It happens to all of us at one time or another—the most inappropriate fashion nightmare occurs at the most inopportune time, and suddenly we’re stuck in an awkward situation with no escape in sight. Sometimes we’re equipped with the necessary materials or endowed with an uncanny creativity to fix the problem, but most of the time we’re forced to suffer through the discomfort of an off-kilter appearance. Fear not! There is indeed a way to be prepared for the occasional ill-timed fashion flub, and it doesn’t take much time or energy to put together. We talked to student and upcoming Fashion Designer Jovana Mirabile at Parsons the New School of Design to find out some quick fixes to five of the most common fashion emergencies:
1. Broken Heels
You’re scurrying on your campus’s cobblestone streets rushing to some meeting, interview, concert, or party, your heel catches a crevice, and SNAP! This seemingly dreadful situation could be easily fixed with a simple addition to your purse: glue. Jovana recommends the E6000 brand, “It dries pretty quickly and holds almost anything.” She also suggests contact cement, since it is used frequently by shoemakers to create prototypes. A 1 oz. tube of both E6000 adhesive and contact cement can be found online for roughly $4 each. Both can also be found at most arts and crafts or hardware stores.
2. Makeup Stains
Ever change your shirt after you do your makeup or accidentally wipe your face with your white sleeves? We all have at some point, and it’s not always with the convenience of our closet nearby to change our stained attire. Baby wipes are Jovana’s go-to tool for removing makeup stains, “They have little or no grease on them and they pick the stain out of your clothing without leaving a mark”, she says. If the stain is extra tough, carry around a Tide-to-Go stain remover stick. It works quickly and effectively, and a .33 oz. stick can be found at most pharmacies for roughly $4.
3. Stocking Runs
Your legs can go from classy to trashy with even the most minor of runs in your stockings. Jovana recommends using clear nail polish to hold the threads in place so the run doesn’t snag further. In order to cover up the run itself, try coloring the skin that is exposed with a sharpie marker. Don’t worry--the mark will come off in the shower! If the snag is beyond repair and if you’re feeling extra confident about the goods underneath, just remove the stockings and bare those killer legs!
4. Falling Shoulder Straps
The dress fits, but the straps don’t. To prevent straps from continuously falling from the shoulders, try using double-sided tape (or fashion tape) to keep the straps in place. You can buy 36 strips online for $9 at www.hollywoodfashiontape.com. Jovana advises to check for “lingerie loops”. Lingerie loops are “tiny threaded loops with snaps in the inside shoulder seam. You simply snap your strap into the lingerie loop. That way, your straps or sleeves will stay put”. You could also carry around a few safety pins to secure straps.
5. Pilling Sweater or Cat/Dog Fur
Nothing comes in handier than a lint roller, which will take the pills or cat/dog hair right off. If you don’t have one with you, or if it’s not doing the job as desired, Jovana suggests using a fine tooth comb, being careful not to snag the garment in the process of gently brushing the pills off. Her personal favorite tool to use is a “Sweater Stone”, which you use to simply brush along the sweater where the pills are, removing them without snagging or tearing the sweater. It also works on a variety of different materials. The small 2.5’’ x 3.5’’ stone can be found online for $10 at www.amazon.com.
Despite all our efforts to look our best, we are at one point or another caught off guard. Don’t endure the embarrassment of a stained shirt, a broken heel, or loose straps; instead, carry around a few extra materials in your purse to attack the problem when it happens. Your makeshift “Emergency Toolkit” should include:
- E6000 Adhesive Glue or Contact Cement
- Tide-To-Go Stick or Baby wipes
- Clear Nail Polish
- Black Marker
- Fashion Tape
- Safety Pins
- Sweater Stone
- Small scissors (Think kindergarten art class)
- Needle and thread
If prepared well, you can avoid all humiliation and awkwardness. Your Emergency Toolkit won’t take up much room and can fit in a standard zip-lock bag. Trust us—nothing beats the satisfaction of knowing you’ve got yourself covered in a moment of desperate need. And, really, no fuss necessary!
Jovana Mirabile, fashion designer and student at Parsons The New School of Design
Sweater Stone picture: http://www.sweaterstone.com/thestone.htm