How to Deal with an Outfit Catastrophe

I’m not one of those women you’d refer to as graceful. You might say goofy or clumsy, or perhaps loud. You wouldn’t be wrong in saying over-caffeinated or jumpy. I’ll happily accept silly any day, but graceful I could not.

So I can assure you that I’m as much an expert as any in the following fields.


Outfit seem familiar? We were shooting a look for the blog when this spectacular disaster was caught on film… and by my neighbors, who were also outside. Ouch. The photo was too funny not to post, and it reminded me it’s high time I share a few of my favorite tricks for surviving the most common outfit issues.

Let me preface by recommending you keep the following items in your purse, desk, or car: a scarf, a piece of jewelry, several safety pins, a hair band, and a bold lipstick. 

Your hem is wrong.

The struggle with height is real. I’m too short for a lot of pants, so I have used everything from staples to paperclips to stud earrings to hold up a pant in an emergency. There’s also tape, safety pins, and, ya know, thread. (But that one is so much more work…) Keep one of those things accessible.

You spy a stain.

Back when I was a staff reporter, I wrote a piece on stain removal. The key points are to dab, absorb, and (when necessary) scrape off the stain. Never wipe or rub. My favorite stain solution is a scarf, mainly because it requires less work, and most of my stains are boob-level and coffee-colored. Even if it can’t hide a stain, layers may distract from the damage.

You’re under-dressed/overdressed.

As a teen I read an article on avoiding this issue at holiday parties, and while I can’t remember which magazine it was in, a few of the tips stayed with me… and years of writing for a very fancy newspaper gave me enough situations to become a master at misunderstanding the dress code. Depending on which situation you’re in, try the following: pull your hair up or let it down, leave on your coat, apply more lipstick, remove your jewelry, tuck in or untuck a garment, cuff your sleeves, tie up your skirt, or add a scarf. Top that off with a killer attitude, as if everyone else looks ridiculous.

You’re wearing the same outfit as someone else.

Remember my cat dress? A coworker at the newspaper had it, too, and sometimes we wore it on the same day. I thought it was hilarious. She did not. The most stylish response to this and all fashion disasters is to laugh. If you make it a big deal then suddenly it’s a big deal. Don’t do that.

You’re covered in wrinkles.

I’m a huge fan of the handheld steam cleaner, but when that’s not an option there’s always heat and/or water. I’ve had luck using a hair dryer (or bathroom hand dryer) to smooth out wrinkles, but it also once melted my skirt while I was wearing it. Be aware of your fabrics. If you want to be safer, try getting your hands a little wet and gently rubbing them on the wrinkled area. Then smooth the piece out with the sides of your hands, even stretching the edges a bit if you’re desperate. If all else fails, take it off, wad it up, and let the whole thing wrinkle for a more intentional grunge look.

Your outfit is boring.

Getting to work and h-a-t-i-n-g your outfit sucks. For pants or skirts, try a new length; cuff the ankles or waistband to see if a shorter, tighter look can help. If there’s a shirt involved, try changing the tuck: untucked, tied, fully tucked, half-tucked in the front, or half-tucked on the side. And never forget the impact of rolling your sleeves — all the way to your pits if you can — and/or lipstick, jewelry, and a change in hair-do. Need more on this? Man Repeller dedicated a whole post to the topic.

Your skirt keeps blowing up.

Ah, my personal favorite. (Kidding. It’s terrible.) You can weight your skirt hem if you want. You can wear a covering slip-short underneath. You can keep one arm free at all times to grab your hem. But alas, if you wear midi circle skirts in the wind, this one is probably bound to happen. My favorite tip? After you get your skirt issue under control, turn to whoever was behind you and say “You’re welcome,” before exiting the area. Walk away and don’t look back.

Good luck out there, fashion-lovers. 

Free People Coming to St. Louis

Hey. Hey you guys. Hush up and listen. Guys. Shut uppp and lisstteenn. Are you listening? St. Louis is getting its first Free People location. This week.

Free People July Catalog 6

Free People Clara Chambray One Piece $128

Free People Season Of Chambray Shift Dress $128

Free People July Catalog 12

Free People July Catalog 3

All images courtesy of Free People.

How about those fabrics? Free People is so dreamy. The company describes its first St. Louis location as “designed in the brand’s ‘Black Smith’s Cottage’ concept, highlighting the more rugged side of the Free People girl, making the space feel like her personal workshop by featuring a mix of rugged elements and feminine details throughout.” This boutique will be located at the Saint Louis Galleria, right outside the city in Brentwood, Missouri. The location will not only carry the attire and accessories you’ve grown to expect, but camis, bras, and more in the ‘Intimately Free People’ shop.

The store is officially opening this Friday, July 24, with a celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. A special tote bag giveaway will be available for the first 50 customers at the event. If you stop by, be sure to come say hi! I’ll be there, and I’m already planning my shopping list.

Polka Dots and vitaminwater

Remember when I showed you ‘a day in the life‘ earlier this month, featuring vitaminwater? This is what we headed downtown to shoot: an outfit representation of me hating summer and craving the dark colors and heavy fabrics of fall. It was… the opposite of fall outside. It was so terribly hot. This delicious cold beverage was gone before we got back to the car. (XXX vitaminwater is my fav.) - Polka Dot Dress with leather vest and leopard booties featuring vitaminwater outfit post (2) - Polka Dot Dress with leather vest and leopard booties featuring vitaminwater outfit post (3) - Polka Dot Dress with leather vest and leopard booties featuring vitaminwater outfit post (6) - Polka Dot Dress with leather vest and leopard booties featuring vitaminwater outfit post (5) - Polka Dot Dress with leather vest and leopard booties featuring vitaminwater outfit post (4) - Polka Dot Dress with leather vest and leopard booties featuring vitaminwater outfit post (7)

Currently wearing… Dress, old | Vest, Off Fifth [SEEN HERE] | Booties, c/o Naturalizer [SEEN HERE] | Sunglasses, c/o Gordman’s [SIMILAR]

The Arch grounds are currently under construction, but you can still score a good view if you know where to go. We, however, did not know where to go, so we followed the crowds and some spray-painted notes on the sidewalk. It is so insanely big once you get close to it; we had to backtrack to get the perfect view.  Worth it!

I bought this dress a few years before I moved to St. Louis — when I was still living across the river in Collinsville — at, of all places, Delia’s. It was almost thrown in the garage sale pile, but I decided to give it one last shot. A junior’s dress on a grown-woman body means it’s a bit bustier than I remembered. This leather vest (not a smart pick for summer, but fashion > function) helped to adjust the top, and the leopard booties added an extra bit of edge to what would have been a too-romantic-for-me frock.

Speaking of fashion, two of the highlighted #ProjectHustle projects are fashion-related. The others include art, tech, music, and film. Don’t forget to stop by to enter codes on specially-marked vitaminwater caps to support emerging entrepreneurs and enter to win prizes. Who doesn’t love a win-win?

Remember: This post was sponsored by vitaminwater. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Tech That’s ACTUALLY Wearable

Hey guess what! I started writing at Mode. My first feature is all about wearable technology, which I am totally obsessed with right now.

Check out So You’re Too Fashion-Forward for Wearable Tech, Huh?

by Julia Christensen at Mode

Maybe it’s because I have a new, beautiful phone… with a really pretty case.


Thanks for being so functional and fabulous, technology. I’d still love ya if you didn’t match my nails, but it’s an easier addiction this way.

Wedding Wednesday | Seven 3/4-Sleeve Bridal Gowns You’ll Love

Who says wedding dresses have to be strapless? Show off your shape and avoid hiking up your gown with one of these beautiful three-quarter sleeve dresses.


3/4 Sleeve Lace Trumpet Gown Style / Oleg Cassini / $1,350.00


Beaded Lace A-Line Dress with 3/4 Sleeve / Oleg Cassini / $1,3500.00 – $1,450.00


Tulle Ball Gown with Illusion Bodice Style / David’s Bridal / $699.00 – on sale for $649.00


3/4 Sleeve Illusion Tulle Sheath with Beaded Lace Style / Oleg Cassini / $1,250.00


Chantilly Lace Trumpet Gown with Illusion Sleeves / Melissa Sweet / $1,150.00


3/4 Sleeve Sheath with Beaded Lace Style / Oleg Cassini / $1,350.00


Short Lace Dress with ¾ Sleeves / DB Studio / $199.95

I think my favorite might be the second one… or perhaps the first? Too many good options. All dresses [and therefore images] are from David’s Bridal. Tell me about your favorite in the comments!

PS: I pick up my dress from the tailor this weekend… Eek!

 Love weddings? Me too. Find more wedding content here!