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On Wardrobe Malfunctions and Duct Tape

On Wardrobe Malfunctions and Duct Tape

Published May 13, 2013 | By Shawna

Picture the scene.  It’s the night of Book Launch, and I am getting dressed for my reading as the featured author at Authors in Pubs. have just finished with my acupuncture appointment. (I have been getting acupuncture for some soft tissue injuries, but it also leaves me all mellow and relaxed, not a bad thing going into a reading.) Since the acupuncture office and the reading are in the same city and both are quite a distance from my house, I brought with me the outfit I intended to wear.

Now I had selected this outfit some time before. Tried it on earlier in the day to make sure it still fit. Checked and double-checked that I had all the necessary components with me. (All steps learned from past wardrobe disasters.)

So I am calm, I am happy, I am dressing with confidence. Then I notice the hole in the lovely black top I have chosen to go with the black skirt. A hole that was not there before. A hole where you absolutely, positively to not want a hole if you are a woman about to go on stage. Well, unless you are about to go on stage at a very different kind of establishment than the one to which I am heading.

I contemplate my options. There is absolutely no time to go home and get another top, or to duck into a shop and buy something else. The pub is pretty casual, so if I had worn a polo or even a nice T-shirt I might get away with what I wore to the appointment. But I had worn an old, faded T-shirt. It had wolves on it, so if I had been reading one of my werewolf pieces, I might have tried to brazen it out.

The Stolen Luck, unfortunately, has no wolves, were- or otherwise.

In desperation, I appeal to the staff, but no one has a sewing kit. Plenty of needles, but not the kind that take thread. And the closest thing to thread is the yarn from someone’s crochet kit.

Someone suggests duct tape. I look at my intended outfit. All silk and ruffles, not the sort of thing you can slap a big old slash of silver tape on and pretend it’s a fashion statement.

After some brainstorming and trial-an-error, we come up with a little pach made of folded-over duct tape, colored black with a Sharpie pen and affixed to the under side of the top with more duct tape.

Not the most comfortable stuff against the skin, but invisible against the black fabric.  And it held. Long enough for me to get through the reading and get home.

I’m not sure what the moral of the story is. Don’t buy a top that seems too good a bargain? Something about the practical value of creativity?

Or maybe just that duct tape really is the force that holds the universe together.

3 Responses to On Wardrobe Malfunctions and Duct Tape

Mary Rosenblum says: May 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Hey, duct tape really does hold the world together. Obviously! I guess the ultimate less is ‘don’t leave home without it!’


Shawna says: May 14, 2013 at 3:01 am

Have to admit, I’ve learned to pack a roll of duct tape for horse shows and SCA events, but never thought I would need one at a reading! Good thing the acupuncture office was more prepared.


Emily W. says: May 15, 2013 at 4:22 am

Yep, duct tape is a lifesaver. I’ve also learned that when duct tape fails, use rubber bands. I learned that when i had to wear stockings that refused to stay up and duct tape didn’t work.

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