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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.


This one has happened to all of us at some point. You’re walking along, minding your own business, making conversation and looking at your companion instead of looking down, when you’re confronted with the result of someone’s housepet that’s minded IT’S business right there on your footpath. That’s right, you feel the squish, then the slide, and suddenly you’re confronted with THE POOP SHOE.

There’s absolutely no way to NOT do something about this. The smell alone will give you away. You’ve got 10 minutes until your next appointment.

What do you do?

  1. Enlisting the help of your companion, find water and a raised surface to get rid of the poop. Ideally it has just rained and there are some pools of standing water in a nearby parking lot, street or on the sidewalk. Especially with suede shoes, the art is to get the bottom of the shoe wet without damaging the shoe upper.
  2. Now that the poop is loosened up, wipe it off your shoe, preferably on something textured in nature that can stay in its natural habitat, like grass, gravel or even dirt.
  3. Repeat the water/wipe process a couple of times if necessary.
  4. If there aren’t many people around, take off the shoe, get it into a bag (preferably plastic), and, firmly holding the shoe upper so that the plastic stays put, whack the shoe on a hard surface to dislodge any remaining poop.
    **No water? No privacy? Get yourself to a restroom ASAP, wrap the affected part of the shoe in an extra trash bag or, if desperate, toilet paper, and do step #4 inside the trash can.
  5. If you’re close to a drugstore or department store, nip in and spritz perfume in the direction of the sole of your shoe. If a store attendant is doing the spritzing, trust me, they will oblige you.

If your next appointment is in someone’s home, remove your shoes at the door without asking. If you’re visiting an office, excuse yourself to the bathroom and do whatever it takes to remove any remaining poop from the bottom of your shoe. One last resort trick that works for an unfortunate sole with (traction/grips): wrap a ballpoint pin in toilet paper and dig the poop out, depositing it into the toilet.