The Best Fixes For Common Clothing Mishaps When You're Out

The Best Fixes for Common Clothing Mishaps When You're Out

When you're out, dressed well and meeting someone you want to impress, Murphy's Law is never too far away. Something with your wardrobe can go wrong, and you might not have a sewing kit or the right tools on you to fix it. Here's how to make the best of a bad situation.

Illustration by Kevin Necessary. Photos by Tony Hisgett, BlueSkyImage (Shutterstock)

Fix A Popped Shirt Button With A Twist Tie

The Best Fixes for Common Clothing Mishaps When You're Out

When your button goes flying, reach for a twist tie. Men's Health has a way to reattach your popped button so no one's the wiser:

Align the buttonholes with the existing thread holes on your garment. From the fabric's underside, poke one end of the wire through a thread hole, guide it through the corresponding buttonhole, and bring it back down through the diagonally opposite hole and the fabric.

Twist the wire ends once, leaving a single long tail. Pull tightly as you do this so it cinches up against the fabric. Draw the tail up through an unoccupied hole and then down through the diagonally opposite hole. Twist it closed once more.

Just like that, your button will be back in place and secure. The only problem with this method is that the tie can feel uncomfortable against your skin, so if it's available, put tape over the ends to stop it from scratching you.

Turn A Keyring Into An Emergency Pants Button

The Best Fixes for Common Clothing Mishaps When You're Out

You could use the twist tie to also fix a popped button on your pants, but if that isn't working out for you (say, if the button is missing), Instructables user dejapong has a neat idea. He turned his keyring into a makeshift button for his pants.

As the picture shows, you'll need to make a hole where the button was, thread your keyring through it, and then use the key as a button. Best to fold it under a belt loop to hide the tacky appearance.

In case your button is missing, you might want to check your trouser legs or inside pockets for a spare, which several pant-makers add. That, with a twist tie, is probably a better solution.

Remove Coffee And Wine Stains With Bicarb Soda

The Best Fixes for Common Clothing Mishaps When You're Out

Liquid stains like coffee or wine are eyesores, especially when you're wearing white. Your first act has to be dabbing it with paper towels to soak excess liquid. Art of Style stresses that you should dab it, not rub it. Rubbing spreads the stain.

Hopefully, this incident happened at a restaurant, so you can ask them for a little bicarb soda. That's the magic ingredient to remove those stains. You can also use white vinegar or lime juice. Head to the washroom and apply the bicarb and blot it with a wet napkin. Keep doing that till you get as much of the stain out as possible.

The best solution would be to change your shirt, but since that's not an option, you need to work on making the best of a bad situation. Know that this isn't a foolproof save for coffee stains, but it's the best you can do in a short notice without getting the shirt wet.

What do you do if it's not coffee or wine? No matter what stain it is, Stain Solutions will find the right way to fix it.

Fix Broken Heels With Chewing Gum

It's common, it's irritating, it looks bad; broken heels are a nightmare. If you can get your hands on glue easily, that's the best fix. When you can't, turn to chewing gum, says Glamcheck:

Here is a solution which may be tacky but can save you from possible embarrassment. Chew a gum or two, flatten it to approximately the size of your heel and spread it on between the two portions of your footwear. The gum will take some time to set, but could end up saving your day!

Most of those that offer this tip are quick to point out that this is a temporary fix and so you need to be careful when you're walking. Minimize your movements, look where you're walking (no uneven pathways, ladies), and get into a car even for short distances.

Fix Scuffs On Leather With Vaseline, Chapstick Or Bananas

The Best Fixes for Common Clothing Mishaps When You're Out

Leather shoes complete your classy look. Scuff marks ruin the whole effect. The good news is that they are easy to get rid of, if you have the right material.

Vaseline or chapstick are the two most recommended products to get rid of scuffs on leather shoes. Apply a small amount to the mark, and use a dry, clean cloth to buff the shoes, says Wacky Uses. Moisturizer works too, according to MummySG.

If you don't have any of those, One Good Thing By Jillee says it's time to go bananas. Rub the inside of a banana peel on the scuff mark to get rid of it. Then use a paper towel to buff it for that shiny look.

Spray Vodka To Freshen Up Smelly Clothes

If your clothes are stinking, spraying perfume or deodorant can mask the smell for a while, but it won't entirely remove it. As we've said before, the solution is vodka.

Ideally, you should be spraying vodka on your clothes, but if a spray bottle isn't handy, you can even sprinkle it. Then it's just a matter of letting it air until the stink is gone. The MythBusters says it's actually effective enough to reduce the smell of smoke from fabric.

Release Zippers With Pencils, Fix Them With Paper Clips

We've talked about how to fix every common zipper problem, but here's a quick refresher for two issues that come up too often.

If your zipper is stuck, WonderHowTo recommends loosening it with a graphite pencil, Vaseline or . Put the vaseline or graphite on the zipper's teeth, and don't rush it. Take it slow, it should work out.

If the zipper handle is broken, a keyring can save the day. Slide the open end through the same hook that the handle uses, zip up, and put the ring over your button to fasten it. If you don't have a keyring, you can use a paperclip too.

Remove Pet Hair With Tape

The Best Fixes for Common Clothing Mishaps When You're Out

Pet hair is hard to get rid of easily. A simple solution is to dampen your palm and rub it downwards across the parts of your clothes with hair. It clumps up and then you can remove it.

For a more thorough job, DailyWorth recommends wrapping tape on your hand:

Form wide tape, like packing tape or duct tape, into a loop big enough to fit your hand in it. Then blot the fabric to pick up hair or lint, turning the tape as you go. You'll likely need several tape loops, depending on the surface area.

WikiHow notes that you should probably carry more tape to your final destination, for last-minute touch-ups.

Avoid Embarrassment By Being Prepared

The Best Fixes for Common Clothing Mishaps When You're Out

While these tricks can help you in an emergency, it's better to be fully prepared. There are plenty of tools and DIY kits that are compact and portable.

For example, popped buttons and small rips can be quickly fixed if you have a sewing kit. Instructables user Sound Guy shows how to make a business card-sized micro sewing kit that will fit in your wallet.

There is one caveat: you can't really do much about big rips and tears, apart from covering them up with other clothing. How to hide the rip depends on its size, and we're confident you'll use your better senses to avoid embarrassment. If it can't be avoided, well, a sense of humour is your best cover.


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