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We have all been there at some point, that dreaded moment in which a button pops, or the hem of a skirt has gone – maybe it is just me. I was wearing a very nice black short sleeve cotton button up, it was during a heat wave, and everyone’s suit jacket stayed home (very unusual at Foreign Affairs).

I was having a brief meeting with my boss to bring him up to speed on my file before he chaired a big meeting, as I stood up, two buttons fell off my shirt. Um, that is just not supposed to happen in front of your boss, no seriously, it was a very preppy and conservative shirt, and it was on the loose side. Thank goodness it didn’t gape right away, but I left the office, ran down the hall and looked to find a safety pin. I only had about 5 minutes before I needed to get to the board room – shit, nothing. Grabbed my black shawl, and draped it around me, grabbed a bobby pin and ran to the bathroom. I rigged the bobby pin in, and covered myself with the shawl. Then there was that point that I got up from the long meeting thinking I made it through without my shirt gaping open, and I heard a rip, rip wasn’t the right description, I felt like it echoed throughout the room. I was so startled that I carefully manoeuvred to the washroom, and discovered that the rip was so big that I was bearing all. Don’t think that this happens to just cheap pants, they were expensive and beautifully draped pants, the only thing that I could think of was the dry cleaner had worn out the seems. With two things down,  I had no choice but to put on my backup skirt in my drawer, and run to the mall to buy a shirt and extra safety pins. The funny think about working in such an office environment, you are definitely not free from being the butt of many, many jokes for weeks to come. Long hours in the office – no problem, dedicate a drawer to all things great, it isn’t just snacks you need, it is an emergency Wardrobe malfunction drawer.

  1. Safety pins – i don’t think I could do without them. Screw the needle and thread, as if anyone has time to sow something at work. Safety pins have held my hems, shirts together throughout  a busy day.
  2. For women – two t-shirts that can go under a suit jacket, yes, that is right a t-shirt.  For men, a folded pressed shirt and an extra tie.
  3. A pair of panty hose and a pair of tights.
  4. Backup pants/skirt
  5. Deodorant, ya you know that you do forget sometimes on a busy day!
  6. A hairbrush, gel, elastic bands
  7. Tide to go sticks
  8. Toothbrush and toothpaste – seriously, brush your teeth at work, there is no excuse to make someone put up with your bad breath
  9. powder for your shoes
  10. I always kept a makeup kit, as well as hand and face cream – there were times I spent about 15 hrs at the office!