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From Duct Tape to Sharpies, 7 DIY Tricks for Fashion Emergencies

Tore your hem or lost an earring back? No need to call MacGyver -- we've got quick and easy tips to save the day

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Story Highlights
DIY fixes can help rescue you from wardrobe malfunctions
A Sharpie, duct tape and a hair dryer are effective tools for fabric dilemmas like ripped tights, torn hems and wrinkled clothes
Use deodorant to prevent new shoes from slipping and causing blisters

Think there’s nothing a little duct tape can’t fix? Welcome to the world of fashion-themed resourcefulness -- MacGyver-style.

With a little inspiration from our favorite ’80s secret agent (who could short out a missile with a paper clip, plug a sulfuric acid leak with chocolate and create a rocket thruster using a rock and a flare gun, all in one episode, mind you), your style emergencies are about to be solved, stat!

So, arm yourself with a Sharpie, a pencil eraser and some duct tape. It’s time to laugh in the face of ripped tights and deodorant-stained LBDs. MacGyver would never stand for a wardrobe malfunction, so why should you?

A sharpie for holey tights

DIY dilemma: You’re running around from work to drinks, and notice a big ol’ hole in your black tights. It’s too cold to go bare-legged, and, besides, you haven’t picked up a razor since last Thursday.

Mission accomplished: Behold the might of the Sharpie. Not only is the pen our favorite labeling tool, but, in a pinch, it can disguise your hosiery hitch. Simply fill in the hole with marker and feel confident as you order a cosmo. Just be prepared to explain your weird black dotted legs later to your honey.

Duct tape for a ripped hem

DIY dilemma: Your new stilettos are fierce, but they also ripped out the hem of your new wide-leg trousers at work. And the big presentation for the boss is in, like, 15 minutes.

Mission accomplished: Two words: Duct. Tape. All women should keep a roll of the sticky stuff in their bags and desk drawers at all times. It’s sturdy enough to keep your fabric in place, and now that it comes in tons of fashion prints -- think houndstooth, denim, plaid -- you can even match your tape to your clothes. For sure, MacGyver-approved.

Candle wax for stuck zippers

DIY dilemma: You’re racing out the door and your zipper is broken. You spent long enough trying to decide what to wear, and there’s no way you’re going through that little exercise again.

Mission accomplished: A stuck zipper needn’t ruin your day -- or your wardrobe. Just grab a candle stick and run the wax along the teeth to lubricate things. Other items you can use: the graphite of a pencil, soap, clear chapstick or petroleum jelly. Now, zip up and zip out the door. So much faster than choosing a new outfit, right?

A hair dryer for wrinkled clothes

DIY dilemma: Your alarm clock didn’t go off this morning (OK, so you forgot to set the thing. Again.), and there’s no time to pull out the ironing board.

Mission accomplished: Grab your spray bottle and spritz your shirt with water, then use the hair dryer to steam the wrinkles out. Can’t get the collar to lie flat? A flat iron will help smooth it down in a pinch.

A pencil eraser for a lost earring back

DIY dilemma: You lost the back of your earring, but somehow, miraculously, didn’t lose the earring itself. It’d sure be nice to be able to wear it. Walking around with one earring all day isn’t exactly chic.

Mission accomplished: Well, we suppose you could just take out the other earring, but why let style suffer, when a pencil eraser will solve the problem? Break one off your No. 2, and just stick the post through. It’ll get you through the day.

Hanger foam liner for deodorant marks

DIY dilemma: You shimmied into your LBD, only to leave the outside covered in very unladylike white deodorant marks. This would've never happened to Audrey Hepburn.

Mission accomplished: No need to panic. Just head to your closet and grab that pink or blue foam liner off a hanger from your dry cleaners. Rub it on the offending spots and watch any trace of your non-Audrey behavior disappear instantly.

Deodorant for slippery new shoes

DIY dilemma: You recently bought the most amazing pair of don’t-mess-with-me pumps, but just looking at them is causing your feet to break out in blisters. Of course, you’re wearing them, anyway.

Mission accomplished: To keep your feet from slipping in your new shoes (the rubbing is what can cause those sores to start), use a little clear deodorant on the areas your blisters usually occur. Or, return to MacGyver’s favorite tool: duct tape. A trick used by athletes, the tape takes the friction normally transferred to your foot, keeping blisters at bay.

Lesley Kennedy writes for Follow ShopAtHome on Twitter @shopathome and Lesley on Google+.

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Even if you don’t have a needle and thread at work, you can still repair that popped-off button temporarily so that you don’t have a peekaboo moment. Use this office-supply hack: Take some packing tape and stick it between the overlapping pieces of fabric, which should keep them in place for the day, career website The Daily Muse advises. Another idea? Take a paper clip and hook it through the thread loops left from the button. It’s not exactly a polished look, but it will do in a pinch.

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If you spill red wine on your party dress (or, god forbid, someone else’s), celebrity stylists Amanda Brugel and Gail McInnes suggest drenching the stain in its paler counterpart—white wine—and patting on copious amounts of table salt. This absorbent combo should stop the bleeding before you can get your gown to the cleaners.

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Create your own fashion emergency kit with a few must-haves.

Fashion malfunctions are always just a spilled coffee away. Prepare yourself by carrying a portable emergency kit, say the experts (and former Girl Scouts) at Who What Wear. You should include garment deodorant removers, a travel-size wrinkle releaser, double-stick tape and safety pins and a stain remover, among other things. And make sure to pack heel tips! These nifty little doo-dads can fix a broken stiletto and take up almost no space in your kit.

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