Some days you can do everything right—you got up and actually got out of bed to the first alarm, beat the traffic, and prepped for your morning meeting. Oh, and did we mention you’re wearing the perfect outfit? But somehow you did not foresee the giant crater in the sidewalk or the gum stuck to the train seat that has now found a new home on your silk skirt. In the absence of a fairy god mother and some pixie dust, we have the working women’s Houdini moves– to get you out of any Fashion Faux Pas (FFP) without ever having to leave the office.
FFP: When you scrape your shoe on the sidewalk.
Fast Fix: For black patent leather, apply some petroleum jelly with a cotton ball and rub in a circular motion to remove the scrape and then wipe clean with a damp cloth—follow up with a little Vaseline to restore the shoes original shine. For leather, lightly brush toothpaste onto the scuff with a toothbrush to remove the mark. If you completely scraped off the leather, use an appropriate color marker (black or brown are the easiest to disguise) to fill in the scratch. For suede, repeatedly brush an eraser in the one direction over the scuff to get rid of any dirt trapped in the fabric. This trick will also remove marks on vinyl!
FFP: When you break a heel.
Fast Fix: Crazy glue it. Or for black heels, try wrapping the broken area in electrical tape—this is not a permanent hold, but it will look seamless and more importantly, get you through the work day.
FFP: When you find a deodorant stain on your shirt.
Fast Fix: Rub a cotton sock back and forth over the stained area. Don’t have a sock handy? Vigorously rub the fabric against itself. You can use a dab of white vinegar to speed up the process.
FFP: When you’re a victim of the static cling.
Fast Fix: Use a dryer sheet to rub the inside of your skirt or dress where there is cling. If you don’t have a dryer sheet, rub a small amount of lotion together in your hands and then quickly run your hands between your clothes and your skin.
FFP: When your zipper is stuck.
Fast Fix: Rub the tip of a graphite pencil over the stubborn area to loosen the stick. If that does not work, try applying lip balm as a lubricant to both sides of the zipper.
FFP: When you bring your furry friend to the office—on your sweater.
Fast Fix: Grab a packing label or duct tape from the supply room and wrap it around your hand like a glove —dab and repeat until all of the pet hair has been removed!
FFP: When you have a run in your panty hose.
Fast Fix: Use some clear nail polish or even hair spray at the top of the run to stop it from spreading.
FFP: When you sit in gum.
Fast Fix: Fold a piece of duct tape around your hand and stick it to the gum, then carefully lift it off. If that isn’t doing the job, squirt the gum with hairspray to harden it. Wait five minutes and then scrape off with the tip of a coin.
FFP: When you have “hanger bumps” on your shoulders.
Fast Fix: Wet two fingers and rub out the entire area—the wet fibers will eventually flatten and mold to the shape of your shoulder. You can also use an ice cube for really stubborn bulges.
FFP: When you tear your blouse on a file cabinet corner.
The Fast Fix: Pull the threads and ripped fabric through to the inside of the shirt. Then apply tape to close the gap from the inside, making sure to cover all the edges and loose threads to prevent any unraveling and subsequently unwanted stares.
FFP: When you lose the back to your favorite pair of earrings in the “under desk abyss.”
The Fast Fix: Break off a small piece of an eraser and use it as a replacement back until you can buy a new one.
FFP: When you spill…
The Fast Fix: Soak the stained area in club soda or tonic water then blot repeatedly. For ink stains repeat the same process, but with dry erase board cleaner or hairspray.