What To Do When You Find Yourself Trapped In Your Coat

It’s easy to find tips about how to dress to (fill in the blank based on your goal).

But what about when you follow those tips and the dreaded still happens: a wardrobe malfunction?

It doesn’t need to be of Janet Jackson Nipplegate proportions to cause you great embarrassment.

I’ve created this series of tips to get you thinking beyond the ‘deer caught in headlights’ moment of horror and into the more productive ‘whaddya gonna do about it’ phase.

The most important thing to remember is, if you label it a wardrobe malfunction, chances are that you are the one who will be the most embarrassed, not those around you. The bystanders are more likely to be amused than offended, and it can actually be a great way to put others at ease. In any case, it’s a great conversation starter.




You’ve arrived early for an important meeting with a new, potential client. The receptionist sends you upstairs to wait in the lounge. As you’re in the elevator you start to unzip your coat and unfortunately catch your scarf in the zipper.

Oh no. No, no, no. You zip up. You zip down. It’s a two-way zipper so you move the opposite end of the zipper as well, gently trying to work the scarf out of the zipper teeth. You realize there’s probably a camera filming you as you wrestle with the coat — one hand inside, one hand outside. It’s warm and you’re sweating. You’re almost at your destination and you’d like to be free before the doors of the elevator open and someone asks to take your coat.

But the scarf is not coming out.


Here’s what you can do:

1. If possible, get the scarf off of your neck. It’s keeping you warm and possibly making you feel claustrophobic.

2. Unzip the coat as far as possible, leaving a hopefully large opening: this is your escape route.

3. Pull your arms out of the coat and, depending on the size and location of the opening, either step out of the coat, or grab onto the center back neck and pull the coat off over your head, like a sweater.

4. Make sure your other clothing is still in place and that your hair is not standing on end.


You’re free! Now just throw your coat over your arm and smile as the elevator doors open.