A survival guide for the biggest fashion emergencies

16 Surprising Fixes for Fashion Emergencies
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A survival guide for the biggest fashion emergencies
Your guide to fixing fashion emergencies.

If you're battling a stuck zipper, the graphite in a pencil could be a quick fix. Rub the tip of the pencil against the exposed teeth of the zipper to provide a more even surface, and zip away. A bar of soap will also do the trick.

If you somehow manage to get a dab of oil on an outfit while enjoying your morning toast, your everyday dish soap can get rid of the oily residue. Apply soap directly to the stain, and let it set. After several minutes, rinse the soap away and enjoy your stain-free outfit.

If you just know your favorite pair of strappy sandals is bound to give you blisters, try applying deodorant--to your feet. Apply a gel formula to areas where shoe straps dig in to prevent friction and create an extra layer of protection for your feet.

The next time you despair over that gorgeous pair of shoes that are just a touch too small, turn to your hairdryer for help. Though it may seem counterintuitive to turn the dryer on your feet, the heated air can help expand shoes and give your toes some freedom. Slip on your favorite nubby socks, put on your shoes, and set your hair dryer to medium heat for several minutes. The shoes will expand in the increased temperature, and will contract to a more roomy size thanks to the socks.


Deodorant stains can make an otherwise chic outfit look unkempt. If you’re bolting out the door with telltale white circle on your dry clean-only clothing, add rubbing alcohol to take away the stain. After applying alcohol to the spot, cover with a paper towel dampened with a mix of alcohol and water, and wait for the stain to lift away.

Baby wipes may be one of the best beauty panaceas on the market, but they can also save an outfit in a fashion emergency. If some of your makeup accidentally transfers onto a pristine ensemble, gently dab at the spot using a baby wipe to remove all traces of cosmetics.

Everyone has that one, glamorous piece in their closet that’s absolutely perfect--except for its magnetic pull to wrinkles. When your clothing is a crumpled mess and the iron is nowhere to be found, try a hair straightener. Before “straightening” your clothing, wipe off the plates of your iron, lest your clothing get a dose of whatever products you put in your hair.

You may not realize it, but the solution to a snapped heel is as simple as super glue and a nail file. File off any excess glue from the heel if need be, use super glue to reattach the heel to the sole of your shoe, and you’ll be walking tall again in no time.

If a run in your stockings is keeping you from running out the door, use clear nail polish to seal the tear. You’ll get an extra use or two out of the pair before having to part with them.
A scuff on your favorite leather boots need not be the end of the world. Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to the scuff mark and buff with a soft cloth to restore your scuffed pair to its former, lustrous glory.
If you’ve picked out the perfect pair of statement earrings to complement your ensemble, but somehow the earring backs have gotten lost in the shuffle, the humble eraser can be your salvation. Just remove the eraser head from the top of your pencil and use as a temporary earring back. The rubbery texture will hold the errant earring in place so you can go about your day.

For those of us who make a habit of chewing gum on the regular, there is always the chance that an errant piece may end up stuck somewhere on a favorite outfit or your purse. If the worst happens, use ice cubes to freeze the gum, then scrape away the hardened pieces.

Double stick tape isn’t just for celebrities wearing complicated gowns on the red carpet; it also works as a quick fix for a torn blouse. Applied to the inside of a broken blouse, the tape will disguise a rip in a pinch.

If you’re not headed to a night out on the town, visible bra straps can read as sloppy and inappropriate. Try wrangling wayward straps using a safety pin. Simply pull the two straps together in the back to make a racerback shape, and pin them together.

Migrating hemlines are an especially tricky situation, especially when a favorite dress is threatening to get a bit too risqué. Borrow a trick from Kate Middleton, and sew curtain weights into your dress to secure a hemline that tends to ride up.
When a fallen hemline has converted your circle skirt into a high-low style, reach for some duct tape. When applied to the back of a skirt, duct tape is durable enough to hold up your damaged hemline.

Nothing kills your look more than unsightly wrinkles or a conspicuous stain. We get it -- the most inconvenient clothing mishaps tend to happen when it's too late to rethink an outfit. Luckily, your kitchen, cleaning closet, and even your home office may have the tools you need to fix an ailing ensemble and still make it to that morning meeting on time.

Click through the gallery above to see all the best tricks for a fashion emergency.
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