the scuff. It should reduce the appearance of scuff-age.

Clear nail varnish

This is an age-old remedy for laddered stockings or tights. It won’t fix the hole in the fabric, but it should stop it getting bigger. If you snag your stockings and need them to last the day, dab on some clear nail polish and that should hold back the damage.

Bicarbonate of soda

We’ve all accidentally doused ourselves in coffee at some point. Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) is a great general stain remover. Mix it with some water to make a paste, then rub it on the stain. Leave it for a while, then remove with wet paper towels. However, if your clothing is dark, it’s possible that the baking soda will lighten it a bit.

Bar of soap

This is for blood stains. Accidents happen. If you get blood on your clothes, the best thing to do is wash the stained fabric in cold water with soap immediately. If the blood stain has time to set, it will be almost impossible to get out. Obviously, if you need medical attention, don’t make your priority a sink of soapy water no matter how much you love that skirt.

Hopefully, these items should be easily accessible if you work in an office. But if you don’t work in an office or you don’t have access to the stationary cupboard, you might want to make sure you keep these fashion fixes handy.

Image courtesy of Roland Denes via Unsplash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.