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9 Men’s Style Emergencies and How to Fix Them Fast

Choosing the right men’s suit for that big business meeting or the perfect tweed jacket for a casual date is an essential part of looking your best. However, no matter how much work you put into picking them out, there’s always a chance that something might go wrong. The zipper on your trousers might get stuck. You might accidentally drip sauce on your shirt. A button might become snagged and fall off your jacket.

When these style emergencies happen, you need to know exactly what steps to take to ensure you continue to look your best.

1. A Lost Button

Sure, your friends might have poked fun at you when your mum taught you to sew during your younger years, but now you’ll have the last laugh. While they rush off to the tailors to pay for a button that’s come off, you have the know-how to sew it back on. The most important part of this fix is choosing thread that matches the thread used on the other buttons on the tweed jacket, shirt or trousers.

Want to avoid losing your button in the first place? Applying clear nail varnish to the threads on the backside of the button can strengthen the threads and keep the button from coming off.

2. Scuffed Shoes

The fix for this problem depends on the type of shoes you’re wearing with your suits or men’s tweed jackets. For leather shoes, like Derbies or Oxfords, consider keeping a small bottle of moisturiser or lotion handy. Apply a little on the scuff mark to restore the shine. For patent shoes, use Vaseline instead.

Keep in mind that this is only a short¬-term fix. As soon as you’re able to get home and polish out the mark properly, do so.

3. Stuck Zipper

Vaseline also works well in this situation. If you find that your zipper’s stuck, rub a little bit of Vaseline on the zipper. If Vaseline isn’t available, consider using olive oil, graphite pencil or a bar of soap instead.

4. Sweat Stains

We’ve all had those days that simply make us sweat. Maybe the boss asked you to lead a new group on a project- by yourself. Or perhaps you ran into your in-laws on the way to lunch. Whatever the reason, the resulting yellow, odorous stains on the underarm region of your shirt can be damaging and can even permanent if you don’t act quickly.

Always check your shirt’s garment label first. If they are made of delicate materials or are dry-clean only, take them to a professional. If not, apply a bit of vinegar to the area, then soak the shirt in a bowl of cool water. Wash as normal.

5. Deodorant Marks

Deodorant marks aren’t fun to look at either, and chances are, you won’t notice them until you’re out of the house. If you have access to one, you can use a dryer sheet to help rub away the mark. Women’s tights work as well, but you might not feel brave enough to ask the women in your office if they have an extra pair at hand.

If you’re in a bind, consider using a baby wipe or a damp towel to gently brush away the marks. Remember not to scrub the area; this can damage the fibres.

6. Static Cling

We’ve all been there. You put on your trousers, only to find that they cling to your legs and shock you every time you attempt to move them away. The best way to prevent this from happening with your washable clothing is to use dryer sheets. However, if the problem still persists because of humidity, you can get rid of the static in other ways. The first is by wetting your hands down and gently rubbing them over your clothes. Be careful not to get your hands too wet. You don’t want to soak your suit trousers. A second way of getting rid of the static is by touching a piece of grounded metal, such as that lamppost by your office.

7. A Bit of a Spill

Yes, you’re usually very careful about keeping food and drink off your men’s shirts and suits. However, it’s often a numbers game. Eventually you’re going to have an accident. Your best choice is to make sure you’re ready for it.

The most important thing to remember is to work as fast as you can. After the stain dries, it becomes more ingrained with the fabric, making it hard to get out. This also means you need to avoid drying the clothing until the stain is completely gone. It’s also important to know whether your garment is washable. If it isn’t, take it to a professional for stain removal.

For most food and drink stains, the best option is to blot or scrape off the excess, flush with cool water from the back of the stain and apply a stain remover before washing. For particularly bad stains, you may need to soak the item.

8. Unwanted Fur

You love your pets, but you don’t love the hair they leave behind. It always seems like their hair is on your suits, even when you keep your suits far away from them. The best option here is to always keep lint rollers handy. Buy a value pack and place one by the door, one in your car and one in the desk drawer at your office. Be ready at any time. If you happen to run out, using sticky tape can help get rid of the fur as well.

It's also a good idea with washable clothing to use a dryer sheet in the dryer.

9. Rip in my Shirt

No matter how it happens, a tear in your shirt or pants can be difficult to fix. The first thing you have to determine is where the tear is. If it’s on a seam, and the clothing item is large enough, you may be able to have it taken in and fixed. If it’s in the fabric or a particularly large tear, you’ll want to take it to a professional. Even then, there’s no guarantee that it can be fixed.

Keeping your suits looking fabulous requires a lot of care and the right tips. Use these to tackle the most common style emergencies.

By Brook Taverner 15 March 2017